November 25, 2012
Xavi loving life under Tito
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||2.0||0.0|
|Goals against *||1.3||0.0|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-L-L||W-W-W-W-W|
|Last 5 away||W-D-L-L-D||W-W-D-W-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Levante | Barcelona|
Barcelona midfielder Xavi says the squad are enjoying life under manager Tito Vilanova and the effects of his regime are being reflected in their success this season.
Barcelona will be looking to extend their three-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the Primera Division with a win against fourth-place Levante.
Both sides ensured their progression into the knockout stages of European competition this week as four-time champions Barcelona beat Spartak Moscow to move to the last 16 of the Champions League while Levante's 3-1 win over Helsingborg saw them progress through to the last-32 of the Europa League.
Xavi hailed the work done by Vilanova, who took charge of Barca in April following Pep Guardiola's departure.
"Tito is doing an extraordinary job. Has surprised us all having the personality and leadership that conveys,'' Xavi told AS.com.
"We have started the league very well, also in the Champions League we are on track, the Cup is there. The feelings are great.
"Win or not in the future, but for now, we're playing good football, we are enjoying this stage with Tito and are looking forward to the final objectives.''
Xavi, who this week confirmed negotiations are underway for a renewal of his contract at the Spanish club, said the key to Vilanova's success has been his smooth transition from assistant to manager.
"It has changed a few things both tactically and technically but workouts are practically the same. There are practically the same people, except Pep, and therefore we are very happy.''
Barca's only injury concerns are with defenders Marc Bartra and Adrian Coreira and winger Alexis Sanchez.
Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martinez could make a number of changes for the game from the side that beat Helsingborg.
Martinez rotated eight players from the 2-0 league win over Deportivo La Coruna for the European match, although players such as Ruben Garcia and Angel could retain their place after strong performances.