La Liga Preview: Granada v Barcelona
The Catalan giants look to bounce back against Fabri Gonzalez's side after a disappointing draw with Sevilla on Saturday
By Martin Macdonald
Nyon, Lopez, Mainz, Siqueira
F.Rico, Abel, M.Rico, Benitez
Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Messi, Cesc, Villa
Granada defender David Cortes has returned to training after recovering from a knee injury but is still a week or two away from returning to first team action.
Hassan Yebda is fighting for fitness after suffering a muscle strain and it is touch and go whether the Algerian will make the game against the Catalan side. Carlos Martins will also be out for three weeks with sustaining a similar muscle problem.
Alexis Sanchez remains absent for Barcelona with a long-term hamstring injury. Gerard Pique will also miss another week after also suffering a hamstring complaint against Racing a week ago, and Ibrahim Afellay is still recovering from knee surgery and will be an absentee for the foreseeable future.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
Granada have only scored two goals in La Liga this season, 24 less than Barcelona.
- Uche and Fran Rico are Granada's joint top goalscorers, with a goal a piece. Barcelona have four players who have scored more; Lionel Messi, Xavi, David Villa, and Cesc Fabregas.
- Granada have notched up five points in La Liga so far, with a win, two draws, and five defeats.
- Barcelona's 0-0 draw with Sevilla on Saturday was the first occasion at home in La Liga this season when they have failed to take away all three points.
- Victor Valdes achieved a personal record on Saturday. He has now went 607 minutes and counting without conceding a goal in the league.
- Barcelona can make themselves preliminary leaders of La Liga with a victory over Granada in this game.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Granada 0-5 FC Barcelona
- 25 %
Granada 0-4 FC Barcelona
- 16.25 %
Granada 0-3 FC Barcelona
- 13.48 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 23, 2013||FC Barcelona 4 - Granada 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Feb 16, 2013||Granada 1 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Sep 22, 2012||FC Barcelona 2 - Granada 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 20, 2012||FC Barcelona 5 - Granada 3|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 25, 2011||Granada 0 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Mar 8, 2014||Granada 2 - Villarreal 0||LIGA|
|Feb 28, 2014||Athletic Bilbao 4 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|Feb 23, 2014||Valencia CF 2 - Granada 1||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Granada 1 - Betis 0||LIGA|
|Feb 7, 2014||Espanyol 1 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|-||Andreu Fontàs Prat||Defender|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
Granada's joint top goalscorer this season and perhaps their most potent attacking threat. He has the physical ability to cause Barcelona problems and certainly possesses decent strength and pace. He will be isolated for most of the match but he is his teams best chance for a goal.
Lionel Messi will certainly be hurting after his dramatic late penalty miss against Sevilla at the weekend. Unfortunately for Granada, this will mean the Argentine will be even more hungry for goals in this match. The maestro will be out to prove a point after costing his team three points on Saturday, so be very afraid Granada.
Granada have only managed to score two La Liga goals in eight games, and considering they will see a minority of possession against Barcelona, it is unlikely that they will be able to grab a goal in the match. Combine this with the attacking talent that Barca has, and you cant see past a very comfortable victory for the Catalan side. Pep Guardiola's side may be hurting slightly after their home draw against Sevilla at the weekend, so they will be smelling blood against the promoted side in this match.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed