Granada-Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana look to maintain momentum ahead of Milan clash
The runaway Liga leaders travel to face Lucas Alcaraz's resurgent side hoping to add to their 12-point advantage over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table
By Karthick Arvinth
Nyom, Lopez, Mainz, Siqueira
Recio, M Rico
Torje, Aranda, Nolito
Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano
Thiago, Song, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Sanchez
Granada midfielder Dani Benitez will miss Saturday's Primera Division encounter against Barcelona after undergoing a hernia operation earlier in the week.
Fran Rico (knee) is also sidelined, but boss Lucas Alcaraz has a full squad to choose from otherwise.
Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura is likely rest some his stars ahead of the midweek Champions League trip to AC Milan.
Striker David Villa will not travel to Andalusia after being hospitalised with kidney stones, while playmaker Xavi (hamstring) is still out.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Granada have won three of their last four matches in La Liga.
- The Andalusian outfit have lost their last three encounters against Barcelona by an aggregate score of 3-8.
- Granada have kept four clean sheets in their last five matches at Los Carmenes.
- Barcelona have won just one of their last four away matches in all competitions (W1, D2, L1).
- The Blaugrana boast the best attack in the Primera Division, with 78 goals scored in their 23 matches (3.3 goals per game).
- Lionel Messi (pictured, right) has scored eight goals in his last five Liga matches for Barca.
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Top 3 Predictions
Granada 0-5 FC Barcelona
- 13.59 %
Granada 1-4 FC Barcelona
- 11.2 %
Granada 1-3 FC Barcelona
- 9.77 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Apr 12, 2014||Granada 1 - FC Barcelona 0|
|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|
|Apr 12, 2014||Granada 1 - FC Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|Apr 6, 2014||Malaga 4 - Granada 1||LIGA|
|Mar 31, 2014||Granada 0 - Levante 2||LIGA|
|Mar 26, 2014||Atletico Madrid 1 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|Mar 22, 2014||Granada 1 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|15||Youssef El Arabi||Striker|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
The ex-Spain Under-21 international has been a mainstay in the Granada midfield since arriving on loan from Malaga in the January transfer window. A hard-running midfielder, Recio will have to put in a shift to deny Barcelona space in and around the 18-yard box.
The Chilean's second season in Spain has largely been a disappointment as he has struggled to establish himself in the Barcelona starting XI. Sanchez scored his first Liga goal of the campaign in last weekend's 6-1 win over Getafe and will look to make the most of another likely start on Saturday.
Following some shrewd signings in January, Granada seem well-positioned to make a push away from the relegation zone. However, the visitors are in imperious form and are more than capable of picking their way through the Andalusian side's dogged backline.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed