Barcelona will have new manager Quique Setién at the helm on Sunday, as La Liga’s table toppers host Granada as they look to stay ahead of fierce rivals Real Madrid on goal difference.
Barça sacked Ernesto Valverde after a 3-2 loss against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup – despite the fact that they were at the top of the league and had qualified for the Champions League knockout stages. Evidently, there are some high expectations at the club.
Granada sit in 10th position, and will be well aware that they are in for a tough night, regardless of how well they’ve done so far this season.
Here is 90min’s preview of the La Liga clash between Barcelona and Granada.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 19 January|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||Camp Nou|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||La Liga TV|
|Referee?||Valentín Pizarro Gómez|
Setién will also be without Frenkie de Jong, who is suspended after being sent off against Espanyol before the Supercopa.
As a result, Ansu Fati and Arturo Vidal could be drafted into the side.
Granada will be missing Neyder Lozano, Fede Vico and Quini who are all out with injuries, while Angel Montoro is out due to suspension.
|Barca||Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Vidal, Rakitic; Messi, Griezmann, Fati.|
|Granada||Silva; Sanchez, Duarte, Martinez; Diaz, Herrera, Gonalons, Neva; Puertas, Soldado, Machis|
Head to Head Record
Barcelona have played Granada just 13 times, with the current Spanish champions leading the head-to-head with 11 wins to Granada’s two.
Surprisingly though, the last time these two sides faced each other, Granada ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Ramon Azeez and Alvaro Vadillo. Barça will undoubtedly be out for revenge.
The stand out fixture between these sides was played out back in 2012, with Barça coming out the victors in an eight-goal thriller. Lionel Messi – of course – bagged a hat-trick in a 5-3 win for the hosts.
Barcelona have been in a poor run of form of late, with just one win in their last five games in all competitions. Their one win came at home to Alaves, which proved to be Valverde’s last win as manager of the club.
Granada continue to have a typically inconsistent season for a team in their position, with three wins and two losses in their last five. However, a recent home win in the league against RCD Mallorca in La Liga would have given them some confidence.
Here’s how each team has fared in their last five games in all competitions.
|Barcelona 2-3 Atletico Madrid (09/01)||Tamarceite 0-1 Granada (11/01)|
|Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona (04/01)||Granada 1-0 Mallorca (05/01)|
|Barcelona 4-1 Alaves (21/12)||Eibar 3-0 Granada (20/12)|
|Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid (18/12)||L’Hospitalet 2-3 Granada (17/12)|
|Real Sociedad 2-2 Barcelona (14/12)||Granada 1-2 Levante (14/12)|
Barça should simply have too much for Granada, especially with a new manager bounce. The visitors will have to hope that the likes of Messi and Griezmann have an off day, and they will also need a huge amount of luck to come away with even a point. There should be only one winner here.
Prediction: Barcelona 4-0 Granada