Barca travel to Granada as they eye top 4 finish

Barca travel to Granada as they eye top 4 finish

Following their recent resurgence under club legend Xavi, Barcelona will seek to extend their La Liga winning streak, as they seek to keep the top 4 within touching distance.

Their opposition comes in the form of mid-table side Granada, who will host Barca at the Los Carmenes stadium. Despite a poor showing in the opening games of the season, fans believe that their recent return to form means a top 10 finish is possible. 

Granada will again be without the services of Neyder Lozano and Santiago Arias through injury, while German Sanchez, Ruben Rochina and Alberto Soro remain doubts due to recent COVID-19 positive tests. Domingos Duarte is expected to return from injury to feature in the middle of the defence, but it could otherwise be the same side that started against Elche last time out. Indeed, Luis Suarez should be joined by Jorge Molina in the final third, while an attacking team could also include Antonio Puertas and Darwin Machis in the wide areas.

As for Barcelona, Martin Braithwaite, Sergi Roberto and Pedri remain on the sidelines through injury, while Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong are both out due to the problems that they picked up in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey contest. Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet could again be absent through illness, while Abde Ezzalzouli, Gavi, Alejandro Balde and Sergino Dest are among those to recently test positive for COVID-19, and it remains to be seen whether they will be available. Barcelona’s midfield issues could see Riqui Puig feature once again, while Dani Alves could make his second La Liga debut for the club, but January arrival Ferran Torres is still ineligible. Memphis Depay could be back in the squad, meanwhile, with the Dutchman making excellent progress in his return from a hamstring injury, but the match will come just too soon for Ansu Fati.

While Barca is currently 5th in the La Liga table, and Granada are 13th, it is Granada that have fared better in their last 5 games. Granada remain unbeaten in their last 5 La Liga outings, recording 3 wins and 2 draws, while Barcelona have 2 wins, 2 draws, and a loss at the hands of Real Betis in early December.

The last 2 games between Granada and Barcelona defy convention, as Granada managed to beat the Catalan giants once, and held them to a draw as well. Surprisingly enough, the loss even came at a time when Messi was still at Barcelona. 

Barcelona, meanwhile, will enter this weekend’s match off the back of a 2-1 win over Linares Deportivo in the last-32 stage of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.