The Barcelona will assault the leadership of LaLiga if he wins this Thursday at Granada, who will visit the Camp Nou loaded with casualties, in the game postponed two weeks ago due to its coincidence with the final of the Copa del Rey. With the Cup tied, the Catalan team opts for the double this season. Against Granada, Barça have the opportunity to be ranked first in LaLiga six months after occupying that position for the last time, around mid-October.
Now, with six days remaining to close the competition, if the Catalans beat the Nasrid team, they would surpass the current leader, Atlético de Madrid by one point, and would open a gap of three and four points with Real Madrid and Sevilla, respectively. Faced with such an open and tight League final, consistency is the key to success. After the last triumphs against Villarreal (1-2) and Getafe (5-2), Barça coach Ronald Koeman will try to maintain this path against Granada.
Despite being a week with double party garter belt, because the Catalans also visit Valencia on Sunday, most likely Koeman will avoid rotations and come out with the same eleven as Villarreal, with the only doubt of Sergi Roberto or Sergiño Dest for the right lane. To this day, Sergi Roberto has more ballots to occupy this position, accompanied by Jordi Alba on the left wing. Meanwhile, Óscar Mingueza, Gerard Piqué and Clement Lenglet will repeat as center-backs, with Uruguayan Ronald Araujo relegated to the bench after returning after his injury.
For the center of the field, Koeman recovers Miralem Pjanic after being dropped in Villarreal due to some discomfort in the right knee. However, the Dutch coach will surely bet on the usual Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri González. Leo Messi and Antoine Griezmann, who comes from scoring two goals in La Cerámica, will once again form the pair of the forward. In attack, Koeman continues to count on the casualties of Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho, both long-term injuries.
The grenade, for its part, arrives in Barcelona very depleted of troops -eight casualties between sanctioned and injured- with the aim of achieving a good result that allows it to settle in eighth place in the standings and reduce the difference it has with the European positions, which are now seven points. The rojiblancos visit the Camp Nou, where they have lost the 26 official matches played, in a few days full of encounters, since last Sunday they lost to Sevilla (2-1) and next Sunday they will play another regional duel, in this case against Cádiz in Nuevo Los Cármenes.
The training directed by Diego Martínez arrives with the low of the medium Ángel Montoro and the attacker Antonio Puertas, por accumulation of warnings; and due to injury to the midfielder Luis Milla, attacker Alberto Soro and defenders Jesús Vallejo, Carlos Neva, Portuguese Domingos Duarte and Colombian Neyder Lozano. In addition, both the Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Silva and the Brazilian winger Robert Kenedy are doubtful, the former due to a muscle problem and the latter due to a sprained ankle.
If Rui Silva did not recover in the end, he would be in goal Aaron Escandell, that this season he has already played some games in both the Copa del Rey and the Europa League. Diego Martínez, as is usual in him, will introduce several changes in relation to the eleven that acted last Sunday against Sevilla, returning to the same players as Joaquin Marin ‘Quini’ or the Venezuelan Darwin Machís. The big question is whether he will maintain the defense of three centrals and two lanes used in the previous match or will he recover his usual line of four behind.
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Piqué, Lenglet; Dest, De Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Jordi Alba; Griezmann and Messi.
Granada FC: Rui Silva or Aarón; Foulquier, Nehuén, Germán, Víctor Díaz, Quini; Gonalons, Yan Eteki, Luis Suárez, Machís; and Jorge Molina.
Referee: González Fuertes (Asturian Committee).
Stadium: Camp Nou.