Granada- The biggest miss for Granada boss Lucas Alcaraz, would be that of winger Mehdi Carcela. He suffered a leg injury on international duty and a return date is yet to be determined. A welcome boost would be the return of midfielder Mubarak Wakaso from suspension.
Central midfielder Panagiotis Kone and right-winger Omer Atzily have returned to training from their respective injuries and might feature in the big game. Though defenders Héctor Hernández and Matthieu Saunier are doubtful candidates for the game with a thigh injury and hamstring injury respectively, they are expected to overcome it just in time.
Barcelona- The biggest miss for the whole La Liga will be the absence of Lionel Messi. The Argentine remains suspended for a match after picking up the requisite number of yellow cards for a ban. We expect Rafinha to take his place on the right wing. Centre-half and full-back Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Alba remain doubtful for the game with injuries, though we expect the defenders to shake it off before the game.
And among the long-term injuries feature Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan. While Turan is scheduled to return from his groin injury this month, Vidal will only be back next season.
Granada- Ochoa; Ingason, Saunier, Silva, Foulquier, Wakaso; Uche, Hector; Cuenca, Ramos, Pereira
Barcelona- Ter Stegen; Roberto, Umtiti, Mathieu, Alba; Ivan Rakitic, Busquets, Gomes; Rafinha, Suarez, Neymar
Granada- Manchester United loanee Andreas Pereira will be under the scanner going into the game. The Brazilian has earned rave reviews with his impressive displays in the La Liga so far, scoring four goals and providing two assists from the attacking midfield.
Apart from him, winger Isaac Cuenca could be the danger man for Barca’s defence. Though the Spaniard has managed to net only twice this campaign, his marauding runs down the flanks would create some real problems.
Barcelona- With Messi out from Barcelona’s world class trio, the onus will definitely be on the other two- Neymar and Luis Suarez to get the scoresheet ticking. There are 29 goals and 22 assists among the South-American duo and even without their Argentine colleague, they are perfectly capable of creating havoc at Granada’s defence.
Rafinha hasn’t got as many chances as he had hoped for, this season. And with reports of the Brazilian looking for a first-team place elsewhere, he would like to make the maximum of the game.
[email protected] 13.00
Draw @ 7.50
Barcelona @ 1.20
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