Barcelona will shift their focus to La Liga as they travel to Los Carmenes to face Granada on Sunday. The Spanish champions are coming on the back of a goalless draw with Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.
They must win this game against Granada, having already dropped five points in four matches. But, things could be tricky against the Nazaries, who have also accumulated seven points. The hosts have won their last two games as well.
Here is how Ernesto Valverde’s men line up this weekend.
Marc Andre ter Stegen is a guaranteer starter in between the sticks. The German international produced a heroic display against Borussia Dortmund in midweek. Barcelona will be hoping he won’t be tested as much this time around.
Nelson Semedo will be rested after an awful display in midweek. Sergi Roberto will replace the Portuguese international at right-back. As for Jordi Alba, he suffered a knock against Dortmund, and his hamstring problem is likely to rule him out of this match. It will pave the way for new signing Junior Firpo to start at left-back.
The central defensive combination will remain unchanged with Gerard Pique partnering Clement Lenglet at the heart of Barcelona’s four-man backline. These two will be hoping to keep a clean sheet for a Barcelona despite having conceded in all of their league matches so far.
Sergio Busquets is expected to retain his role in the holding midfield slot despite a rusty display against Borussia Dortmund. The Spaniard will be partnered by Ivan Rakitic, who will come into the side, at the expense of Frenkie de Jong.
Arturo Vidal is also pushing for a start after being left out on the bench in midweek. The Chilean international could replace Arthur Melo in the Barcelona midfield.
Much of the hype going into this game is surrounding the return of Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar did feature against Dortmund as a substitute but is in line to make his first start of this new campaign. He will replace the young Ansu Fati at right-wing.
Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez, meanwhile, are expected to retain their place in the attack. Griezmann, in particular, will play a crucial role in providing the creative essence to the final third. It will be interesting to see how the trio of him, Suarez and Messi combine for the first time this season.
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