FC Barcelona lost against Malaga on last weekend and they are now four points behind table toppers Real Madrid. Luis Enriquea s men secured a morale boosting win over Man City in the mid week and would be eager to reduce the gap at the summit of La Liga by securing a victory against struggling Granada today.
Granada are struggling badly in La Liga this season as they find themselves at 19th position in the points table. And coach Abel Resino would be hoping to secure at least a point against high flying FC Barcelona.
Meanwhile, despite of their loss to Malaga on last weekend, FC Barcelona are looking in great shape. The Catalans have played well in all departments of the game in 2015 and coach Luis Enrique would be confident of securing all three points against Granada today.
Granada have just one point more than bottom placed Cordoba to their name and only a miracle could save their relegation for next season.
Granada, who returned to La Liga after playing for 35 years in the B division in 2011, started their campaign on a positive note when they secured two consecutive victories in first two games of this season. However, they lost the plot afterwards and now; they are winless in past 12 games.
Every coming game is now an opportunity for Granada to get their campaign back on track but the clash against FC Barcelona is extremely difficult one and it would be a big surprise if they are able to win a point today.
Granada coach Abel Resino, in his press conference, accepted that FC Barcelona are a very tough opponent but said that his players will try everything they can to beat the Catalans.
a I see no reason why we cana t win. Beating the best team in the world in recent years is an attraction for us and wea ll be doing our very best to do that a What a small team has to do against Bar a is try to surprise them with speed,a said Abel Resino.
On the injury front, Jeison Murillo and Piti are not available for selection. Granada lost a game against Levante in dying moments on Monday, but they lost two key players, Adran Colunga and El Arabi, because of the suspension for todaya s encounter.
Predicted Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Oier; Nyom, Babin, Murrillo, Foulquier; Iturra, Rico; Bangoura, Success, Candeias; Cordoba
FC Barcelona were struggling for form in La Liga in late 2014 but it appears that the Catalans have recovered well in 2015. They lost their first game of the year at Anoeta but they came back strongly to secure 11 wins in a row. This winning streak of FC Barcelona came to a halt on last weekend when Malaga beat them in their own backyard.
However,Luis Suarez helped FC Barcelona to get back on track in mid week as he scored two goals to help Catalans beat Man City by 2-1. The defence of FC Barcelona was a big concern for Luis Enrique in the early parts of the season as the duo of Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano were badly struggling for form. But they seem to have found their rhythm back and have formed an excellent partnership at the heart of FC Barcelonaa s defence.
Another plus for FC Barcelona is ever improving form of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan, ever since his big money transfer from Liverpool was not able to justify his hefty price tag but he looks well settles now. Luis Suarez has scored some brilliant goals in past one month and Luis Enrique would be hoping for a similar performance from him today.
This game of FC Barcelona against Granada will be starting at 4 in the afternoon, the time slot not suitable to the Catalans, but Luis Enrique insisted that it wona t be a big problem.
a We have played five games at 4 oa clock and won three, drawn one and lost one. I dona t think thata s bad record, but it could be better,a said Luis Enrique.
The FC Barcelona coach also advised his players to not to underestimate the challenge of Granada.
a Sometimes you expect one kind of game and you get anothera he told his Friday press conference. a We are up against a side in dire need of points and theya ll make things hard for us.a
FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has already named his squad of eighteen for this game. Gerard Piqu is suspended after collecting his fifth yellow card week. But there is a boost on injury front for FC Barcelona as Douglas is now back. But Luis Enrique has not selected him in his squad for todaya s game.
Predicted Starting Line-up (4-3-3): Bravo; Alves, Bartra, Mathieu, Alba; Mascherano, Xavi, Rakiti ; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Player To Watch Out For
Luis Suarez was arguably the best player of FC Barcelona on Tuesday night when the Blaugrana almost secured their passage to the quarter finals of Champions League by beating Man City. Luis Suarez has shown remarkable improvement to his form in past one month and he would be eager to help FC Barcelona secure another away win today.
Granada 1-3 FC Barcelona
Granada are winless in their past 12 games and FC Barcelona are unlikely to give their fans a reason to smile today. FC Barcelona are looking in great shape in all departments of game and it would be a big surprise if Granada avoid a defeat at their own home ground today.
Blast From The Past