Sergi Roberto is set to replace Sergino Dest when Barcelona welcome Granada to Camp Nou in a La Liga game on Thursday.
Barcelona will be aiming to climb to the top of the La Liga table when they play hosts to Granada at Camp Nou on Thursday evening. And, Ronald Koeman does not have any fresh injury concerns to deal with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
In fact, the Barcelona boss now has Miralem Pjanic at his disposal, which beefs up his midfield options heading into the midweek fixture. That means that Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati and Martin Braithwaite remain the only players that are unavailable to take on Granada.
Koeman should once again line his side up in the 3-5-2 formation that he has preferred in recent games, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen a certainty in the Barcelona goal. The back three should feature Gerard Pique, Oscar Mingueza and Clement Lenglet, meaning Ronald Araujo and Samuel Umtiti will miss out.
The only change to the starting lineup, in fact, will likely come in the right wing-back spot, where Sergi Roberto could come in for Sergino Dest after a bit of an indifferent showing by the youngster last time out versus Villarreal. On the left flank, though, there is no looking past Jordi Alba, with Junior Firpo being his deputy.
As for the midfield personnel, Koeman has shown little desire to rotate his troops, even though Pedri has looked a bit jaded at times. The teenage prodigy, though, will likely be a part of the three-man midfield unit alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets, with Pjanic and Ilaix Moriba being options off the bench.
The in-form players for Barcelona in recent weeks have been the two star forwards – Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. And, during his pre-match press conference, Koeman had words of praise for Griezmann, in particular.
“Griezmann is a team player, and he trains a lot. He’s probably had bad luck this season, but now he has more confidence. You can’t score that first goal against Villarreal without confidence.”
Griezmann should indeed retain his place in the strike partnership, lining alongside Barcelona captain Messi in the attacking tandem, meaning Ousmane Dembele will once again have to suffice with a place on the bench.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Pique, Lenglet; Roberto, de Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Griezmann