Gavi and Ousmane Dembele are set to start while Memphis Depay is back in contention as Barcelona get ready to take on Granada in La Liga on Saturday.

Barcelona will be aiming to continue their positive start to the new year when they lock horns with Granada at Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes in La Liga this weekend.

Leading up to the game, manager Xavi Hernandez has been handed a huge boost as Barcelona have welcomed back seven players from injury or COVID-related issues following their 2-1 win over Linares Deportivo in Copa del Rey. Gavi, Sergino Dest, Memphis Depay, Clement Lenglet, Alejandro Balde and Ez Abde are back in the squad, while Luuk de Jong also returns from suspension.

Granada vs Barcelona Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

However, Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong are fresh absentees due to the injuries they picked up in midweek. In addition, Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and new signing Ferran Torres remain unavailable.

Araujo’s injury, in particular, comes as a big blow for Barcelona, considering the importance he holds in the side. Speaking of the Uruguayan in his pre-match presser (h/t Barca Blaugranes), Xavi said, “He was operated on. He put in a tremendous effort the other day, he had two broken bones but he played until half-time. That says a lot about his character. We’ll have to see but it won’t be easy for the Super Cup.”

With Araujo ruled out, Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia should pair up at the heart of the Barcelona defence against Granada. Dani Alves might not be pushed to start two games within a week, meaning Oscar Mingueza could feature at right-back while Jordi Alba slots in on the left. Marc-Andre ter Stegen will return in goal after sitting out the cup tie.

Gavi’s return comes as a big boost for the Blaugrana, especially with Pedri still not ready for a return and Frenkie de Jong picking up a knock. The teenage sensation should start in the centre of the park, alongside captain Sergio Busquets and fellow La Masia graduate Nico Gonzalez.

Moving into the attacking unit, Xavi has welcomed Memphis Depay back into the squad, while Ousmane Dembele also looks set to play an important role despite his contract situation. Speaking of the Frenchman, the Barcelona manager said, “He’s part of the squad. He played the other day. He made a big effort. He’d had Covid, hadn’t trained, but he played, scored, we needed him, and he delivered.

“The team was struggling, he came out with a great atttiude and made the difference. That’s what we expect from him. He will continue to be a member of the squad and will continue to help us.”

Having scored in the midweek win, Dembele is expected to start on Saturday, slotting in on the right flank while Luuk de Jong starts as the No. 9. Ferran Jutgla, who was also on target against Linares, completes the Barcelona frontline.

Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen, Mingueza, Pique, Garcia, Alba, Nico, Busquets, Gavi, Dembele, de Jong, Jutgla.

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