Third-placed Barcelona will look to make it three wins in a row when they host relegation-threatened Granada.

After a sensational season last time where they won the league title, Xavi’s Barcelona have failed to reach similar heights this season and now they are all set to host Granada, a team that is fighting for their survival in the Spanish top flight.

Barcelona are currently third in the league with 50 points out of their 23 matches. They have won 15 of those fixture and have suffered three defeats so far. The biggest change from last season is the fact that they have not been as good defensively as they were last term.

After suffering a setback at the hands of Villarreal, they have bounced back with two consecutive wins in La Liga. They are heading into this fixture on the back of a 3-1 victory over Alaves and will be confident of their chances heading into this one. The Catalan giants will look for all three points as they look to reduce the eight-point gap that separates them from league leaders Real Madrid.

As far as Granada are concerned, things are not looking good by any means. They are currently 19th on the points table with just 12 points out of their 23 matches. They have won only two games so far and have suffered defeat on 15 occasions. The return to the top flight has not gone according to plan so far.

The visitors have been winless in their last four league outings. The only positive for them is that they ended their three-match losing streak with a draw against Las Palmas last time out. Despite being reduced to ten men quite early in the match and being dominated throughout, they did get a point.

If they want to take something away from Barcelona, they will have to produce their best performance of the season, and even that might not be enough. One thing is certain, it promises to be an exciting encounter, and The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the two teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics


Marc-Andre ter Stegen is back fit, and he is expected to be the one in goal for this fixture. Even Raphinha is back from his issue and should be a part of the squad for this one. Ilkay Gundogan, who picked up a knock last time out, should be fit in time. But they will be without Vitor Roque, who was sent off last time out.

While a few of their players are returning, they will still be without the services of Ferran Torres, Joao Felix, Sergi Roberto, Alejandro Balde, Marcos Alonso, and Gavi as they are all out injured.

Xavi will stick to the 4-3-3 formation, with ter Stegen returning in goal. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo will be the two full-backs. They will look to support the centre-back pairing of Ronald Araujo and Inigo Martinez. The back four will look for clean sheets.

In the centre of the park, Andreas Christensen will take charge as the holding midfielder. He will be supported by Frenkie de Jong and Ilkay Gundogan. The trio will look to ensure they have the majority of the ball, and they end up dictating the pace of the game.

With Christensen taking charge in midfield, Pedri will start on the left flank, while Lamine Yamal will be the right winger. Meanwhile, Robert Lewandowski will lead the line for Barcelona against Granada.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Inigo Martinez, Cancelo; Frenkie de Jong, Christensen, Gundogan; Yamal, Lewandowski, Pedri

Barcelona vs Granada Predicted XI


The visitors will be without as many as six first-team players. Lucas Boye, Victor Diaz, Jesus Vallejo, and Raul Fernandez are all out injured. Meanwhile, Kamil Piatkowski and Gonzalo Villar are both suspended from taking part in this fixture with the former getting sent off and the latter picking up a milestone yellow card.

Granada will go ahead with the 4-5-1 formation, where Augusto Batalla will be in goal. German Sanchez and Faitout Maouassa will be the full-backs. They will provide support to the centre-back pairing of Ignasi Miquel and Bruno Mendez.

Facundo Pellistri and Carlos Neva will feature out wide in the flanks. They will provide width to their attacks but will also look to ensure they do not allow Barcelona full-backs to press too high up the pitch.

Martin Hongla will be the holding midfielder and he will have the support of Oscar Melendo and Sergio Ruiz. The trio will look to control the tempo and have the majority of the ball. Matías Arezo will be the one leading the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-5-1): Batalla; Sanchez, Mendez, Miquel, Maouassa; Pellistri, Melendo, Hongla, Ruiz, Neva; Arezo

Barcelona vs Granada Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Granada managed to secure a point when the two teams met earlier in the season (2-2) and they look for a similar or a better result away from home.
  • Barcelona have won four out of their last five fixtures in the league.
  • The Catalan giants have the third-best attack in the division having scored 47 goals.
  • The visitors have only won two matches this season and they have been winless in their last four league games.
  • Granada have the joint-second worst defence in the league having conceded 45 goals.

Player to Watch


Embed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty Images

Despite being just 21, he is already one of the mainstays of the Barcelona team. The Spanish international played a huge role in their success last season, but he has struggled with injuries this time out.

Pedri has only featured in 12 league matches this season, racking up less than 900 minutes while contributing towards four goals. Given the number of injuries Barcelona have suffered, the midfielder will most likely start on the left flank in this fixture, and they will hope he has a huge say on the end result of the game.


Barcelona 3-1 Granada

Barcelona are already eight points behind the league leaders, and they cannot really afford to drop points. They have won their last two league outings and will be eager to make it three in a row.

Meanwhile, Granada ended their three-match losing streak with a draw last time out. The last time when the two teams met, the visitors did secure a draw, and they will be happy with another one this time. But, it won’t be easy to stop the Catalan giants. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for the Spanish giants.

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