Granada caused a huge upset last season when they defeated a Lionel Messi led Barca side by 1-2 at Nou Camp. The loss effectively denied FC Barcelona a shot at La Liga glory.
Unlike the last time the two met, Barca aren’t really in flying colours again, especially after the 0-3 whooping in the Champions League by the Bavarian giants, Bayern Munich. Therefore, going into this match, the team has everything to play for; but, especially the coach who is under fire.
However, it’s not been all rosy for the Catalans in the injury department this season. Just last week, Braithwaite, Jordi Alba and Pedri got injured, adding to the growing list of injuries at the side.
The likes of Ousmanne Dembele, Ansu Fati, Aguero, are also injured and ruled out of the game against Granada. This means the coach has limited options in attack right now, with only Memphis Depay and newly signed Luuk De Jong being the only forwards in the squad.
But, the club can at least call on Philippe Coutinho to the line up tonight as he recently recovered and is slowly being reintegrated into the squad. He is also like to start in attack tonight.
Speaking at a press conference, Koeman admitted that Granada is a team that enjoys direct play. This is sure to inform his strategy tonight which will obviously switch from the 3-5-2 formation against Bayern Munich to the more favorable 4-3-3.
Barca will be expected to easily win this one, especially because it’s at Camp Nou, and Koeman is under pressure to perform or risk imminent sack.
Therefore, we expect to see a more organized Barca tonight, who will want to kill off the game as soon as possible to avoid a repeat of what happened the last time. Expect some fireworks tonight.
Marc-André ter Stegen, Neto, and Iñaki Peña
Sergiño Dest, Gerard Piqué, Ronald Araujo, Clément Lenglet, Óscar Mingueza, Samuel Umtiti, Eric García, Alejandro Balde
Sergio Busquets, Riqui Puig, Yusuf Demir, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto, Frenkie De Jong, Gavi.
Memphis Depay, Luuk De Jong