A home match against a team sitting in the relegation zone with 2 points out of a possible 12. Twin 1-1 draws against Sevilla and Depor matched with a 1-0 loss at Rayo and a 3-0 loss at Real Madrid have mired Granada is a poor start. Things won’t really get easier this weekend, but it won’t be a cakewalk for Barcelona either. With no natural, first team CBs (PANIC! ALL IS LOST!) there will be a somewhat discombobulated back line.
I will wager this, however: whoever starts at CB tomorrow will, assuming Pique and Puyol are still not fit, start the Clasico on October 7. It will be important to get them minutes in the Camp Nou and get them used to playing in a system that doesn’t have Capita or Daddy-to-be(an pole). It’s important to maintain some continuity and not just shove a fresh CB into a clasico. Thems not regular old games, you may have noticed. Puyol is rumored to be on track to play, but that is going to be in question up until game day, I think.
Another thing: Granada put up a fierce fight last year in both matches. Granted, Dani Alves’ first penalty offense was important in giving them a shot at 2-2 (which they took, but then eventually went down 5-2 and only produced the final score of 5-3 after Alves got a red for a second penalty). That was also the match that Messi became Barcelona’s all time leading scorer, if you remember who that guy is.
So, it’s Granada, it’s another shot at remaining perfect in La Liga. 12 of 12 so far and a home match to make it 15 of 15? The team is ready for this, I think, with or without injuries. Jordia Alba appears ready for a return and while Iniesta, Puyol, and Pique will miss out, it looks like it shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as the team remains focused. Messi will get his 2 goals, I’m sure of it.
Official Prediction: 3-1, goals by Messi (2) and Alves.
This match will supposedly air live on beINSport in the US at 4pm ET. Feel free to post what channel it will be on in your country/city.