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Preview: Barcelona vs. Granada - prediction, team news, lineups
20/09/2021 10:50:28

Barcelona will be looking to recover from their three-goal defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League when they continue their La Liga campaign at home to Granada on Monday night.

Ronald Koeman's side have picked up seven points from their three league matches to sit seventh in the table, while Granada occupy 17th, having collected just two points from their opening four fixtures.

We say: Barcelona 2-1 Granada

Barcelona will again be far from full strength on Monday, and Granada are certainly capable of picking up a positive result. There is a lot of pressure on Koeman entering the match, though, and we believe that the Catalan giants will just do enough to register their third league win of the campaign.

Match preview

Monday's clash with Granada will be Barcelona's first La Liga match since the end of August, as their fixture with Sevilla, which was scheduled to take place last weekend, had to be postponed due to a clash with World Cup qualifiers in South America.

Koeman's side were in action last week, though, opening their Champions League group-stage campaign with a 3-0 defeat at home to Bayern, and there is a lot of pressure on the manager to secure a positive result here.

All things considered, Barcelona have made a solid start to their La Liga season, starting with a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad on August 15 before sharing the points in a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao on August 21.

The Catalan giants then recorded a 2-1 victory over Getafe ahead of the international break, and they will now be eyeing three straight wins over Granada, Cadiz and Levante before ending the month with a trip to Benfica in the Champions League.

October, meanwhile, opens with a trip to La Liga champions Atletico, and there have been suggestions that Koeman could be relieved of his duties as head coach if the team drop points in any of their next three games.

Granada recorded a famous 2-1 win at Camp Nou in the corresponding match last season, and they have actually been victorious in two of their last four league encounters with Barcelona, so should head into Monday's contest in a confident mood despite a disappointing start to the campaign.

The visitors have finished seventh and ninth in their two La Liga seasons since returning to this level, but an underwhelming start has seen them pick up just two points from four matches to sit 17th.

Robert Moreno's side opened their campaign with back-to-back draws against Villarreal and Valencia before suffering a 4-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano before the international break.

Granada would have been looking to return to winning ways against Real Betis on September 13 but were on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline, with Sergio Canales scoring in the 89th minute to decide the contest.

It would be a surprise to see the team in a relegation battle this season due to the quality that is present at Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes, but a tough run of fixtures will see them take on Barcelona, Real Sociedad, Sevilla and Atletico in four of their next five matches.

Team News

Barcelona's injury list is fairly substantial at the moment, with Pedri, Jordi Alba, Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, Sergio Aguero and Ousmane Dembele all in line to miss out on Monday night.

Samuel Umtiti also missed the team's main training session on Friday due to a muscular issue, meaning that Ronald Araujo should start alongside Gerard Pique in the middle of the defence.

Alejandro Balde made his Barcelona debut off the bench against Bayern due to Alba's injury, and the 17-year-old is now in line for a start against Granada.

Further forward, Philippe Coutinho could play alongside Luuk de Jong and Memphis Depay as part of a front three, with Sergi Roberto operating in central midfield.

As for Granada, Neyder Lozano remains on the sidelines with a long-term leg injury, but the visitors are otherwise in excellent shape in terms of their squad.

It would not be a surprise to see head coach Moreno switch to a three-man defence at Camp Nou, with Luis Suarez and Darwin Machis operating as the front two.

Luis Abram impressed off the bench against Betis, meanwhile, and could now be in line for a start, but Monchu should retain his position in the middle of the park.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:

Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Pique, Balde; Roberto, Busquets, F de Jong; Coutinho, L de Jong, Depay

Granada possible starting lineup:

Maximiano; Duarte, Sanchez, Abram; Arias, Gonalons, Montoro, Monchu, Neva; Suarez, Machis

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