Granada CF vs FC Barcelona
Competition/Round: 2020-21 Copa del Rey, Quarterfinals
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Philippe Coutinho, Junior Firpo, Matheus Fernandes (out)
Granada Outs & Doubts: Luis Milla, Maxime Gonalons, Yangel Herrera (out)
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez
VAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
How to watch on TV: Premier Sports 1 (UK), Startimes Sports Life (Nigeria), Telecinco (Spain), others
How to stream: ESPN+ (USA), Premier Player (UK), others
Following a big win against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga at the weekend, Barcelona return to action looking for a spot in the Copa del Rey Final Four as they travel to beautiful Andalusia to play a one-off quarterfinal tie against Granada.
This is the second time these teams face off in less than a month. Back in early January in La Liga, Barça played a complete, dominant match from start to finish and won 4-0 with some really pretty goals in the process.
Late December, early January was maybe the peak of Barça football under Ronald Koeman so far, with the Blaugrana playing serious, intense and efficient stuff. They haven’t been as good lately thanks in no small part to a crazy schedule that’s really tested the fitness of a small squad.
But Koeman has been able to rest players here in there over the last two weeks, and the team seems to be returning to form. The quality of football in the first half and the fight they showed in the second half against Bilbao proved that this team is getting stronger and tougher, while also capable of attacking well and scoring goals even against good defenses.
The Copa del Rey is the least important competition left in the calendar for Barça, but it’s very important to keep winning and playing well. Do that against Granada and you’re three games away from the Spanish Cup title. Not bad.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Neto; Roberto, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Trincão, Messi, Griezmann
Granada (5-4-1): Silva; Foulquier, Duarte, Vallejo, Germán, Neva; Puertas, Eteki, Montoro, Kenedy; Soldado
Granada will be better than they were in January and anything can happen in a one-off tie, and I can see extra time with this one. But Barça will find a way: 3-2 to the good guys.