FC Barcelona (3rd, 71pts) vs Granada CF (8th, 42pts)
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 33
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho (out), Martin Braithwaite, Miralem Pjanic (doubt)
Granada Outs & Doubts: Neyder Lozano, Domingos Duarte, Luis Milla, Rui Silva, Carlos Neva, Jesús Vallejo, Antonio Puertas, Ángel Montoro (out), Kenedy, Roberto Soldado, Alberto Soro (doubt)
Date/Time: Thursday, April 29, 2021, 7pm CET (Barcelona), 6pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 1pm ET, 10am PT (USA), 10.30pm IST (India)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Pablo González Fuertes
VAR: Javier Alberola Rojas
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following a hard-fought win over Villarreal on the road to keep their La Liga title hopes alive, Barcelona are back in action for another midweek match as they welcome Granada to GSOE. And this is a big one.
For a team that was 14th in October and looked lost and hopeless, it’s almost unbelievable that Barça can actually go top of the table if they win their game-in-hand. The Blaugrana will climb to first place with five games to go, which would make them clear favorites for the league especially with a gigantic, potentially title-deciding game against Atlético Madrid just a week and a half away.
It’s been a remarkable rise to the top, but now it’s time to finish the job. And it won’t be easy against a Granada team that have been solid and tough to beat all season and made a run to the Europa League quarterfinals in their first-ever continental journey. They’re well-coached, intense and physical, and they’re not afraid to attack either.
Ronald Koeman has to, at some point, rotate his team and give the likes of Pedri, Pedri, Pedri, Pedri, Pedri and also Pedri a chance to rest for at least a little bit. With a trip to Valencia at the weekend and a full week to prepare for Atleti, this is definitely the best chance to maybe, just maybe, give Pedri a night off.
Seriously, Pedri is exhausted.
This will be a tough game from start to finish, but this is Barça’s chance to stamp their authority and take the lead to never give it back again. Playing well is always nice, but winning is crucial.
(Except Pedri. His feet hurt.)
Barcelona (3-5-2): Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Piqué, Lenglet; Dest, Roberto, Busquets, De Jong, Alba; Messi, Griezmann
Granada (4-3-3): Escandell; Díaz, Sánchez, Pérez, Quini; Herrera, Gonalons, Eteki; Suárez, Molina, Machís
I’m very interested to see how Barça will handle being the one under pressure now. It was fun to be the hunters, but they’re about to become the hunted. Granada are good enough to make Barça nervous, but I’ll still bet on the home team: 4-1 Barça.