After a nervy night at the Westfalenstadion, Barcelona travel to Granada for Matchweek 5 of La Liga. While the 0-0 draw against Borussia Dortmund saw Barca record their first clean sheet of the season, there were still signs of their defensive instability.
However, the champions head to Granada as favourites for victory and have won all of their last six matches against Diego Martinez’s side. Currently, both sides are tied in terms of points but the Blaugranes are ahead by goal difference.
Let’s see what Barcelona can do to win this match and, in the process, claim their first three points on their travels.
Make The Most Of Their Possession
While Barcelona have the best possession stats in La Liga currently (65.4%), they haven’t made the most of it away from home. Granada have scored nine goals overall and are fantastic at coming from behind to point up points. Their 4-4 draw against Villarreal is a prime example of how Granada refused to be beaten. Dominating possession and playing Barca’s usual passing game will be the best way to curb the hosts’ chances of scoring, while also tiring them out. There may be no shortage of goals in this match, but the best thing Barca can do to win is keep hold of the ball.
Attack with Pace
Granada employ a 4-2-3-1 and often use wing play but falter when being countered against. They have conceded the most goals via counter-attacks in La Liga (3) this season which means they will commit an error sooner or later. While Barcelona will not go into the game looking to counter-attack, this could prove a useful tactic towards the end of the 90 minutes against tired legs. With Junior Firpo looking to impress down the flank, Lionel Messi back in the team and Ansu Fati also an option, the club have plenty of options to attack with pace.
Avoid Gifting Granada Set-Pieces
Granada have scored the joint highest number of goals via set-pieces in La Liga currently and will be hoping for more against Barcelona. Angel Montoro has provided three assists this season, two from corners, meaning Barca must keep their concentration. It will be imperative, especially for the two center backs, to try not to concede corners. Barcelona must also be aware that Granada average around 1.5 shots per game within the six-yard box, the joint highest in the league.
Barcelona can expect a difficult game against Granada. But let’s hope the trio of Messi, Suarez and Griezmann can link up suitably on their first outing in tandem for Barcelona.