Barcelona may have been knocked out of the Champions League, but the Catalans still have a lot of season left to play. This Saturday, they will be traveling to take on Granada and will be in need of securing all three points.
With Europe now out of the picture, Tata Martino can field his best lineup more often. However, the Copa del Rey Final is looming around the corner and the manager may have to sit a star or two.
For now, La Blaugrana cannot afford to drop any points. They are still very much alive in the La Liga title race and could lift the trophy if they win the rest of their matches from this point on.
With that being said, let's take a look at how Barcelona will line up up against Granada on Saturday as they look the keep pressure on the top of the table.
With Victor Valdes out for the season, it will again be Jose Pinto who stands in between the sticks. The 38-year-old has not played badly since taking over as the starter, but he has had a few too many close calls.
In the center of the defense, manager Tata Martino is left with an issue.
According to the squad list for the match, Marc Bartra is out due to injury meaning Javier Mascherano is the only true center-back in the squad. Adriano does have experience playing in the center and will likely pair up with the Argentine.
Expect Dani Alves to remain in the starting lineup at right-back and create havoc all night for Barcelona's hosts. The Brazilian has been in fine form for the last few months and could continue that on Saturday.
With Adriano in the center of defense, Jordi Alba will start on the left. There will be three fullbacks in the back line meaning it could be a tough match for La Blaugrana and they will have to be on their toes to take all three points.
Sergio Busquets will need to bounce back from what was a subpar match against Atletico Madrid when he faces Granada this weekend. The lanky Catalan is often the most important player on the pitch and will play a big role in the club's next two games.
Pairing up in front of Busquets will be Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta.
Xavi seems to be an unquestioned starter in big games and will likely be in the lineup on Wednesday, meaning Fabregas gets the start this weekend. The former Arsenal man had a terrible showing against Atletico and will need this match to get back into a good rhythm.
Iniesta is always a fearsome attacker against any team and could likely be the key that unlocks Granada's defense. The 29-year-old will likely not play the entire match due to the upcoming Copa del Rey Final.
Also, expect Sergi Roberto to get a run out somewhere near the 70-minute mark. Saturday's starters will also need a bit of a rest and Roberto could be one of the first players to come on.
Like it or not, Lionel Messi will start Saturday. Somewhere along the way, Messi got his wish of playing every game and will definitely be in the lineup.
On Messi's left will not be Neymar. The Brazilian is still trying to find his best form in the Blaugrana shirt and will start against Real Madrid. Cristian Tello will feature in his place on Saturday.
Tello has barely seen the pitch in the last few months, but this match will give him a great opportunity to show his best.
On the right will be Pedro, with Alexis Sanchez getting the night off. It has been a while since Pedro last scored and the Spaniard will be looking to get back into the fight for that right-wing spot.
Granada boast a fairly strong defense and one of the league's best keepers in Roberto. However, Barcelona need three points and their class should overcome any obstacle at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes.
Final Prediction: Granada 0-3 Barcelona with Messi scoring a brace.
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