Barcelona will resume their La Liga title push against Granada on Sunday, their first match after the international break.
The hosts have lost their last three matches and are among the favourites to be relegated this season―on paper, the Blaugrana should cruise to an easy win.
Team form after the international break is always a question mark, however, and manager Luis Enrique will not be taking this match lightly.
Date: Sunday, April 2
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes
TV Info: Sky Sports 1 (UK), beIN Sports USA (U.S.)
Mehdi Carcela remains absent for the hosts, but Mubarak Wakaso returns from suspension.
Possible Barcelona XI: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Benjamin Mathieu, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andre Gomes, Rafinha, Luis Suarez, Neymar
Possible Granada XI: Guillermo Ochoa, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Matthieu Saunier, Gaston Silva, Dimitri Foulquier, Mubarak Wakaso, Uche, Hector, Isaac Cuenca, Adrian Ramos, Andreas Pereira
Messi arguably couldn't have picked a better week to get suspended, as Granada enter the match in dreadful form, and Luis Enrique was likely planning on resting several key players anyway.
The Catalans have several replacements to choose from, with Rafinha the favourite to start. Denis Suarez could also feature, and he seems ready, per his official Twitter account:
Granada were a pleasant attacking surprise in La Liga last season but only barely survived, battling until the very end. The departure of star forward Isaac Success was always going to have an effect, and the side haven't been able to reproduce their magic this season.
Once again, many of the squad's best players are loanees, led by Manchester United's Andreas Pereira. The Belgian-born playmaker will have a great opportunity to impress his parent club, and a good showing could play a big role in his ultimate goal, per the Red Devils' official Twitter account:
The many loanees add talent to the squad but at the cost of synergy. Against a team as talented as Barcelona, that could cost the hosts dearly.
The Catalans are experts at breaking down defences that sit back and soak up pressure, exploiting the smallest mistakes. Unless an opponent has perfect chemistry and remains focused for 90 minutes, the Blaugrana will find a way through, even without Messi.
Sporting Gijon scored three goals in Granada's last outing before the international break―don't be surprised if Barcelona manage to do that in one half.
Final Prediction: Granada 0-4 Barcelona