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Jan 8, 2022 at 5.30pm UK
Puertas (89')
Gonalons (31'), Bacca (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-0)
de Jong (57')
Gavi (22'), Lenglet (56'), Depay (69'), Ezzalzouli (83')
Gavi (79')

Preview: Granada vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Granada vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Granada and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Barcelona will be looking to record their third straight win in all competitions when they make the trip to Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on Saturday to take on Granada.

The Catalan giants are currently fifth in the La Liga table, one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, while Granada occupy 13th position, now seven points above the relegation zone.

Match preview

Since losing 4-1 at home to Real Madrid on November 21, Granada are unbeaten in La Liga, recording three wins and three draws from their last six games in Spain's top flight, which has helped them move up the table.

Robert Moreno's side, who have collected seven points from their last three home league fixtures, are currently 13th in the division, boasting 23 points from 19 matches, just five points off eighth-placed Villarreal.

Granada have finished seventh and ninth in their last two La Liga seasons and will believe that they are capable of finishing in the top 10 once again despite some poor form in the opening months of the campaign.

The Red and Whites were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Mancha Real on December 16, so they only have the league to focus on between now and the end of the season.

Granada are actually unbeaten in their last two league games with Barcelona, picking up a point in a 1-1 draw in the reverse match earlier this season, while they beat the Catalan side 2-1 at Camp Nou last term.

Barcelona, meanwhile, will enter this weekend's match off the back of a 2-1 win over Linares Deportivo in the last-32 stage of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.

The Catalan giants also managed to beat Mallorca 1-0 in the league last weekend despite being without the services of a number of first-team players due to a mixture of injury and coronavirus.

Barcelona, who will take on Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup on January 12, have now picked up seven points from their last three league matches, which has seen them rise into fifth spot in the table, just one point behind fourth-placed Atletico.

Xavi's side are also now within two points of third-placed Real Betis, so they are in a strong position to secure a top-four spot in La Liga this season, which could be considered a success considering their issues.

Blaugrana are now unbeaten in their last five away fixtures in the league but three of those games have finished level, and they have lost to Granada in two of the last five top-flight clashes between the two sides.

Granada La Liga form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Granada form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Barcelona La Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Barcelona form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Granada will again be without the services of Neyder Lozano and Santiago Arias through injury, while German Sanchez, Ruben Rochina and Alberto Soro remain doubts due to recent COVID-19 positive tests.

Domingos Duarte is expected to return from injury to feature in the middle of the defence, but it could otherwise be the same side that started against Elche last time out.

Indeed, Luis Suarez should be joined by Jorge Molina in the final third, while an attacking team could also include Antonio Puertas and Darwin Machis in the wide areas.

As for Barcelona, Martin Braithwaite, Sergi Roberto and Pedri remain on the sidelines through injury, while Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong are both out due to the problems that they picked up in Wednesday's Copa del Rey contest.

Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet could again be absent through illness, while Abde Ezzalzouli, Gavi, Alejandro Balde and Sergino Dest are among those to recently test positive for COVID-19, and it remains to be seen whether they will be available.

Barcelona's midfield issues could see Riqui Puig feature once again, while Dani Alves could make his second La Liga debut for the club, but January arrival Ferran Torres is still ineligible.

Memphis Depay could be back in the squad, meanwhile, with the Dutchman making excellent progress in his return from a hamstring injury, but the match will come just too soon for Ansu Fati.

Granada possible starting lineup:
Maximiano; Quini, Duarte, Torrente, Neva; Puertas, Milla, Gonalons, Machis; Molina, Suarez

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Garcia, Pique, Alba; Puig, Busquets, Nico; Dembele, L de Jong, Jutgla

We say: Granada 1-2 Barcelona

Barcelona will again be missing a number of important players here, and it would be fair to say that Granada will be feeling good about themselves at the moment. It would not be a surprise to see a draw or indeed a home win, but we have a feeling that the visitors will navigate their way to another important three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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