Barcelona claimed a dramatic 3-2 victory over Valencia at the Mestalla last week before going on to suffer a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Espanyol in the Supercopa de Catalunya on Tuesday night.
The loss against the local rivals in midweek would most certainly have been disappointing but it has to be pointed out that manager Luis Enrique fielded an under strength starting lineup on the night and the end result was perhaps not surprising.
Now Barcelona prepare for an encounter against bottom placed Granada on Saturday night and with all the star men expected to return to the lineup, the champions are expected to claim a comprehensive victory from the game.
Here is the strongest possible Barcelona lineup for the clash against Granada –
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was handed a well deserved rest in midweek and he will surely be looking to bounce back in the clash against Granada with a clean sheet.
It is not expected that ter Stegen will be too busy on the night but nonetheless, the German international will surely need to keep his concentration levels high throughout the game.
Enrique suffered another injury setback in defence after Jeremy Mathieu picked up a calf problem in the midweek Supercopa clash against Espanyol.
Mathieu now joins the likes of Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique and Aleix Vidal on the injury list and Enrique most certainly does not have too many options to choose from at the back.
Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano are now expected to be lining up in central defence while it is expected that the duo of Lucas Digne and Sergio Roberto will be able to shake off fitness concerns to start in the full-back positions on the night.
Andres Iniesta has been ruled out till December due to a knee injury and the onus will now be on the duo of Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets to lead from the middle of the park.
In the absence of Iniesta, Arda Turan will be the man who needs to provide the creative spark while Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes will also have important roles to play in the coming weeks.
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi plotted Barcelona’s fine comeback victory over Valencia and along with Neymar, the Catalan’s brilliant attacking lineup is expected to cause real problems to the hapless Granada backline.