The lowdown on Granada CF

The lowdown on Granada CF

A closer look at the first team that Quique Setién will be facing as FC Barcelona manager on his debut

On Sunday at 9.00pm CET, the Camp Nou is the venue as Barça play their first game under their new manager, Quique Setién. Granada are the opposition, a team that stunned the Catalans with a 2-0 victory earlier this season. Time to learn a bit more about the team that are currently tenth in the table.

The city

With a population of around 470,000 people, the beautiful Andalusian city of Granada sits beneath the Sierra Nevada, about an hour by car from the Mediterranean coast, and is a popular destination for students and tourists alike. Its most famous monument is the Alhambra, an Arab citadel and palace.

The club

Granada Club de Fútbol was founded in 1931, and its greatest achievement was reaching the cup final in 1959, which it lost 4-1 to Barça. The team generally hovered between the first and second divisions, but from the 1980s onwards spent three decades in the lower leagues.

Recent years have sparked a revival. Granada was back in La Liga for the first time in 35 years in 2011. And after dropping back to the second for the last two years, the Nazaríes (the nickname comes from the Moorish dynasty that ruled Granada in the Middle Ages) won their way back into the top flight last season.

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Head to head

In 23 attempts over the years, Granada have never won away to Barça. They haven’t even drawn. Every game has been a blaugrana win. And on their last five trips to the Camp Nou, Granada didn’t even score.

Another curious stat is that although there are ten members of the squad who have played at Camp Nou before, either with Granada or with other clubs, none of them have ever been on the winning side. The only one to have even drawn was Roberto Soldado, once, with Getafe in 2010.

Barça have inflicted pain on Barça, but only on home turf. There have been two nasty defeats for Barça at Los Cármenes in recent memory. In 2014, a 1-0 loss in Granada put a major dent in Barça’s title bid (Atlético Madrid eventually won the trophy), and Granada also upset Barça earlier this season.

Ramon Azeez and Álvaro Vadillo (pen) scored in a shock 2-0 win for the Andalusians.

The squad

Players with international caps: Adrián Ramos (Colombia, 37), İsmail Köybaşı (Turkey, 23), Darwin Machís (Venezuela, 19), Yangel Herrera (Venezuela, 15), Roberto Soldado (Spain, 12), Maxime Gonalons (France, 8), Ramon Azeez (Nigeria, 4)

Players with a Barça past: José Antonio Martínez (Barça B)

Most Liga goals 2019/20: Antonio Puertas (4)

The manager

Diego Martínez spent most of his coaching career in various roles at Sevilla, and after managing Osasuna for the 2017/18 season he joined Granada and guided them to second place Division 2 last season.

The season so far

Granada were the surprise package at the start of the season. With just two defeats in their first ten games, they were in the lofty position of second in the table. But the romance didn’t last, for they then lost six of their next eight and dropped into mid-table.

Their amazing away form early in the season (two wins, two draws and no defeats on the road) has also disappeared. They have lost every away game since, and haven’t even scored in the last three.

Granada are still in the Copa del Rey, and will be back in Catalonia later this week to play Badalona in the round of 32.

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