Messi, en un instant del partit davant el Vila-real / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

With no time to dwell on the cruel draw against Sevilla, Barça get back to league action away to Granada. The midweek fixture takes them back to Los Cármenes for the first time in 35 years for an official match. Having lost top spot in the league to Levante, the objective is clear – to get back to the top of the table as quickly as possible.

Tough schedule

As he said in his press conference, Pep Guardiola's main concern is that his players will suffer because of the massive exertions of Saturday night's game at home to Sevilla. The match will also be a test of the mental strength of a squad that has got so used to winning that anything else can have a serious physiological effect.

Guardiola has the same players at his disposition that he's had recent games, with Afellay, Alexis and Piqué still injured and Puyol also sidelined as a precautionary measure due to trouble he has been having with his pubis. That means the Barcelona defence could take any of a number of patterns, with full back Montoya and wide player Cuenca also drafted in from the reserves.

Valdés seeks record

One man on whom many eyes will be focused in Granada is Víctor Valdés. The FCB keeper has just beaten his own record of 607 minutes without conceding a goal in Liga and Champions League matches, including six consecutive clean sheets. And Xavi could equal Migueli's all-time record for the number of league appearances in a Barcelona shirt (391).

Granada in trouble

The newly promoted host club is second from bottom in La Liga after eight matches, with just five points and two goals to their name. All of those have been won at home, where they have managed to hold both Villarreal and Atlético Madrid to draws. Manager Fabri González is missing two key midfielders, Algerian Yebda and Portuguese Martins.

Back to top