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Oier Olazábal left Barça for Granada / PHOTO: GRANADA CF

It’ll be a weird Saturday for Oier Olazábal. After seven years at FC Barcelona (2007-14), he’ll be returning to the Camp Nou as a Granada player. It’ll be a chance to catch up with old friends, including his former manager at Barça B, Luis Enrique. He spoke to fcbarcelona.com about his pre-match impressions

How are you adapting to Granada?

“I found it a bit hard at first to adapt to the style of play and to the scorching heat in this city. But I’m fine now. I’m happy,”

You haven’t played an official match yet. Did you expect to get more games?

“Of course I’d have liked to play but I knew it would be difficult with a keeper like Roberto in the squad. I’m training hard and waiting for my chance”.We feel more comfortable against teams like Athletic Club because we can get them on the counter attackGranada have got off to a good start.

“Generally, we’re happy. We won at San Mamés but then we lost at home to Levante. We do feel more comfortable against teams like Athletic Club because we can get them on the counter attack. We struggle more against defensive teams like Levante”.

So going by what you say, Barça should be the right kind of opponent for you.

“Barça are always very hard to beat, especially at the Camp Nou. We’ll try to keep things tight and get them on the counter. But if Barça play well...”

You were on the bench in April when Barça lost to Granada.

“I was. The pitch was very dry that day and Granada played well. But the Camp Nou is a different story. It’ll be more difficult”.

Do you watch Barça’s games?

“I’ve seen them all except the Malaga one because were playing Levante at the same time. Barça have looked good to me up to now. They’ve got the tactics right, they’re organised and they’re also physically strong”.

Have you noticed much difference between Barça then and now?

“It’s hard to say without being there, but there seems to be more eagerness this year. Last year, with everything that happened, perhaps there was less”.

Are Barça favourites for the league title?

“I’d like Barça to be champions. But you never know. Madrid are getting better, Atlético will be a candidate again, and Valencia and Sevilla are playing well. The league is more open now”.The preseason gaffe could have affected Claudio Bravo, but he’s looked calm to me in the first few gamesWhat do you think about Barça’s three goalkeepers?

“Claudio Bravo is experienced, good with his feet and calm. The preseason gaffe might have affected him, but he’s looked calm to me in the first few games. It’s not easy to play on a stage like the Camp Nou. I can’t say much about Ter Stegen because I haven’t seen much of him. And Masip is a friend of mine, he’s got great reflexes, he’s good with his feet and he’s calm too”.

Apart from Masip and several ex-colleagues, you’re also going to be reunited with Luis Enrique. What do you remember of him at Barça B?

“I have very good memories of him. I hardly played at all in my first year under him at Barça B, but I ended up getting a lot of games. He’s not afraid of making changes, whether in goal or any other position”.

How would you define him as a manager?

“He’s a very complete manager. He’s a master of psychology, motivation and he also has great tactical ideas. A lot of coaches are only good in one of those areas and not so much the other”.

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