La Liga Preview: Granada v Barça, This Week’s AppetiserBy: Ade C. | February 15th, 2013
Wasn’t it lovely and restful to have a week without a midweek match? Didn’t you enjoy the panic of other teams’ fans as they listened to the Champions League/Europa League anthems and worried about injuries and exhaustion? No?
Oh good, I thought I was the only one who’s gotten so used to the stress of midweek matches that I don’t know what to do without them.
But we’re back now! Granada on Saturday and Milan on Wednesday, and though we should be focusing on the Liga match above everything else, it’s impossible not to keep an eye out on the Champions League match. After all, our squad is not precisely deep, and particularly not now that we have some absences.
To start with, David Villa had to be hospitalised twice this week with kidney stones. Ouch! He’s fine now, but since he’s only training in the gym so far, he’s been left out of the squad for the weekend. If whoever keeps sticking pins in a voodoo doll with a soul-patch is reading this, please stop it, I beg you. On the other hand, Xavi is back to training with the team, but since he’s been out for two weeks, he’s also been left out of the squad and it’s not sure he’ll be available for mean. For what it’s worth, JDS has been declared fit (sprained ankle), but he’s been left out of the squad anyway.
Still, we have 19 available players and three days between Granada and Milan. It’s not ideal, but it’s hardly the worst set of circumstances this team has had to face.
Granada are in the lower half of the table, but under new coach Alcaraz, they’ve snatched two wins in a row, one of them against none other than Real Madrid. And if you’re watching for familiar faces, then you’ll see a special one tomorrow: Nolito, Barça B’s goal-provider from a couple of seasons ago, who left when it became obvious that he wasn’t going to have a proper chance at the first team; after Benfica, he’s come to Granada on loan, to bring goals and profound insight such as, “Barça will have to lose one day”.
While Nolito is, of course, perfectly correct, that day doesn’t have to be tomorrow. In fact, it would nice if it weren’t tomorrow, since a nice Liga win would raise the team’s spirits before the midweek visit to San Siro.
So, we need a win but we also need to rest players. And we don’t have Villa or Xavi. Right. Who should play, then?
Drastic? Perhaps. But hey, Roura has already dipped his toes in the icy pool of rotation, maybe he has by now gathered the courage to jump right in. Resting Alves, Busquets, Puyol, Alba, Cesc and Alexis (sigh) to have them fresh and ready for San Siro doesn’t seem like such a risky move when others like Song, Tello and Thiago have done so well when given the chance.
In any case, whoever plays and however many shots they manage to smash against the goalpost, we’ll be here, ready to mock them and support them, and support them while we mock them. When you think about it, 12 points over second-place and 16 over the third isn’t THAT much, not with so much left of the season, so let’s go for a win!
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Some Related Barcelona Posts:
- La Liga Preview: Barça – Valencia, Or, Rotations Around The Messi Axis
- La Liga preview: Deportivo La Coruña vs Barça, Or, Of Villa, Defenders, and the Lack of Thereof
- La Liga preview: FC Barcelona vs Granada CF: Defenders gone M.I.A.
- Copa Del Rey Preview: Alavés vs Barça