La Liga preview: FC Barcelona vs Granada CF: Defenders gone M.I.A.By: Natasha | September 21st, 2012
This Saturday our Blaugrana boys will face Grenada at the Camp Nou. And again, we are faced with some kind of centre back crisis. Nothing really changes, does it?
The official FCB site says this: “The team has such strength in depth that it has generally managed quite nicely without its two most experienced centre backs.” Managed? Nicely? I think I’ll have to disagree with you on that. Managed, maybe, but…not nicely. If Barça managed nicely, there would be no universal panic after Piqué’s injury this week. So, as it stands, we will certainly be without those two for this match and for a few weeks to follow.There are mentions of Puyol trying to speed up his recovery in time for the Clasico, which is in 2 weeks, but I don’t see it happening.
Referring to the official site again, they seem rather positive about Puyol & Piqué being injured. Almost like it’s an ideal situation! They tell us that Barça were without those two for the away match against Granada last season, which resulted in a win. So obviously that will happen tomorrow…! What choices of centre back do we have? Mascherano, who will start. And then there’s Bartra and…Fontas. One of those will not even make the bench (sorry Fonti!) and Song and Busquets can also fill in at CB. Apparently. I’d like to see Bartra start alongside Mascherano but I have a feeling Tito will put Busi there and have Song play in the DM position.
It’s not all bad news! It’s hoped that Jordi Alba will be available for selection tomorrow after recovering from his flu. Poor guy. You can catch the flu in Spain too! Who knew. As for the rest of the squad, I believe Iniesta is still out but Alexis received the medical green light earlier this week. I shall now try and predict the lineup…
VV – Dani Alves, Mascherano, Busquets, Jordi Alba – Song, Xavi, Thiago – Pedro, Messi, Tello.
Maybe? I don’t think Villa will start (not yet, anyway – maybe in a week) and there’s also the possibility of Cesc starting instead of Thiago. I don’t think Alexis will start yet either as he’s just back from injury. Hopefully we’ll see Bartra make an appearance in the second half.
On paper, this looks like a fairly “easy” match, but I’m sure Barça will make things difficult for themselves if Wednesday’s match is anything to go by. I hope this will be a 3-0 win, but looking at the defence, there’s a lot of opportunity for mistakes to be made. It remains to be seen whether or not Granada will capitalise on this. I will leave this here and await Kage’s much more accurate prediction…
Finally, on an unrelated note, a waxwork of Messi was unveiled this week. It’s…well…interesting.