After a rather lengthy break, FC Barcelona return to La Liga action after their last victory over Alaves. La Blaugrana continue their gradual progression to compete for La Liga, irrespective of the difficulty of that ordeal. For Barcelona, their season will now be determined game by game.
They will be welcoming 19th-placed Granada CF to the Montjuic Stadium as they look for all
three points. However, with certain key players returning while others miss out, Xavi will be given the big task to field an eleven that is both compatible as well as exudes quality.
Here is how Barcelona could line up against Granada.
Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
After a good long wait, Barcelona fans may finally get to see Marc Andre Ter Stegen in goal again. While Inaki Pena tried his best as the deputy in charge, the Spaniard was subpar in his execution. The German keeper, however, brings back a lot of confidence and quality.
Right-back: Jules Kounde
The Frenchman continues to provide good cover and solid creativity on the right flank. While it is still reportedly not his desired position, the former Sevilla defender is more than capable of playing as a fullback.
Centre-back: Ronald Araujo
Despite rumors continuing to emerge that link him with Bayern, Araujo remains a Barcelona mainstay and captain. The Uruguayan will once again be tasked with leading the defense against Granada and limiting the opposition’s chances.
Centre-back: Pau Cubarsi
The young central defender has been a great revelation for Barcelona. His ball playing, timing, and defensive awareness are all of a professional level, and he continues to excite despite being a defender. As he plays more and more, he continues to become even better.
Left-back: Joao Cancelo
With Alejandro Balde still injured and Kounde providing cover on the right flank, Joao Cancelo gets the left-back position all to himself. His creativity and magic is almost unparalleled, and Barcelona are a much more lethal attacking threat with him in the team.
CDM: Andreas Christensen
After a successful experiment last time out against Alaves, it seems likely that Xavi could test out Andreas Christensen as a pivot again. His ability to recover balls in dangerous areas of the field could provide crucial turnovers in favor of the Catalan giants in opportune moments.
CM: Frenkie De Jong
Frenkie De Jong provides a lot of consistency and composure to the team. His tendency to drop deep and progress the ball allows Barcelona to open up a lot of space to exploit. The Dutchman could be key in this game as a result.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan
In terms of efficiency and providing the finishing touches in any given play, Ilkay Gundogan is lethal. The last victory over Alaves came thanks to a massive contribution by the German midfielder, and this game against Granada could allow him to add even more goal contributions to his tally.
Right-winger: Lamine Yamal
Courtesy of the injuries and suspensions to the Barcelona frontline, Lamine Yamal may have to be deployed once again. While it is not ideal to overuse a 16-year-old player as much as he is being used, Barcelona are sort of forced to do it. It does not help either that he is arguably the most potent forward amongst the Barcelona forwards.
Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski
Speaking of improvements, Robert Lewandowski seems to be finding his finishing touch again. Over the last 9 games across all competitions, the Pole has scored 5 times and provided an assist as well. Gradually, he seems to be finding himself again.
As the young Golden Boy gradually regains his best version, he becomes even more important to Xavi. Pedri’s ability to weave through any amount of pressure allows him to open acres of space for Barcelona, and his ability to almost always pick out the right pass truly elevates Barça’s game.