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Predicted Barcelona lineup against Granada



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If there is one thing that the month of January taught us, it is that Barcelona struggle to perform under pressure. A month that saw 3 clashes between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao ended 2-1 in favour of the Catalans. Yet, notably, they won only the league fixtures in the 3. In the Super Cup final, where the stakes were high, they failed to keep their cool and collapsed flat.

This is not a trend that has just surfaced. It can also be traced back to how Barcelona have historically dominated the early stages of the UEFA Champions League, but been cracked open when the actual pressure cooker situation arrives.

What one can clearly deduce from these facts is that The Blaugranas find it now difficult to perform in knockout games, irrespective of the opposition. Playing for a must-win has proven menacing for Ronald Koeman’s side. And Wednesday will be no different, with the Copa del Rey returning to action. Barcelona face off against Granada in what is a must-win game for the Catalans. The Cup is the only realistic hope for silverware this season, and the manager will not be taking this lightly. Here is how Barcelona can lineup against Granada.


With games coming hard and fast with no respite, one can expect Marc Andre ter Stegen to be given a rest. Neto, who has proven to be a more than reliable deputy, could start at the Los Carmenes.

Central defence could see Clement Lenglet get a start after being dropped in recent games. Though Samuel Umtiti has been a fresh presence, it would be understandable if the manager decides to rest the world cup winner.

Lenglet desperately needs a good outing. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Alongside Lenglet will be Ronald Araujo, who has been Barcelona’s best defender by a mile. With Gerard Pique’s projected return soon, the Uruguayan needs to keep up his performances to ensure his starting spot alongside the Spaniard.

Returning at Right back could be Sergi Roberto. The fourth captain was included in the squad to face Bilbao but did not feature. All signs point to the fact that Roberto could well return to duties on Tuesday in a bid to return to match fitness even though Sergino Dest has been given the medical green light.

Any normal game in the cup would see Jordi Alba rested, with Junior Firpo getting a rare start. However, looking at the latters recent performances and considering the importance of the Cup in Barcelona’s current season, Jordi Alba may well get the nod on the night.


Midfield is where one could expect rotations from Ronald Koeman. With a reasonable depth of resources at his disposal, the coach will be tempted to shuffle his cards. Miralem Pjanic may get a rare second consecutive start ahead of Sergio Busquets, keeping in mind the important fixtures ahead. The Bosnian was solid against Athletic Club and will undoubtedly be looking to carry it on.

Riqui Puig could make the cut ahead of Pedri, once again from a rotation standpoint. Pedri has been the more impressive of the two, however his cautious use is of utmost priority. That said, Riqui will have a huge responsibility in taking over the creative and defensive aspects that come with the position.

barcelona lineup granada
Puig might get another chance to prove his importance. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Frenkie de Jong at the moment seems unstoppable, and it is unlikely that he will be rested. The Dutch international has proved to be the core of Barcelona’s engine, and Koeman may not like to gamble on their only chance of silverware, and will definitely be in the Barcelona lineup against Granada.


Martin Braithwaite has been less and less involved as Griezmann has slowly started to find his footing. Wednesdy night will provide the right opportunity for the Dane to make a statement for himself. On the left wing, he will have to step up and hope to be on the scoresheet.

Fransisco Trincao last featured for the Catalans in the Copa del Rey. With the competition returning again, so could a start for the Portuguese international. Koeman has shown faith in the youngster time and time again, and it is now or never for Trincao who has had positive outings in recent games.

barcelona lineup granada
Trincao will get another chance in the Barcelona lineup against Granada. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi in the centre will be the last pin on the board. Amidst all the controversy, he once again silenced his haters talking with his magical feet. The fire in the Argentine’s mind must be raging. Surely only a goal or two could serve as the right remedy.

Braithwaite · Messi · Trincao
Puig · Pjanic · de Jong
Alba · Lenglet · Araujo · Roberto
ter Stegen


Sergio Busquets on the bench is always an asset, moreover so when Barcelona need to up the ante. The Spaniard could come on in the second half of situations demand it.

Pedri has been the fulcrum of this team for a while, and his introduction at this point raises no eyebrows. The team are different with the 18-year-old on the pitch, and Koeman could once again turn to Pedri.

Antoine Griezmann surely is on his best phase so far, with 9 goal involvements in 8 games. He could be an option for Koeman to replace Martin Braithwaite

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