7 games in 22 days. That was our schedule for the entirety of the last month. We’re now at game 7 and our last before another boring international break. We travel away to Granada at 9pm local time. They’re a newly promoted side this season in La Liga, and as we know, away trips in the league are never straightforward. However, after a hard and gritty performance in midweek against Porto, we’ll be looking to head into the October break with positive feelings.
A quick look at our opponents:
Like i previously just touched upon, Granada are one of the 3 newly promoted sides this season in La Liga. However, they’re not opponents that are unfamiliar to us, as we’ve faced them plenty of times over the years. Their league position really doesn’t mean a thing, like we seem to experience a lot in this league, form goes out the window whenever we play our games. They’re in the bottom three with the second worst defence in the league.
Whilst also managing to score 13 goals in the process. Granada’s very last game was a 3-3 draw to 20th place Almería. They were actually 3-0 down at one stage. But made a pretty impressive comeback to equalise the game and make it 3-3. They’ve got goals in them, so we cant take them for granted. Away games are never straightforward. We just need to make sure we arrive to the game with maximum concentration and, most importantly, with the right attitude.
Coming into the game vs Granada, we have yet another injury. And, its a big one. Lewandowski was injured in our last game in midweek against Porto. At first reports said it was only a blow and he could be fit to feature in tonight’s game, however that optimism was quickly shattered. With the news that Robert had in fact suffered a sprained ankle injury and he’s now out for at least the next month. It’s a massive blow yet again for Xavi and the team. He’s the only natural number 9 in the squad and he was in very good form too. Apart from that, we still have the same players on the sidelines and no suspensions either.
Due to Lewandowski’s injury, that has opened up the door for a possible debut from the youth academy. With Pau Victor and young talent Marc Guiu both being called up to Granada in his absence. It’s probably too premature to expect either to start, but you never know. Id expect to see Ferran down the middle with Felix and Yamal on either side. Or possibly, we could rest Yamal as he has played a lot recently. And he also had stomach issues in midweek. If that’s the case, Fermin Lopez has easily earned a place in the team, so he could lineup on the wing.
Is Araujo fit to start?
My only other question would be in defence. Araujo reportedly had craps after the Porto game due to his lack of matches. We obviously want to protect him as much as possible, so I wouldn’t be against giving him a little rest tonight and subbing him on later on. Kounde has also played a lot, and he’s going away with France so we could give him a rest too maybe. I’m not too sure how Xavi will lineup. But both Balde and Cancelo should be starting on the flanks after a monstrous performance from Balde in midweek.
I think Cancelo deserves a rest, but I’m not too comfy all with playing Roberto in his place. He’s just too much of a liability. Gavi also deserves a rest, but again, we’re kind of down to our bare bones in midfield with both Pedri and Frenkie still out. So its going to be interesting to see how Xavi sets us up.
My starting 11:
Cancelo- Kounde- Christensen- Balde
Gavi- Romeu- Gundogan
Yamal- Ferran- Felix