Thursday, October 21, 2021

Prediction: Barcelona vs Granada

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 19 Sep 2021

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Verdict: Memphis Depay to score anytime

Best Odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Unibet

Desperate to bounce back from their Champions League hammering in midweek, Barcelona will welcome Granada to the Nou Camp on Monday night.

Barcelona

Starting with the hosts, while Ronald Koeman might have seen Tuesday’s Champions League opener against Bayern Munich as a real tester to see where his squad is at, Barcelona put in a woeful display. Completely outplayed on home soil and eventually hit with a deserved 3-0 drumming against the German heavyweights, the former Holland boss still has a real headache on his hands. Watching six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi making the move to PSG over the summer, the fading Spanish giants have the feel of a squad really in the midst of a transition. Opening this weekend’s La Liga fixtures sat down in seventh, Koeman will know that his side do not have any time to feel sorry for themselves on Monday night. Heading into September’s international break with a 2-1 victory against Getafe at the Nou Camp, Barcelona could be calling on summer arrival Memphis Depay to spearhead their charge. Finding the net against Getafe last time out, the one-time Manchester United man has racked up seven goals for club and country since opening the 2021/22 campaign.

Team News

Barcelona have confirmed that they will be without the likes of Pedri, Jordi Alba, Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, Sergio Aguero and Ousmane Dembele on Monday night.

However, Philippe Coutinho could be set to make a rare start at the Nou Camp and could join the likes of Memphis Depay in attack.

Granada

As for the visitors, while Granada might have gained a string of plaudits from across Spain as they landed a ninth-place finish last season, Robert Moreno’s men have largely failed to keep up that momentum this time around. Despite opening the 2021/22 campaign with back-to-back La Liga stalemates against Villarreal and Valencia last month, the Nasrids are yet to land themselves a La Liga victory so far. Marking their return from September’s international break with real heartbreak on home soil last weekend, the one-time Barcelona coach saw his side ship a last-gasp goal as they were hit with a 2-1 defeat against Real Betis on home soil. Failing to find a way to bounce back from what was a woeful 4-0 drumming at the hands of Rayo Vallecano when drawing a close to August, Monday’s guests have now collected just a single point from their last four La Liga contests on the road. Likewise, aside from that stunning 2-1 win at the Nou Camp back in April, Granada have landed just a pair of top-flight away wins from their last 15 attempts.

Team News

While central defender Neyder Lozano might still be dealing with an extended injury issue, Robert Moreno almost has a full squad to choose from on Monday night.

The attacking duo of Luis Suarez and Darwin Machis should retain their spots up front and lead Granada’s charge in Catalonia.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Monday’s opponents last faced off at the Nou Camp back in April, Granada picked up a stunning 2-1 win.
    • However, the Nasrids are yet to land a single La Liga win from their opening four contests this season, including back-to-back defeats.
    • Dutch international Memphis Depay has racked up seven goals for club and country since opening the 2021/22 campaign.
    • Five of Barcelona’s last six La Liga contests on home soil have finished with both teams finding the net.
    • Continuing on from last season Barcelona have collected just a pair of clean sheets from their last 12 matchups across all formats.

    Conclusion

    After getting hit with that 3-0 drumming at the hands of Bayern Munich in midweek, there is no doubt that Barcelona will be seeking an immediate boost here. Despite still showing the same issues that haunted them throughout last season, Ronald Koeman should at least be boosted by Memphis Depay’s start to life at the Nou Camp. Enjoying a flurry while away on international duties with Holland, a struggling Granada will know they face a stern test. Yet to land themselves a single La Liga win this season and suffering back-to-back defeats against Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano, Depay and co should be smelling a chance here.

    Verdict: Memphis Depay to score anytime

    Best Odds: 20/21

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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