Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura is eager for his side to put all their focus on Saturday’s trip to Granada, despite a month of grueling and crucial fixtures ahead.
The Blaugrana travel to Milan on Wednesday for the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie and also meet Real Madrid, both in the league and Copa del Rey, in the coming weeks. Although they have a 12 point advantage atop La Liga, Roura is eager to avoid a similar fate to Madrid, who suffered defeat at Granada two weeks ago.
“We are fully focused on Granada because the league is a basic target for us,” he said, according to Barcelona’s official website. “A positive result is always an important step forward. We are in comfortable position in the league but that should be no excuse for any kind of relaxation.”
Roura, who will again lead the team as coach Tito Vilanova continues to receive cancer treatment in New York, will be without Xavi and David Villa. Although the clash with Milan looms large, Roura does not think that he needs to make mass changes to his side in preparation.
“We have a lot of options as far as putting a team together is concerned,” he explained. “We’re not playing Milan until Wednesday, which gives us plenty of time to recover. “We’re into the nice part of the season when in a few days there are lots of things at stake. In terms of fitness and morale this is a good moment for us.”
Granada followed up their shock 1-0 victory over Madrid with an impressive 3-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna and have now won three out of their last four matches in La Liga.
Coach Lucas Alcaraz has no new injury worries, with just Dani Benitez and Fran Rico unavailable.
D: Nyom, Lopez, Mainz, Siqueira
M: Torje, Aranda, Rico, Recio, Nolito
D: Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Alba
M: Fabregas, Busquets, Thiago
F: Pedro, Messi, Sanchez
Prediction: Despite the trip to Milan on the horizon, Barcelona should still field a strong lineup and will have too much for Granada, despite their recent run of form.
Granada 0-2 Barcelona
Where to watch: The Liga contest will kick-off from the Estadio Los Carmenes at 2 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by beIN Sport. A live stream, which you view at your own discretion, will be available here.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.