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sabato 22 settembre 2012

Preview 'La Liga': Barcelona-Granada, 22 September 2012

The fifth consecutive win, 15 points out of 15 available: what asks Vilanova to Messi and company is to win, always. The Granada does not seem an insurmountable obstacle.

Barcelona take on Granada tonight in La Liga action, looking for their fifth win in as many league matches. Granada on the other hand are looking for their first win of the season, but chances are that they will have to wait another week with Barcelona in such sensational form. The Blaugrana may have injury concerns at the back, but with Lionel Messi and co in such great goal-scoring form, they should have enough to see off Juan Antonio Anquela's team.

FC Barcelona face the Andalusians with a number of absences in their rearguard. Without Puyol and Piqué, Tito Vilanova will need to change his defensive plans. The most likely candidates to join Mascherano as the other centre back are Bartra and Song, although Sergio Busquets has also shown in the past that he’s capable of playing in that position. But those problems aside, Barça can welcome back Jordi Alba, who is now fully recovered from a nasty attack of the flu.

The Andalusians were extremely poor on the road in the previous campaign and have lost nine of their last 11 away matches. The Catalan's strength at home is of course well documented, with April's defeat to Real Madrid the only time in the last 15 league matches they have failed to win at Camp Nou. 

David Villa says he feels now ready to return full time, but Vilanova not see it that way. For the Barca's trainer, ''el guaje'' has 45 minutes in his legs, but did not dispel the doubts about its use from the beginning. Unlike the speech for Alex Song: the new signing of Barcelona is likely to start again from the bench, despite the many absences in defense. Vilanova sees as central praises his commitment and his technical skills, but probably prefer the young Bartra. The only chance for the former Arsenal could come from midfield in case Vilanova decides to rest some players.

There are not only positive news for the Catalans. This season, the port of Valdez has remained inviolate only one chance out of 7 games played (Valencia) and Barça had to replace the score three times. Tito Vilanova about Messi: "Leo is the best player in the world, if not the history, it will eventually be," he says, and "it is important that it be put in a position to end his career here. We will not see a player like him. "The important thing is to keep him, how it is for other people.

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