BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 19: Lionel Messi (L) of Barcelona lines up a free kick with his teammate Xavi Hernandez during the UEFA Champions League group G match between FC Barcelona and FC Spartak Moscow at the Camp Nou stadium on September 19, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Barcelona will be looking to continue the perfect start to their La Liga campaign against Granada.
Barcelona will look to continue their 100% start to the La Liga season as they host struggling Granada at the Camp Nou. While things for the most part have been looking up for the Blaugrana, the injuries are start to pile up in the defense, already a place of weakness for Tito Vilanova's side.
Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal were already sidelined, but now Gerard Pique is out after suffering a foot injury against Spartak Moscow in the midweek. Javier Mascherano will remain in the central defense but the question becomes who start alongside the Argentine. The two most likely options are Alex Song or the lesser known Marc Bartra. Bartra is a 21-year old defender that has appeared sparingly for the senior side, but is a regular for Barcelona B. Considering Barca's problems in the back, it may be time to give Bartra a run out.
As for the attack, you know Lionel Messi will be there, the only real question is what combination of players Vilanova will put around him. Expect some combination of Thiago Alcantara, Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello (who was brilliant against Spartak). David Villa is an option as well as he continues to regain form and fitness from his leg injury last season...or there's Pedro. Oh the options!
Granada have been struggling to say the least and things likely won't improve today. Dani Benitez, Pape Diakhate, Odion Ighalo, Fran Rico and Hassan Yebda are all out with various issues from suspensions to injuries. The real trouble has been the complete ineffectiveness of new strikers Youssef El-Arabi and Antonio Floro Flores. If these two don't start scoring, it's going to be a long year for head coach Juan Antonio Anquela and the club's fans.
Match Date/Time: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
TV: beIN Sport 1 (U.S.), beIN Sport en Espanol (U.S. Spanish), Sky Sports 4 (U.K.)