Premier League

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Granada

Robert Lewandowski

Perhaps Xavi’s announcement has liberated this indifferent Barcelona side, or perhaps they’ve merely made the most of a tame schedule.

Barca have secured back-to-back wins since Xavi revealed he’ll be stepping down at the end of the season, overcoming Osasuna and Deportivo Alaves to move within eight points of La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

Their chances of challenging for the title remain slim, but they’ll be expected to overcome bogey team Granada on Sunday despite their injury woes.

Here’s how Barca could line up this weekend.

Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski was back on the scoresheet last weekend / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

GK: Inaki Pena – Barca’s number two will remain between the sticks having notched a clean sheet last time out on home soil.

RB: Jules Kounde – Rumours are starting to emerge regarding Kounde’s future, and there are no guarantees that the Frenchman will be at the club beyond the summer.

CB: Ronald Araujo – Barca’s on-field general has looked more like himself in recent outings, and there are no doubts about his place in the XI.

CB: Pau Cubarsi – The 17-year-old has slotted in seamlessly at the heart of Barca’s defence. Cubarsi has usurped Xavi’s senior options and is set to earn plenty of starts between now and the end of the season.

LB: Joao Cancelo – Cancelo is expected to be fit for Sunday’s match and he’ll likely be used down the left side given Barca’s absences.

DM: Andreas Christensen – Having been replaced by Cubarsi at centre-back, Christensen was utilised in a holding midfield position last week and could continue in that role on Sunday. Oriol Romeu has fallen out of favour.

CM: Frenkie de Jong – De Jong will have plenty of freedom from a box-to-box role, popping up in deeper and more advanced zones.

CM: Pedri – Pedri was used in the role Gavi performed excellently last season, but he could be asked to operate from the right side of Barca’s midfield three this weekend if Ilkay Gundogan isn’t fit to start.

RW: Lamine Yamal – Xavi will hope to have Raphinha back soon, but majestic teenager Yamal will have to fill the void despite concerns over managing his minutes.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – The veteran forward was back among the goals last weekend in Barca’s victory at Alaves. The hosts will need the very best of Lewandowski on Sunday.

LW: Fermin Lopez – With Barca short of fit attacking options, Lopez is a feasible option in an advanced role, although he’ll be expected to drift off the left flank and overload Granada in central areas….

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