22 September 2019
The two sides that have had identical returns from the opening four rounds of the La Liga (LL) fixtures (W2, D1, L1) go head-to-head at the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes as Granada take on Barcelona.
The returnees have started the new top-flight campaign off on the wrong foot (D1, L1) but have managed to bounce back in the last two LL outings, beating Espanyol 3-0 and Celta Vigo 2-0, both on the road. Interestingly, Granada’s only league loss came at home (1-0 to Sevilla), and it was their single competitive home game this term. That failure was the Nazaríes’ second defeat in 13 home games in all competitions since the turn of the year (W7, D4, L2). But, the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes has not been the venue of entertainment in 2019, as just three of those 13 matches have featured over 2.5 goals, each one has finished with the identical 2-1 scoreline in Granada’s favor. But, facing Barcelona doesn’t suit Granada at all, as they’ve lost five of six top-tier H2Hs at this venue (W1, L5), allowing three or more goals in the last three H2Hs here.
Meanwhile, the Catalans have been struggling for consistency at the beginning of the new season without their headline performer Lionel Messi. After a 1-0 away loss to Athletic Bilbao, the reigning holders have demolished Real Betis 5-2 at home, but have failed to build on that, being held to a disappointing 2-2 away draw to Osasuna. Even though the visitors destroyed Valencia 5-2 at home last time out, they come into this fixture off the back of a fortunate goalless away draw with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League opener. With Messi returning to the fold this weekend, the Blaugrana will look to post their seventh successive win in H2Hs, with five of their previous six wins coming by a margin of multiple goals.
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