Uh-oh. Lionel Messi’s serving a suspension, so Barcelona will be without their star player when they play Granada on April 2. Can one of the best teams in La Liga beat one of the worst without him? Tune in at 2:45 PM ET to find out!
It’s been rough for Lionel Messi, 29, over the past few weeks. Prior to the international break, the Barcelona player picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, forcing him to sit out this game against Granada. The bad luck followed him all the way back to South America.
While playing for Argentina’s national team in a pair of 2018 World Cup qualifiers, Messi got suspended again. First, he was sent off the pitch during a loss to Boliva. Then, he racked up a four-game ban after “verbally abusing” one of the refs in his team’s victory over Chile. With Barca so close behind Real Madrid in La Liga, the last thing the Blaugrana wants is to see Messi sitting on the bench when he could be scoring on the field.
Thankfully, Granada is not a huge threat. The team is currently 19th in the rankings, ahead of last-place Osasuna. Plus, when Barca last faced Granada, they walked away with a 1-0 victory. Messi’s absence will surely be felt in the starting lineup, but with a squad rich with talent, they should be able to win this match.
Luis Enrique, 46, is expected to revert back to a 4-3-3 lineup to adapt to Messi’s suspension, according to Goal.com. Barca was running a 3-4-3 formation in both their 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid and their jaw-dropping, historic Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain. Yet, without Messi, Luis will likely change things up, putting Jordi Alba in the team at left-black. Neymar, 25, and Luis Suarez, 30, still healthy, so Barca fans shouldn’t have much to worry about.
As for Granada, well. The Andalusians are likely headed for the Segunda Division. With only 10 games left, they would have to rack up some major points in order to avoid relegation. That doesn’t seem possible. After this match, they have to face Deportivo, Valencia, Celta Vigo and Sevilla. Yikes.
Who do you want to win this match, HollywoodLifers?