MX23RW : Friday, July 30 23:20:51| >> :120:15620:15620:
Feb 3, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes
GranadaGranada
3-5
BarcelonaBarcelona
Kenedy (33'), Soldado (47'), Vico (103' pen.)
Brice Eteki (29'), Sanchez (77'), Montoro (90+3'), Vallejo (119')
FT
(aet)
Griezmann (88', 100'), Alba (90+2', 113'), de Jong (108')
Messi (25'), Alba (103')

Preview: Granada vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash between Granada and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Granada and Barcelona will both be aiming to book a spot in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey when the two sides lock horns at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on Wednesday evening.

The hosts thrashed Navalcarnero 6-0 in the last 16 to set up a tie with Barca, who overcame Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in their most recent cup outing.


Match preview

Granada manager Diego Martinez pictured on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Even with a much-changed team, Granada barely needed to get out of second gear to teach Navalcarnero a footballing lesson, as six goals from six different scorers ensured that Diego Martinez's men are still in with a shout of silverware.

However, Granada were not able to follow that goal-laden performance up with a win against Celta Vigo, who managed to hold the Europa League contenders to a goalless stalemate at the weekend, meaning that Martinez's side are now winless in three La Liga matches.

The hosts' dip in form has come at the worst possible time with Atletico Madrid and two Europa League ties with Napoli lying in wait this month, and Granada are facing an uphill battle to match their 2019-20 Copa del Rey performance, where they were dumped out of the semi-finals by Athletic Bilbao.

However, Martinez's side are now welcoming Barcelona to a ground where they have suffered just one defeat in their last six across all competitions, although that loss was to Ronald Koeman's men, who will not go easy on their top-flight rivals in their bid for another Copa success.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman pictured on January 24, 2021© Reuters

Lionel Messi's future will continue to dominate the headlines so long as he continues to ply his trade at Camp Nou, but the Argentine was in the news for the right reasons after notching up his 650th goal for the club against Athletic at the weekend.

It was the perfect response from a player who was given his marching orders against the same opponent in the Spanish Super Cup only a couple of weeks before, and Messi's sublime free kick sent Barca on their way to a 2-1 revenge win over the Super Cup champions on Sunday.

An own goal from Jordi Alba dampened the mood, but Antoine Griezmann fired home the winner 15 minutes from time as Koeman witnessed his side come up trumps for the fourth game in a row across all competitions.

The Catalan giants did not dominate Cornella or Rayo Vallecano by any means in the previous rounds, but a 31st Copa del Rey triumph - and their first since the 2017-18 campaign - is still on the cards, and Barca are undoubtedly the favourites with Atletico and Real Madrid both out already.

As mentioned, Barcelona eased to a 4-0 victory when the sides met last month, and eight of the last nine meetings between the two clubs have ended with the Catalans taking the spoils, with Messi - unsurprisingly - the top scorer in this fixture with 14 goals.

Granada Copa del Rey form: WWWW
Granada form (all competitions): WWDLWD

Barcelona Copa del Rey form: WW
Barcelona form (all competitions): WLWWWW


Team News

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Granada will welcome Yan Eteki back from suspension for this showdown, and the midfielder could slot straight back in after Yangel Herrera tested positive for coronavirus.

Neyder Lozano and Maxime Gonalons are both injured, and the hosts are otherwise in good shape heading into the quarter-final, but Martinez still has some big calls to make given the calibre of opponent.

Alberto Soro and Roberto Soldado will hope to earn starts after finding the back of the net against Navalcarnero, while second-choice goalkeeper Aaron Escandell could be given the nod once again.

Barcelona lynchpin Sergio Busquets is back from suspension for this tie and is expected to reprise his regular spot in the engine room - potentially in place of Frenkie de Jong.

Sergi Roberto is back after a lengthy layoff and could slot in at right-back over Oscar Mingueza - a centre-back by trade - and Sergino Dest has also been included in the squad after overcoming an injury.

Koeman will put out a strong team but is likely to make changes regardless, with Neto, Clement Lenglet, Riqui Puig and Martin Braithwaite all hopeful of earning starts, but there is no place for Junior Firpo in the squad.

Granada possible starting lineup:
Escandell; Diaz, Duarte, Perez, Neva; Eteki, Montoro; Soro, Vico, Machis; Soldado

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Neto; Roberto, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Pjanic; Trincao, Puig, Messi; Braithwaite


SM words green background

We say: Granada 1-3 Barcelona

A plethora of Barcelona changes could have Granada dreaming of a major upset this weekend, and the European-chasing hosts are not to be taken lightly. However, the quality in the depths of Koeman's ranks will shine through this week, and the in-form Blaugrana should move one step closer to silverware with a comfortable victory in this quarter-final.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring against Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey on January 27, 2021
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European roundup: Messi scores as Barca progress in Copa del Rey
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Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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