After holding Borussia Dortmund to a draw in midweek in the Champions League, Barcelona return to domestic action against Granada this weekend.
The Catalan giants make the trip on Saturday night hoping to close the gap on La Liga leaders Sevilla, with Ernesto Valverde’s side picking up seven points from their opening four games.
Although they’ve scored 12 goals in those outings, they’ve also conceded seven, which will undoubtedly be a concern moving forward.
Nevertheless, they’ll be highly fancied to get all three points this weekend, but there could be changes to the starting line-up for Barcelona.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Valverde is ready to rotate slightly as it’s claimed that Ivan Rakitic will make his first start of the season with Sergio Busquets perhaps the one to drop out to offer him a chance to rest.
Further, there is also one enforced change after Jordi Alba picked up an injury in midweek, and so Junior Firpo is expected to come in at left-back for the Spanish stalwart.
It’s noted that Lionel Messi is edging closer to a full recovery after making his comeback in Germany, but time will tell whether or not Valverde and the medical staff believe that he is ready to start against Granada, or perhaps the safer option would be to bring him on in the latter stages to get more minutes under his belt.
The Barcelona talisman has been ruled out for the start of the season due to a calf injury he picked up ahead of the new campaign, and so the reigning La Liga champions will surely want to avoid any risk of a setback by pushing him too hard on his comeback.
In turn, it remains to be seen if those are the only two changes that Valverde makes, but with Mundo Deportivo noting that seven players have been named in the starting XI in every game so far this season, the Spanish tactician surely needs to be careful and manage their minutes better to avoid seeing their levels drop as the season progresses through fatigue.