Granada v Barcelona – Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes at 16.00 live on Sky Sports 3
There?s 90 minutes to play in the La Liga title race and last weekend three became two as an exhausted Atletico Madrid dropped out of the running.
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are on their travels on Saturday knowing a win – and any possible slip-up by their bitter rivals ? will result in another Spanish title.
The Catalans take a trip Andalucia chasing a 24го La Liga success with Granada in opposition. The hosts have nothing to play for after securing their top-flight status with a 4-1 win at Sevilla last weekend but there?s a suggestion incentives have been offered from the capital.
Granada goalkeeper Ivan Kelava revealed the club?s players have discussed the possibility of receiving bonuses from Real Madrid to disrupt Barcelona?s title tilt.
While the practise of paying ?briefcases? to incentivise other teams to beat your rivals is against the rules, it has been part of Spanish football for years.
El Grana are already planning a survival party but could the extra pounds on the table contribute to an uncomfortable afternoon for the league leaders at Los Carmenes? Quite possibly, yes.
Luis Enrique?s troops require three points to secure a sixth Liga trophy in eight seasons but the Blaugrana have already suffered one title blow at Los Carmenes – and it was only two years ago. So they?ll be well aware of the pitfalls.
Four fixtures without a win from late March to April saw the Catalans? 15-point advantage over arch-rivals Real cut to just one but Barca have bounced back into form to deliver four successive victories by an aggregate of 21-0.
And although the visitors have won eight of their last nine against Granada with the lowly hosts losing seven of their last nine when welcoming the big-two, I?m just not convinced this will be a breezy afternoon for Barcelona.
During Luis Enrique?s reign, the guests have won by at least three goals in 9/37 (24%) of their away league dates and that?s the handicap line that?s been set this weekend.
Of course, Barca?s clutch of superstars could comfortably demolish El Grana but I went right back to 2010/11 to see if that figure changed at all but again, the Catalans have claimed 28/113 (25%) of La Liga wins on the road by three or more goals during that sample.
With a 25% success rate for triumphing by three goals or more in games as guests and Granada losing just 5/94 (5%) of Los Carmenes matches by the same margin since promotion, I?m happy to oppose a one-sided contest here.
Granada can be backed with a +3 Asian Handicap start at 1.77 and that looks just the ticket for what?s the potential to be a slightly nervous end-of-season encounter for the Blaugrana.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Granada +3 at 1.77
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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