Injury worry for Barcelona ahead of Granada tie
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has a defensive headache when the leaders host Granada on Saturday, with Spain centre backs Carles Puyol (knee) and Gerard Pique (foot) both sidelined by injury.
Vilanova may deploy midfielders Sergio Busquets or Alex Song as makeshift central defenders to partner Javier Mascherano and he also has the option of throwing youngsters Marc Bartra or Andreu Fontas into the fray.
Barca's World Player of the Year Lionel Messi has fond memories of Granada having netted a hat-trick against the Andalusians last season that made him the club's record scorer on 234 goals in all competitions.
The Argentina forward has since netted 29 more, 19 at the end of last term and 10 this season in only seven appearances, including two in Wednesday's 3-2 Champions League comeback win at home to Spartak Moscow.
Barca have the only perfect record in La Liga, winning all four of their games to open a two-point lead at the top ahead of Malaga on 10 points.