Experience vs youth: Barcelona will need Busquets to come out on top in key battle – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Barcelona take on Granada this weekend as they return to La Liga action following their Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund and their success might depend on the performance Sergio Busquets musters up against Yangel Herrera in the middle of the pitch.

On the chalkboard

With only two wins in the ongoing 2019/20 La Liga season under their belts so far, the Blaugrana will be mighty keen to take all three points this weekend.

After all, both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are currently above them in the standings; the former are third, with eight points, Atleti are second with nine and Sevilla are top with 10. Barca sit sixth, with seven points.

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But slow and steady wins the race, as the saying goes, and Ernesto Valverde’s men will need to start putting a run of form together soon.

Their clash with Granada is an important one, then, and Busquets could play a key role in the result.

Experience vs youth

Not much connects the 31-year-old Busquets to the 21-year-old Herrera other than their positions on the pitch. In fact, they are divided by a decade of football experience and that will certainly play into the veteran’s hands.

But Herrera is a player that Barcelona should watch out for. So far, in the 2019/2020 season, the Venezuelan has been involved in two games for Granada, tallying one goal in the process as opposed to Busquets’ one assist in three appearances.

The 21-year-old is adept defensively, though. He has registered two tackles, 0.5 interceptions and 2.5 clearances per game in La Liga this campaign and has also registered 0.5 blocks. Busquets, on the other hand, has three tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and no blocks to his name.

Yangel Herrera vs Sergio Busquets - Experience vs youth: Barcelona will need Busquets to come out on top in key battle - opinion

When it comes to the attacking phase of the game, however, both players have slightly lower contributions. Herrera has 0.5 shots and one key pass per game while his weekend opponent has 0.3 shots and 1.7 key passes per game.

From the looks of things, this battle might be decided by who can defend and disrupt their opposition better from deeper midfield positions, providing the springboard for their side to move forward.

Will it be Herrera who will leads Granada to a massive upset or will Busquets help Barcelona’s return to winning ways?

We’ll find out pretty soon.

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