Christmas Day 1965 was the last time Barcelona had faced an early kick-off and they won that one 3-2 against Las Palmas. They enjoyed another early start last weekend against Getafe.
It was the third highest attendance at the Camp Nou this season and it wasn't just the fans that were happy with the scheduling: "The atmosphere was brilliant, the stadium was almost full, kick off time was different, but it was just a question of focus" said the Andrés Iniesta.
The midfielder was bound to feel fulfilled, as he pulled the strings in an impressive performance. Assistant coach Jordi Roura heaped on the praise: "He has been at a high-level all season, but I think this might have been his best game of the season."
Meanwhile, the Granada manager Lucas Alcaraz feels that his team can progress further, having won his opening two matches in charge of the club, which included the infamous victory over champions Real Madrid.
Determined not to get carried away, Alcaraz insisted: "In time we will gather an identity, and hopefully that will come soon. But there is certainly room for improvement."
Fran Rico and Dani Benítez remain injured, whilst Yacine Brahimi is a doubt. El Grana will likely field an unchanged line-up, though the formation may move to 4-5-1 in a bid to stop the side getting overrun in midfield.
David Villa has spent the last week popping in and out of hospital, having just garnered his coaches’ affection, the timing couldn't have been worse for the former Valencia forward. Roura will shuffle the pack once more. Carles Puyol should drop-out and Javier Mascherano may replace him, with Wednesday's match with Milan in mind.
Goals from Odion Ighalo, Guillherme Siqueira and an own goal from Carlos Marchena were enough to put bottom club Deportivo to the sword, as Granada ran riot last weekend. Alcaraz has the players believing that anything is possible.
The 6-1 thrashing of Getafe would suggest everyone at Barça was more than pleased with the midday start time, as they continue their remarkable league form.
Xavi scored the only goal of the game the last time these two sides met at Los Cármenes, but the playmaker’s injury means there won't be a repeat. However, that's not to say the scoreline can't be recreated, with Granada yet to concede under Alcaraz, under 1.5 goals is available at a decent price of 7.00.
"I am what I am, and I know what I am capable of doing" were the words of Alexis Sánchez after scoring his first league goal of the season. It's been a difficult campaign for the Chilean front-man, with just seven La Liga starts to his name, though he seems unperturbed by events. Roura has described him as a "bit unlucky" in front of goal. Perhaps this performance will be the beginning of a return to the heights of his Udinese form. He's 6.25 for first goalscorer.
Lionel Messi is now onto his 13th consecutive match in the league with a goal. To make it 14 and 300 goals Barcelona strikes in total, he is 1.33.
The lead at the top has been extended to 12 points. It will be a difficult trip to Andalusia though, which could give the chasing pack a glimmer of hope. Barcelona to win is 1.26.
Neither club has a particular problem with discipline or temperament issues, so it's surprising to learn that there are normally a number of bookings received in their battles. With three red cards in the last three meetings and 22 yellows dished out, it's a very reasonable 3.00 for a sending-off.
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