By Tim Stannard
Ronald Koeman may have to admit that Barcelona are LaLiga title favorites with a win today against Granada
Our Jamie Easton in Barcelona is the Grandmaster of sports journalism and has put Ronald Koeman into a veritable pickle that no coach or player likes to be in - and that's admitting to being favorites.
'Check' was declared on Wednesday in this battle of minds when the question was asked over whether Barcelona were favorites to win the LaLiga title going into Thursday's match against Granada.
The answer was short and a little curt from Koeman. But telling. "The team who is first in the league is favorite, and we are not the first." However, in a few short hours Barcelona could be in that exact situation with Koeman's sporting logic making Barca official, bang-on favorites in the title race.
Soccer logic suggests that Barcelona will move one point ahead of Atletico Madrid in the standings with five games to go and leave four teams within four points at the top of the table. It would be fair to say that this particular fixture in the Camp Nou has not gone swimmingly for Granada with Barcelona having won all 24 previous matches in LaLiga. Every. Single. One.
However, eighth-placed Granada are a hardened bunch, held their own against Manchester United recently in the Europa League. Oh, they also have Luis Suarez leading the line - a Colombian Luis Suarez - but the rain-on-your-wedding day ironic narrative of Luis Suarez taking down Barcelona is too much to ignore.
Two Americans feature in the match day squad with both Sergino Dest and Konrad de La Fuente making the cut along with someone called Miralem Pjanic. Barcelona vs. Granada is live on beIN SPORTS today at 12:50PM ET / 9:50AM PT.
Will Champions League slump hinder PSG's Ligue 1 life?
Sports Burst is not asking what the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League means to PSG in the competition. Instead, it wants to know what it means to PSG in the four-way title race in Ligue 1 which is just four matches away from completion.
A glum PSG coach, Mauricio Pochettino, admitted that Wednesday's home loss to City was "really painful." How painful will be seen on Saturday with PSG back in action in Ligue 1 against the impressive Lens from 12:15PM ET / 9:15AM PT on beIN SPORTS.
A loss or even a draw for PSG and a victory for Lille against Nice later that same day, one-point above PSG, could be the beginning of the end of PSG's chances of retaining the title. However, some stirring Braveheart words from Marquinhos certainly stiffened a few PSG spines - "he who does not believe that we can do it shouldn’t even make the trip over there."
Copa Libertadores goes loco in hyper-speed mode
A condensed format for the Copa Liberadores this season which sees six rounds of group games being played across six weeks on beIN SPORTS has had the most welcome side-effect of making the matches and results unhinged.
The matches from Tuesday and Wednesday alone averaged 3.7 goals a game. Nacional and Atletico Nacional served up a 4-4 epic encounter on Wednesday. Elsewhere, Barcelona SC showed that The Strongest aren't with a 4-0 win, while Olimpia proved Always Ready aren't either.
River Plate were the senior over Junior while Fluminense completed a fine week for Brazil in the competition with a victory at Santa Fe to make it five wins from six for the country's sides.
Another Brazilian club leads the way on Thursday with Sao Paolo against Rentistas live on beIN SPORTS from 7:50PM ET / 4:50PM PT. There are some familiar faces in the Sao Paolo line up with former Atletico Madrid defender Miranda leading the line and a certain Dani Alves bombing up the wings. What's more, the very Brazilian team is being lead - very successfully so far - by the very Argentinean Hernan Crespo.