Andres Iniesta tips new arrivals to lift Barcelona to new heights

08 January 2016 01:03

Andres Iniesta hopes the addition of Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal will help propel Barcelona to glory this season.

Turan and Vidal made their long-awaited debuts on Wednesday in the ill-tempered 4-1 win over Espanyol in the Copa del Rey.

The European champions signed Turan and Vidal from Atletico Madrid and Sevilla last summer, but the duo were initially unable to play due to a transfer embargo that was only lifted at the turn of the year.

Turan and Vidal are now in contention to make their league bows in Saturday's home game against Granada.

Iniesta is optimistic the new arrivals will help Barcelona add silverware to their already crammed trophy cabinet.

"We are very happy for Arda and Aleix," the midfielder told Barcelona's website.

"From now they can help the team achieve their objectives for the season."

Barcelona may have one foot in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey after their comprehensive win over Espanyol, but they are still not reaching their objectives in the Primera Division.

With the halfway point of the season approaching, the Catalan club trail leaders Atletico Madrid by two points. Although Barcelona have a match in hand and they had to do without Lionel Messi through injury earlier this season, they will be disappointed they are not well clear at the top given the poor form of big rivals Real Madrid this year.

Luis Enrique's team can claim top spot for a day at least on Saturday, as Atletico are not in action until Sunday when they travel to Celta Vigo.

Turan's ambitions match those of the current European champions, who hope to become the first team to retain the Champions League this season.

"The second years are always the hardest, but the motivation is to do what no one has done before," the Turkish midfielder told Catalunya Radio.

"We want to change the history of football. That is what Luis Enrique wants and that is what he tells us a lot. I like him a lot because he is a very passionate man."

Granada can only dream of scaling such heights. The Andalucian club are 17th in the Primera Division and were beaten 4-0 by Valencia in the Copa del Rey this week.

Jose Ramon Sandoval admits there are easier opponents to face after a drubbing, but the Granada manager is not expecting his team to roll over at the Nou Camp.

He told a press conference, according to the club website: "Now we go to the Camp Nou and we know it will be a difficult game because they always have the ball, but my team will always try prove themselves."

Sandoval could hand a surprise recall to Thievy Bifouma, the Congolese striker who was told to train on his own at the start of last month after falling out with the Granada boss.

But the Espanyol loanee started training with the first team again after the defeat to Valencia and could feature in Saturday's game at the Nou Camp.

Source: PA-WIRE