Nadal has won in Barcelona on 11 occasions but he could face a difficult time making it 12.
The Spaniard has a first-round bye and will play either Leonardo Mayer or Marius Copil in the second round.
The 32-year-old is then projected to face Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the third round before a rematch with the man he beat in last year’s final, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the quarter-final.
Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev were dumped out of the Monte Carlo Masters early and will be aiming for a better time in Barcelona and they are possible semi-final and final opponents for Nadal.
RAFAEL NADAL – PROJECTED BARCELONA OPEN DRAW
First Round – Bye
Second Round – Leonardo Mayer
Third Round – Lucas Pouille
Quarter-Final – Stefanos Tsitsipas
Semi-Final – Dominic Thiem
Final – Alexander Zverev
How to watch the Barcelona Open on TV
Coverage of Barcelona Open is being broadcast on Amazon Prime Video.
This year, Prime Video will broadcast on-site, live studio coverage across tournaments, including at the BNP Paribas Open from Indian Wells, the Fever Tree Championships from The Queens Club, the US Open, and the Nitto ATP Finals from The O2.
On-site field reporters will bring customers the latest action, analysis and commentary right from the court side at many tournaments.
In addition to 37 ATP Tour events and the US Open available exclusively on Prime Video with a Prime membership, Prime members in the UK who subscribe to Eurosport Player through Prime Video Channels for an additional £6.99 per month (following a 7-day free trial) will also benefit from full coverage of the French Open, and daily highlights and live coverage from the men’s and women’s finals of Wimbledon in 2019.