Real Madrid-Granada Preview: Blancos look to extend 10-match unbeaten run
Carlo Ancelotti's men have hit form at just the right time to propel themselves into La Liga title contention and have been buoyed by Raphael Varane's return to training
Carlo Ancelotti's side are in a fine run of form in the Spanish top flight, with their last defeat having come against defending champions Barcelona on October 26.
The hosts have been particularly dominant on home soil in the Primera Division, winning eight of their nine home fixtures, with city rivals Atletico the only side to leave the Bernabeu with maximum points thus far this term.
The recent purple patch has seen Los Blancos close the gap to leaders Barca and second-placed Atletico to just one point and Ancelotti's men will have been buoyed by a 5-0 demolition at Betis last Saturday.
Even more pleasing for Ancelotti was the fact five different players were on the scoresheet, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Angel di Maria and Alvaro Morata all on target.
That Liga rout was followed by a 1-0 triumph at Espanyol in the first-leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Tuesday, when Benzema notched the game's only goal in the 25th minute.
Granada's last two visits to the Bernabeu resulted in 5-1 and 3-0 defeats and a poor return of just 19 goals in 20 top-flight matches makes their task seem even more difficult.
However, Granada have proved stern opposition for Liga opponents this season, with Lucas Alcaraz's men losing on just three occasions on their travels.
Indeed, four of the seven Primera Division victories Granada have secured this term have come away from the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes.
In terms of team news, Sami Khedira (knee) remains a long-term injury absentee for Madrid, who have an otherwise fully-fit squad to choose from, although the match is likely to come too soon for centre-back Raphael Varane, as he has only recently returned to training following a knee problem sustained in November.
Granada could hand a debut to defender Tiago Ilori, who joined on loan from Liverpool for the rest of the season on Monday.
Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid 4-0 Ciudad de Murcia
- 48.72 %
Real Madrid 3-0 Ciudad de Murcia
- 16.22 %
Real Madrid 4-1 Ciudad de Murcia
- 10.1 %
|La Liga (LIGA)||25-Jan-2014||Real Madrid 2 - Ciudad de Murcia 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||27-Aug-2013||Ciudad de Murcia 0 - Real Madrid 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||03-Feb-2013||Ciudad de Murcia 1 - Real Madrid 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||02-Sep-2012||Real Madrid 3 - Ciudad de Murcia 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||06-May-2012||Ciudad de Murcia 1 - Real Madrid 2|
|09-Mar-2014||Real Madrid 3 - Levante 0||LIGA|
|02-Mar-2014||Atletico de Madrid 2 - Real Madrid 2||LIGA|
|27-Feb-2014||Schalke 04 1 - Real Madrid 6||UCL|
|22-Feb-2014||Real Madrid 3 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|16-Feb-2014||Getafe 0 - Real Madrid 3||LIGA|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|15||Youssef El Arabi||Striker|