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Primera División

  • January 25, 2014
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: Jesús Gil
  • • Attendance: 73874

La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Granada

La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Granada

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.

Granada faces the unenviable task of attempting to end Real Madrid's 10-match unbeaten run in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side is in a fine run of form in the Spanish top flight, with the club's last defeat having come against defending champion Barcelona on Oct. 26.

The home side has been particularly dominant on home soil in the Primera Division, winning eight of its nine home fixtures, with city rival 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 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 score sheet, 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 quarterfinals 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 the task seem even more difficult.

However, Granada has prove 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 has 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, which has an otherwise fully-fit squad to choose from, although the match is likely to come too soon for center 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.

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