La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Granada
Jose Mourinho's men will be looking to extend their lead at the top of La Liga against a side which will be hoping to pull off a major shock at the Bernabeu.
By Luke Matthews
Diarra, Ramos, Albiol, Marcelo
Xabi Alonso, Khedira
Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo
Nyom, Lopez, Diakhite, Siqueira
F. Rico, M. Rico
Jara, Abel, Uche
Jose Mourinho will be boosted by the return of Sergio Ramos who has shrugged off a hamstring injury. The Spanish international will replace Pepe, who is suspended, meaning Raul Albiol is likely to keep his place at center back.
After their dramatic 3-2 Copa del Rey victory over Malaga, Los Blancos are expected to ring the changes with Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema all likely to return to the starting lineup after impressive performances off the bench on Tuesday evening.
Angel Di Maria misses out with a thigh strain so Kaka will stay in the team while there are no places in the squad for Alvaro Arveloa and Fabio Coentrao so Lassana Diarra is likely to start at right back.
Returning after the winter break, Granada has no major injury concerns going into the game, but one man who will not feature is Yohan Mollo, who has left the club to go on loan to Nancy.
Pape Diakhite is expected to continue at center back alongside Inigo Lopez, while Odion Ighalo is likely to line up as a lone front man, with support coming courtesy of Gonzalo Jara and Ikechukwu Uche.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid has won its first Liga game of the new year for the past 20 seasons (since a 3-0 defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid in 1991).
- If Mourinho's men keep up their current goals-per-game ratio this season at 3.5, they would break their existing record of 107 goals in a single campaign, set in 1989-90.
- Barcelona ended Madrid's run of eight straight league wins at home back in December.
- Granada is the lowest scoring side in Liga this season (10) yet possesses the joint-third strongest defense (conceding only 16 goals).
- The newly-promoted club is unbeaten after taking the lead this season (five wins and one draw).
- Nine different players have scored for Fabri's side this campaign, with Guillherme Siqueira the club's top scorer with two goals.
Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid 5-0 Ciudad de Murcia
- 20.83 %
Real Madrid 4-0 Ciudad de Murcia
- 17.82 %
Real Madrid 3-0 Ciudad de Murcia
- 9.09 %
|La Liga (LIGA)||Jan 25, 2014||Real Madrid 2 - Ciudad de Murcia 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Aug 26, 2013||Ciudad de Murcia 0 - Real Madrid 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Feb 2, 2013||Ciudad de Murcia 1 - Real Madrid 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Sep 2, 2012||Real Madrid 3 - Ciudad de Murcia 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||May 5, 2012||Ciudad de Murcia 1 - Real Madrid 2|
|Apr 23, 2014||Real Madrid 1 - Bayern 0||UCL|
|Apr 16, 2014||Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid 2||ESPC|
|Apr 12, 2014||Real Madrid 4 - Almeria 0||LIGA|
|Apr 8, 2014||Borussia Dortmund 2 - Real Madrid 0||UCL|
|Apr 5, 2014||Real Sociedad 0 - Real Madrid 4||LIGA|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed