Real Madrid - Granada Preview: Los Blancos look to bag first Liga win of the season
The champions will be out to build on their Supercopa triumph when they welcome Juan Antonio Anquela's relegation candidates to the Santiago Bernabeu
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Di Maria, Modric, Ronaldo
Nyom, Lopez, Gomez, Siqueira
Iriney, Lucena, M Rico
El-Arabi, Floro Flores, Orellana
Luka Modric could make his first start for Real Madrid against Granada after coming on as a late substitute and impressing in the 2-1 midweek victory over Barcelona.
Boss Jose Mourinho has no fresh injury concerns, with the suspended Fabio Coentrao being the only player unavailable for selection.
Granada's Manolo Lucena should play, despite suffering a knock to his knee during training.
Senegalese defender Pape Diakhate has returned from a serious ankle injury and is available again, while midfield pair Fran Rico and Hassan Yebda are still out.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid are on a two-match winless run in La Liga. The last time they went three games without a victory in the league was in May 2009.
- Los Blancos did the double over Granada in the previous campaign, with this corresponding fixture last season ending 5-1 in favour of the home side.
- Madrid have been drawn in Group D for the Champions League group stage alongside Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax.
- Granada are on a four-game winless run in La Liga, stretching into the back end of the previous campaign.
- The Andalusians lost 14 of their 19 away games in the Primera Division last season.
- Fran Rico (pictured right) made 52 appearances for Real Madrid's reserve team between 2008-2011, scoring 11 goals.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Granada
- 13.08 %
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Granada
- 9.59 %
Real Madrid CF 8-0 Granada
- 9.38 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 26, 2013||Granada 0 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Feb 2, 2013||Granada 1 - Real Madrid CF 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Sep 2, 2012||Real Madrid CF 3 - Granada 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||May 5, 2012||Granada 1 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 7, 2012||Real Madrid CF 5 - Granada 1|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Dec 10, 2013||FC Copenhagen 0 - Real Madrid CF 2||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0 - Real Madrid CF 0||ESPC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Valladolid 0||LIGA|
|Nov 27, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Galatasaray 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Almeria 0 - Real Madrid CF 5||LIGA|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|15||Youssef El Arabi||Striker|
|83||Antonio Floro Flores||Striker|
The Croatia playmaker showed some promising touches on his debut against Barcelona and nearly capped his short cameo with a goal. While a midfield combining the creative talents of Modric and Xabi Alonso appears formidable, the former Tottenham Hotspur man was utilised in a more advanced role in the Supercopa, suggesting he may be given Mesut Ozil's job to play those trademark raking passes to the forwards.
|Antonio Floro Flores|
The on-loan Udinese striker has started both games for Granada this campaign and is expected to be picked again, despite publicly expressing dissent at being substituted during the opening defeat at Rayo Vallecano. The tall Italian could pose problems during set-pieces for the Madrid backline, which has looked unconvincing when dealing with crosses coming into the box.
Real were excellent going forward in the Supercopa and deserved to beat Barcelona by a bigger scoreline, while the return of Pepe also made them defensively solid. Mourinho will demand similar performances from his players week in, week out in La Liga, especially after last weekend's debacle at Getafe.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed