Granada-Real Madrid Preview: Mourinho's side look to close gap on Atletico Madrid
Los Merengues can get within a point of their city rivals with victory over the struggling Andalusian outfit, who sacked coach Juan Antonio Anquela on Wednesday
By Karthick Arvinth
Nyom, Lopez, Mainz, Siqueira
Iriney, M Rico
El-Arabi, Brahimi, Buonanotte
Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao
Di Maria, Modric, Ronaldo
New Granada boss Lucas Alcaraz could hand a debut to Diego Buonanotte in Saturday's Primera Division encounter against Real Madrid at Los Carmenes.
Youssef El-Arabi is available after returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty, but fellow striker Fabian Orellana has been loaned out to Celta Vigo.
Winger Dani Benitez is still sidelined with a hamstring injury while defender Pape Diakhate is suspended.
Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria all return for Madrid after the trio missed the 1-1 Copa del Rey draw against Barcelona through suspension.
Iker Casillas (hand) and Pepe (ankle) remain out, while Mesut Ozil serves a one-match ban for accumulating five yellow cards.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Granada have won just two of their last eight Liga matches (W2, D3, L3).
- The Andalusian side have lost their last three encounters against Real Madrid by an aggregate score of 10-2.
- Granada have scored just 18 goals in their 21 Liga matches this season.
- Real Madrid have won just one of their last five away games in all competitions (W1, D2, L2).
- With just 20 goals conceded this term, Los Blancos boast the second best defensive record in La Liga.
- Alvaro Arbeloa (pictured, right) played his 150th game for Madrid in the 1-1 Copa del Rey draw against Barcelona.
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Top 3 Predictions
Granada 0-4 Real Madrid CF
- 14.6 %
Granada 0-5 Real Madrid CF
- 9.96 %
Granada 0-3 Real Madrid CF
- 8.8 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 25, 2014||Real Madrid CF 2 - Granada 0|
|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|
|Mar 8, 2014||Granada 2 - Villarreal 0||LIGA|
|Feb 28, 2014||Athletic Bilbao 4 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|Feb 23, 2014||Valencia CF 2 - Granada 1||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Granada 1 - Betis 0||LIGA|
|Feb 7, 2014||Espanyol 1 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
The Argentine playmaker made the switch to Granada after making just 18 appearances for previous club Malaga in over an year and a half. Buonanotte will want to impress on his debut and hold down a regular starting berth at Los Carmenes.
The Frenchman was outstanding against Barcelona as he controlled the backline throughout, belying his 19 years of age. Varane's performance in Wednesday's Clasico earned rave reviews from the world media and it also caught the eye of France boss Didier Deschamps, who called up the teenager to the senior squad for only the second time on Thursday.
Real have been in desperate form away from home recently but they should comfortably beat Granada, who will be keen to improve their organisation and discipline in Alcaraz's first game in charge.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed