Real Madrid will be aiming to make it six wins in a row across all competitions when they lock horns with Granada on Matchday 15 of the 2020/21 La Liga.
Reigning champions Real Madrid will be looking to keep up the pace with La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid when they play hosts to Granada CF at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Wednesday night.
After a few missteps early in the season, Zinedine Zidane & co. are back on the right track, racking up five wins in a row in all competitions, including a 3-1 triumph over Eibar last weekend. This run has taken them to second spot in La Liga, three points below leaders Atletico, who defeated Real Sociedad on Tuesday.
Real Madrid will now be hoping to stay in touch with their neighbours at the top of the table with a victory in the midweek fixture. However, things are not going to be as straightforward against a Granada side who have made a decent start to the season.
Indeed, Diego Martinez’s side are currently sixth in the table and head into Wednesday’s game on the back of a four-game unbeaten run across all competitions. Last time they were in action, Granada defeated Real Betis 2-0 and will be aiming to carry forward that momentum in the midweek fixture against the champions.
The corresponding fixture last season saw Real Madrid beat Granada 4-2 courtesy goals from Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric and James Rodriguez, while Darwin Machis and Domingos Duarte scored for the visitors. Ahead of their latest meeting on Wednesday night, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Luka Modric has been left out of the 24-man squad for the game after he missed training on Tuesday. However, Isco is back after recovering from a knock while Vinicius Junior and Eden Hazard are also in contention. Zinedine Zidane is unlikely to make many rotations to the side that has been performing admirably of late.
There is no looking past the ever-present Thibaut Courtois in goal for the home team while the backline of Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Ferland Mendy is expected to remain intact as well when Granada come visiting.
Casemiro is a certainty to feature at the base of the three-man midfield for Real Madrid, but with Modric absent, Federico Valverde should get the nod in the middle of the park for the Merengues. Toni Kroos should be retained in the third midfield slot.
In attack, there are unlikely to be any rotations, with Zidane likely to ease Eden Hazard back into action. Rodrygo Goes should once again feature from kick-off after his impressive display at the weekend, while Lucas Vazquez should also be retained. Karim Benzema, who put on a masterclass against Eibar, should continue to lead the Real Madrid attack.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy;Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Vazquez, Benzema, Rodrygo
The visiting team will have to make do without the services of Neyder Lozano, Angel Montoro and Fede Vico while Victor Diaz and Darwin Machis are also doubts for the game. In addition, key midfielder Maxime Gonalons is suspended after having picked up his fifth booking of the season last time out.
Diego Martinez is expected to set his team up in the 4-3-3 formation on Wednesday night, with Rui Silva manning the goal. Dimitri Foulquier and Carlos Neva are likely to slot in as the two full-backs on the right and left sides, respectively. German Sanchez and Domingos Duarte ought to be the central defensive partnership for Granada.
With Gonalons ruled out, Yan Brice Eteki should come into the starting XI and shield the backline for the Andalusian outfit. He will have support from Luis Milla and on-loan Manchester City midfielder Yangel Herrera, who will look to provide the box-to-box presence.
Antonio Puertas should get the nod on the right flank while Luis Suarez ought to continue on the left flank. Spearheading the attack for Granada should be veteran striker Roberto Soldado, who scored twice in the previous fixture.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Silva; Foulquier, Duarte, Sanchez, Neva; Milla, Eteki, Herrera; Puertas, Soldado, Suarez
- Real Madrid have won their last 10 La Liga games against Granada, scoring 3.4 goals per game on an average. It is their longest unbeaten run against a single opponent among the teams currently in the 2020/21 La Liga.
- Having won their last three away La Liga games in the last season, Granada have come out on top in just two of their last six games on the road in the competition (D1 L3).
- Real Madrid have lost two of their last five home games against Andalusian sides, as many defeats in their previous 48 such matches against them (W43 D3 L2).
- Granada have won only two of their last 11 La Liga games played on a Wednesday (D4 L5).
- Real Madrid have won 88% of their home La Liga games against Granada (W21 D2 L1) – their highest winning percentage at home against a single opponent in the competition (min. 20 games played).
Player to Watch
The teenage sensation has been in and out of the starting XI quite a bit this season, having featured from the kick-off in just three La Liga games. But, after a fine performance at the weekend against Eibar, there is a good chance that he will be retained in the lineup by Zinedine Zidane.
Rodrygo, in his 10 league appearances this term, has contributed with four assists, but is yet to score a goal. With Eden Hazard back in the reckoning, the 19-year-old needs to show that he is deserving of a spot in the starting XI. And, another good display against Granada, to back his performance from the weekend would be a step in the right direction.
Real Madrid 3-1 Granada
Real Madrid finally seem to have found their footing after an iffy start to the campaign. With five wins in five across all competitions, they have momentum on their side. And, considering the form that the likes of Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez and Toni Kroos are all in, they should be able to sail to another comfortable win on Wednesday.