Granada vs. Real Madrid: Match Preview and Team News

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 5: The players of Real Madrid warm up during a training session at Valdebebas training ground on May 5, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 5: The players of Real Madrid warm up during a training session at Valdebebas training ground on May 5, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid travel to Granada on Saturday in their hunt for the La Liga title. We’ve got all the team news and updates ahead of the crucial match for Los Blancos.

Real Madrid will travel to Andalusia to take on Granada in the Nuevo Estadio de los Cármenes on Saturday at 2:45 PM (Eastern US).  With Granada already mathematically relegated to the Segunda Division after six years in La Liga, Madrid will be hoping to secure an easy victory to keep them in pole position for the La Liga title.

Granada have been downright abysmal this season, having only won four games across the entire scope of the season. They’re also sitting with a negative 46 goal differential. Coming up against a Real Madrid squad that has not been shut out of a match since last year’s Champions League 0-0 draw against Manchester City, it’s safe to say we can expect some goals.

Granada appointed ex-Arsenal star Tony Adams to replace the recently sacked Lucas Alcaraz. Adams had been working in the back-offices of Granada for some time already, working on restructuring the club. However, Adams was not enough to prevent the club from being relegated, a fate secured by Granada’s 2-1 loss to Real Sociedad.

Madrid, on the other hand, are flying high off of a mid-week thrashing of their neighbors Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. While the 3-0 lead Madrid secured in the first leg should give them some cushion heading into the return fixture at the Calderon, Madrid still have a tricky match schedule coming up. They face Sevilla the following weekend at the Bernabéu in a must-win fixture.

With that in mind, Zidane is likely to rest many of the key players from the team that played in the Champions League. Zidane has been heavily rotating his squad for the matches against the La Liga bottom dwellers, and Granada should be no different. Given the decisive result that Madrid’s supposed “B-Team” put up against Deportivo La Coruña, there’s plenty of reason for Zidane to have faith that his squad players can get the job done against Granada.

As Ben Hayward of Goal.com reports, Ronaldo, Isco, and Carvajal are all just one yellow card away from suspension. Carvajal has gone down with injury, and would not be available for the match anyway. Ronaldo, Benzema, Isco, Casemiro, Modrić, and Marcelo are all expected to get some rest against Granada. Be expecting to see the likes of Kovačić, Vázquez, Morata, and even a potential Fabio Coentrao sighting.

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Additionally, Raphael Varane is also not training with the squad, after picking up a slight niggle against Atletico Madrid. While that injury is supposedly minor, Zidane still does not want to risk him. That means our most-likely center-back pairing will be Nacho and Sergio Ramos.

While this should be an easy match, it is also a must-win one for Los Blancos. Anything less than a win here will completely erase Madrid’s buffer at the top of the table. Hopefully Zidane’s men will not let the level of competition affect them mentally and play down to their opponents. If Real Madrid’s squad players are focused and intense, this should be an easy three points for Madrid to pick up.