Match Preview: Granada vs Real Madrid – 2021/22
Real Madrid play nine times over the course of the next month or so. That’s almost a game every three days. As obvious as it should be by now, the winter period is a busy time for the Merengues. This is a spell of fixtures that will set apart the best from the rest, and one in which Carlo Ancelotti’s side must come out on top if they hope to have any chance of retaining dominance.
Roberto Moreno’s Granada come calling this time. Estadio Los Carmenes will host tonight’s fixture. Granada remain right above the relegation zone, in seventeenth place. A point at home against, what is effectively one of the most in-form sides in the league could do wonders for the Andalusians. Always the tone of surprise when it comes to facing teams in the lowly extremes of the first division of Spanish football.
What to Expect:
Granada have always been ones to initiate and actuate things. Even in the segunda division they were never the kind of team to rely solely on their ability to react to what other stronger teams are doing. Adjusting is, as usual, key. And Roberto Moreno’s mentality has always been never to compromise for results, but there is a certain panache in the way they go about their business regardless.
Granada’s misfortunes in front of goal have hurt them in games where they have in fact performed valiantly without reasonable output to show for. Just two weeks ago, they had Espanyol on their heels for much of the second half but lost to two brilliant first half strikes from Espanyol. Call it a lack of composure or bad luck, this is a team whose brilliance outside of the end product has to be lauded.
Every now and then Granada find the right balance between being the aggressors and remaining decisively in control of games without the ball, but it doesn’t happen too often. Roberto Moreno has in recent times emphasised more and more on the need to be secure at the back.
They’ve scored just 10 times in just their last 10 games which is nowhere as good as last campaign when they built on their ability to find goals out of nowhere and finished 9th in the league, also going as far as the Europa league semi-finals.
Expect Granada to shape up in their usual 4-4-2 and come out to play like any home team would do. Although the disparity in quality will eventually leave them with little room for comfort.
The international break seems to have further weakened Madrid’s squad rather than replenish it. Both Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale went into the break fit and ready to play, but remain out of question for selection for now.
Bale pulled a muscle in training with Wales and Hazard seems to have picked up a gastrointestinal problem, Ancelotti confirmed. Fede Valverde and Dani Ceballos also remain unavailable.
📄 Squad list for Sunday’s match against Granada. VAMOS 💪
— Real Madrid News (@onlyrmcfnews) November 20, 2021
Carvajal — Militão — Alaba — Mendy
Modrić — Casemiro — Kroos
Rodrygo — Benzema — Vini Jr.
Arias — Sánchez — Abram — Neva
Rochina — Montoro — Gonalons — Machís
Suárez — Bacca
Player to Watch:
Real Madrid: Toni Kroos. The German was essentially the hero of Real Madrid’s win over Rayo Vallecano prior to the international break. It would be unwise to expect sensational goals and goal line clearances from Kroos week in week out, but a well rounded Kroos performance usually means good things for Ancelotti’s men. In a game like this, his patience and composure will be key to breaking Granada down.
Granada: Luis Suárez. Not the name we’re now used to hearing every Madrid Derby, rather a different Luis Suárez with a lot of the same deadly traits. The 23 year old centre forward is instinctive with his finishing and has the ability to make darting runs in behind. He compliments his Colombian strike partner (the veteran, Carlos Bacca) like no other.
Granada 0-1 Real Madrid.
I suggest we’ll have to grind this one out. It will be close, but with the weeks ahead in mind it is only normal for Carlo Ancelotti to prepare conservatively and remain satisfied with a “not so extravagant” display here. Granada are capable but certainly aren’t in their best moment, expect a tough fight.