Real Madrid vs Granada CF: Match preview

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Real Madrid will host 19th-place Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu and will look to assert their dominance in the league with another win. The battle for the first position in La Liga has been tense as a win today would take Real Madrid on top, but on same points with Girona.

Match details:

Date: Saturday, 2nd December 2023

Competition: La Liga

Matchday: 15

Time: 19:30 CEST

Venue: Santiago Bernabeu

Match preview:

The Merengues enter this fixture after a high-scoring affair against Napoli in the Champions League, where they emerged victorious with a 4-2 scoreline. Jude Bellingham continued his purple patch with a goal and assist with Rodrygo and Joselu on the scoresheet as well.

19-year-old midfielder Nico Paz netted his first Real Madrid goal with a stunning left-footed effort from outside the box.

This fixture will be a crucial one for Los Blancos as a win today will take them to the top of the table, with the same points as Girona. They would look to extend their 12-match unbeaten run and solidify their position as league leaders.

On the other hand, Granada have only one victory this season, which came in the third matchday as they defeated Mallorca 3-2. Since then, they’ve lost 7 and drew 4 of their matches, leaving them in the relegation zone after 14 matches.

Their most recent loss came against Alaves last week, which ended up with a scoreline of 3-1. Now, they face an uphill task as they face Los Blancos in front of an intimidating Bernabeu crowd and will look to shake things up a bit in the league.

Despite having crucial players out due to injuries this season, Real Madrid have managed to brush aside their opponents and would like to add Granada to that list.

4-3-1-2 was a surprising formation to see when Carlo Ancelotti fielded it as Madrid did not have a history of having that play style and did not have a proper number 10 to go with. However, the formation has paid its dividends and the Merengues will continue with it against Granada as well.

Lunin – who has been impressive in Kepa’s absence – will start in goal. Captain Dani Carvajal will continue at right back as he’s been solid and one of the best full-backs in Europe this season.

Rudiger has been solid this season and is expected to keep his place with Alaba likely to partner him. Fran Garcia may replace Ferland Mendy in the starting lineup.

The midfield of Toni Kroos, Fede Valverde, and Dani Ceballos is expected to continue, however, the surprise inclusion of Nico Paz is not ruled out as he impressed not only Ancelotti but even the Bernabeu crowd and fans around the world.

Currently the best player in Europe, Jude Bellingham will continue as the lone number 10 in the lineup. He’s been the top scorer of La Liga this season with 11 goals in 12 games and would look to increase that tally against a team, who have been leaking goals and have the 2nd worst defense in the league. However, Carlo may also be inclined to rest Bellingham and start Brahim Diaz, instead.

Despite a poor start to the season, Rodrygo has been instrumental in the victories in the last four games and is expected to start on the left flank, in the absence of fellow Brazilian winger – Vinicius Jr.

Joselu, who netted his first Champions League goal and has been decent in the league with 5 goals in 14 games, will partner Rodrygo upfront.

Henceforth, Los Blancos are expected to field a strong side against Granada to continue with their winning ways and keep their position as league leaders.

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