Euro 2020 Special
 

La Liga: Granada Owe Barcelona a Favour!

Granada vs Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane takes Real Madrid to Andalusia on Thursday night for a high-risk encounter with Diego Martinez’ Granada.

On the face of it Los Nazaries have little but pride to play for, sitting in tenth place, seven points behind Villarreal, who occupy the last Europa League place, and 15 points above the drop zone with just three games to play. But La Liga: Granada vs Real Madrid is one of the big fixtures in the next chapter of a fascinating three way battle for the 2021 Spanish league title, and Granada have already showed they can be a king-maker, beating Barcelona two weeks ago to stop the Blaugrana’s march to the title.

Now the Catalans would like to see the favour returned when Granada host Real Madrid on Thursday night and the underdogs might well fancy their chances again. Out of the Champions League following defeat to Chelsea Los Blancos now have one thing on their mind; retaining the league title they won in 2020. But the pressure will be on Zidane’s men. Barca face Levante on Tuesday, while leaders Atletico Madrid host Real Sociedad on Wednesday, and if both win their games then Los Blancos cannot afford a slip-up. 

Granada will play without fear and that may just make the hosts more dangerous. 

Talking Points

Which Granada will show up?

The hosts have won three of the last six, including a stunning victory over Barcelona and a 4-1 thumping of Eibar; but they come into this game on the back of a visit to Real Betis, where they looked like earning another point before succumbing to a late Borja Iglesias winner. The 28-year-old striker had given the hosts a first half lead, but when Darwin Machis slotted home an equaliser mid way through the second half a point looked on the cards until Iglesias bagged his second in the 87th minute. 

Head coach Diego Martinez couldn’t complain at his team’s endeavour as they matched Betis’ five shots on target. But last weekend Los Nazaries put in a limp performance to lose 1-0 at home to Cadiz, registering just two shots on target and losing top scorer Roberto Soldado to a late red card.    

Former Spurs striker Soldado has nine goals and at 35 years he’s in the twilight of his career, or maybe not. His partner up front, 39-year-old striker Jorge Molina has six goals and three assists and he bagged a goal in the big win over Barca.  

Unexpected chance for Real Madrid

Real Madrid could go on top of the La Liga table if they beat Granada and if Atletico will drop points
Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos celebrates scoring their second goal against Sevilla

If Zidane leads Real Madrid to another title it will rank as a surprise, not because his squad is lacking any quality, far from it, but Los Blancos have not been the favourites for the La Liga title all season. Atletico have been in the box seat for weeks and with each of the top four teams taking a single point at the weekend, Los Rojiblancos have their fate in their own hands with three games to play. Here at SBOTOP we reckon this could be the year for Diego Simeone’s men; but it didn’t look like that when Barcelona were on the charge, only to be thwarted by Granada. But Los Blancos have quietly gone about their business and are level on points with Barca, and just two behind Atleti.   

German midfield ace Toni Kroos has made ten assists and has emerged, once again, as a key figure in Real Madrid’s title push. It was his 94th minute strike which hit Diego Carlos and flew into the Sevilla net to give Real Madrid a 2-2 draw on Sunday, and that just kept them in the race.  

History

The head-to-head Granada vs Real Madrid results do little to suggest Zidane’s side should come a cropper against Martinez’ men. Los Blancos have won all but one of the 15 meetings with Granada, over the past decade, with Los Nazaries’ only win coming 12 games ago!

Over the past six meetings, all won by Real Madrid, they have scored 19 goals to Granada’s four, and with an away record of ten victories, six draws and a defeat the visitors have had a phenomenal season on the road.