Table toppers Real Madrid are expected to crush 13th placed Granada when the sides meet at Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, on Saturday, January 7, 2011.
Since losing 3-1 to Barcelona on December 10, Madrid have been on a roll, recording four wins on the trot. A 2-0 win in a first leg tie of the Spanish Cup away to Ponferradino on December 13 was followed by a 6-2 walloping of Sevilla. Thereafter Jose Mourinho’s men thrashed Ponferradino 5-1 in the second leg at home, and followed that up with a 3-2 home win in their Spanish Cup tie against Malaga, on January 3.
Contrast that with Granada’s record; of their last five games, the Andalusian side have won and lost two each, while drawing the remaining. A 2-2 stalemate with Malaga in the Liga on December 7, was followed by a 1-0 loss away to Getafe, fdollowed in a turn by a 4-1 loss in the away leg of a Spanish Cup tie with Real Sociedad, on December 13. But since that loss, Fabri Gonzalez’s side recorded back to back wins, a 2-1 Liga win over Levante at Granada’s Los Carmenes, followed by a 2-1 win at the same venue, in the home leg of the Spanish Cup tie with Real Sociedad on December 21.
Ahead of the game, Real Madrid expect to welcome back defender Sergio Ramos from injury. The Spain international suffered a hamstring injury during Madrid’s 6-2 win against Sevilla. Jose Mourinho will be especially relieved at the news of Ramos’ recovery from injury, given that the Portuguese manager will not have the services of centre-back Pepe, who is serving a suspension.
Granada are up against arguably the strongest attack in club football. In the top five goal scorers of the season, apart from Cristiano Ronaldo, top scorer with 20 goals, Real Madrid also have Gonzalo Higuain who has registered 12 goals, in third place, and Radamel Falcao with nine goals, in fifth position.
Real Madrid are overwhelming favourites to beat Granada on Saturday, with odds of 1/16 offered on the eventuality, while a draw is quoted at 10/1 as the next probable result, as against 28/1 on an unlikely Granada victory.
Real Madrid are three points adrift of traditional rivals Barcelona, at the top of the league table, after 16 match weeks. A win against Granada will increase the pressure on Barcelona to win their away encounter with 8th placed Espanyol on Sunday.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.