Preview: Real Madrid vs Granada (Spanish League, Day 3)

Real Madrid are back in league action after an intense start to the season which has seen them lift the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona. In this third league fixture, and the fifth for the team in barely three weeks, the Whites face Granada today at the Santiago Bernabeu (7:50 pm, -CET-) aiming to record their first league victory against an opponent which has the same points tally as the Whites and whose record against Real Madrid does not give much cause for optimism as Madrid have won 15 of the 18 games played against Granada at home. The last win was recorded last season in the Andalusians’ return to the top flight in a match which saw Mourinho’s team run out 5-1 winners. Michael Essien, the second and final Real Madrid signing of this season, has been included in the squad, alongside the other new face of the team, Luka Modric, who made his debut in the return leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Real Madrid defeated Granada last year (4-2)

Real Madrid go into this match on the third match day of the league against Granada with the confidence taken from lifting their first trophy of the season. The Whites have hosted today’s opponents in the league on 18 occasions and the head-to-head is very favourable for the Whites: 15 wins, 2 draws and only 1 loss, with 57 goals for and 17 against. The overall head-to-head between both clubs in the league also favours Real Madrid, who have amassed 23 wins, 8 draws and 5 losses.

Real Madrid’s manager has named a 20-man squad for the meeting against Granada. The newest member to the list is the most recent signing of the Whites, Michael Essien. Jose Mourinho will have Real Madrid’s new acquisition available for the match, taking his place in the squad alongside Luka Modric, who made a very good impression as he got some minutes under his belt on debut against Barcelona in the return leg of the Supercopa. Higuain is another squad member on sparkling form; he has scored three goals in the three games that he has started.

Granada come to the Santiago Bernabeu for this third league fixture in 16th place in the table after collecting just a point from the previous two match days. In their opening fixture, they lost by the slightest of margins (0-1) in added time away to another team based in Madrid, Rayo Vallecano, while in the second game, they drew 1-1 at home against Sevilla.

The Andalusian outfit have come into the 2012/2013 season with a lot of new faces, including their new manager Juan Antonio Anquela who arrived from Alcorcon. The nucleus of the squad has been kept together from last campaign and players such as El-Arabi, Floro Flores, Iriney, Juanma Ortiz, Torje and Toño have been added.

Expected Starting Lineups:

Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, Özil, Higuian.
Granada: Toño, Nyom, Iñigo Lopez, Borja, Siqueira, Iriney, Miquel Rico, Jaime, Orellana, El-Arabi, Floro Flores.

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