Real Madrid aim to leave X-mas hangover behindJanuary 7th, 2012 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS
Madrid, Jan 7 (IANS) Real Madrid could open up a six point lead in the Spanish La Liga football standings over title rivals FC Barcelona with a win over Granada.
Jose Mourinho’s side entertain Granada Saturday night at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, while Barca don’t play their match, away to city rivals, Espanyol, until Sunday, meaning that Real Madrid could hike up the pressure on the recently crowned World Club Champions.
Real Madrid showed their attacking capability Tuesday night when they fought back from 2-0 down at home to Malaga to win 3-2 in the Copa del Rey, but the coach was furious at his side’s first half showing and was unhappy with the way some of his players had spent their Christmas holidays, Xinhua reported Friday.
That could lead to changes in the starting 11 against Granada, with Alvaro Arbeloa, Kaka and Javier Callejon, all of whom were substituted at the break, losing their places in the side.
That would open the door for Mesut Ozil to come back into the starting line up and for Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema to enjoy a rare start together.
Angel di Maria is doubtful with a muscle problem, while Pepe picked up a rib injury Tuesday to be doubtful for the game. If Pepe fails to recover, Rafael Varene would make a rare start.
Granada travel to Madrid at mid table in their first season in the La Liga for 35 years.
Their coach Fabri has warned against being caught out by Real Madrid’s pace on the break and it is unlikely his side are going to push forward in all out attack. Instead their will use their own pace on the break and look to force set pieces in order to exert their strength in the air.
Granada will also be cheered on by over 5,000 fans who are planning to make th long trip to the capital, which ensures that there will be a party atmosphere in the at Bernabeu.
- Real Madrid routs Granada to lead La Liga - Jan 08, 2012
- Real to face Malaga in Primera Liga - Mar 17, 2012
- Barca continue dominance over Real with Bernabeu win - Jan 19, 2012
- Real Madrid entertain Granada at home - Sep 01, 2012
- Easy win for Real Madrid, but Ronaldo suffers injury - Sep 03, 2012
- Benzema doubtful ahead of return leg against Malaga - Jan 09, 2012
- Real Madrid aim to keep the goals flowing - Oct 25, 2011
- Late show gives Real Madrid home win over City - Sep 19, 2012
- Real Madrid romp to victory in Champions League - Nov 23, 2011
- Advantage Barca ahead of Copa del Rey return leg - Jan 24, 2012
- Real Madrid look to extend the lead in Liga - Jan 12, 2012
- Real Madrid prepare to take on Ajax in Champions League - Sep 26, 2011
- Real Madrid beat Malaga 3-2 in Copa del Rey - Jan 04, 2012
- Real Madrid book place in last eight of Champions League - Mar 15, 2012
- Real Madrid face Valencia test in La Liga - Nov 18, 2011
Tags: christmas holidays, city rivals, copa del rey, fabri, football standings, gonzalo higuain, granada travel, jose mourinho, kaka, long trip, muscle problem, own pace, party atmosphere, real madrid, santiago bernabeu stadium, spanish la liga, starting line, win 3, world club champions, xinhua