After looking quite disappointing on their opening match of the season, Real Madrid travel to Granada in order to try and do better than their loss at the Los Cármenes stadium from last season, while controversy regarding their new arrivals and changes that might still be ongoing in the lineup affect their preparations.
Granada feel quite confident going into their second match of the season following their 2-1 win over Osasuna during the first weekend with goals from Youssef El Arabi and Hassan Yebda. They beat Real Madrid 1-0 last time the two met in Andalusia, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring an own goal.
Granada are unlike most small teams in Spain, having quite a veteran squad without too many young, home grown players. They’re a tough unit who play very aggressively, which has caused a less than committed Real Madrid side some problems last season against a number of rivals when playing away from home.
Carlo Ancelotti was busy defending the Bale transfer, even though there’s nothing official about it, and hitting back at Barcelona head coach Gerard Martino, who claimed there are problems with the ethics of Real Madrid spending so much money on one player. Ancelotti said that Barcelona spend quite enough on players on their own.
But other issues include the situation of Mesut Ozil, Angel di Maria and Karim Benzema. With Ancelotti trying to use Ronaldo in a more central role, Benzema might feel he’s slightly being pushed aside after thinking he has the striker role all to himself. However, for now, it seems like the two will co-exist in an attempt to open up room for Bale on the left.
As for Di Maria and Ozil, it might be more of some tabloid chatter than the two players actually asking to leave. However, Ancelotti has some unhappy faces in his squad, which is expected from a team with so many talented players, but it’ll be interesting to see if any changes will be made from the lineup that beat Betis 2-1, especially in the midfield with Asier Illarramendi pushing for a place in the lineup after recovering from his injury.
Prediction – While almost every match in Spain goes to Real Madrid and Barcelona, it won’t be that big of a surprise if Granada make life very hard for the visitors once again. Real Madrid are coming back home with a draw, nothing more.