High-flying Granada will look to inch closer to the top four in La Liga when they host Valencia on Wednesday at 4pm (UK time).
Granada XI: Silva; Foulquier, Sanchez, Duarte, Neva; Gonalons, Herrera; Kenedy, Puertas, Suarez; Soldado.
Valencia XI: Domenech; Wass, Mangala, Diakhaby, Gaya; Jason, Soler, Esquerdo, Cheryshev; Guedes, Gameiro.
Where to watch Granada vs Valencia on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
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Scoreline prediction: Granada 1-2 Valencia
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Granada vs Valencia build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Diego Martinez’s men have made a strong start to the domestic campaign despite tussling with the Europa League and they currently find themselves seventh in the table, just five points adrift of the Champions League qualification places. Los Che, by contrast, are only above the relegation trap door on goal difference as things stand and winless in six.
Questions of ‘second-season syndrome’ kicking in for Granada have been irrefutably cast aside this term. Having guided the Andalusian outfit to promotion in 2019, Martinez masterminded a seventh-place finish for the then newly-promoted club last campaign, which is exactly where they find themselves this time around.
The extra burden of European football has not distracted Nazaries from their duties closer to home, which bodes well for their round-of-32 showdown against Napoli in the New Year, having progressed through Group E with relative comfort.
Things are not quite so rosy at the Mestalla, with ex-Watford coach Javi Gracia still looking for a first win since orchestrating that historic 4-1 triumph over Real Madrid at the start of November. It’s been downhill since then, but he will look to turn things around on Wednesday.
- Granada (vs Real Madrid): Silva; Foulquier, Vallejo, Duarte, Neva; Eteki, Puertas, Herrera, Milla, Kenedy; Soldado.
- Valencia (vs Sevilla): Domenech; Gabriel, Mangala, Diakhaby; Jason, Wass, Soler, Gaya; Guedes, Cheryshev; Gomez.
Neyder Lozano, Victor Diaz and Fede Vico remain sidelined for the hosts but Martinez does welcome back Maxime Gonalons who was suspended for the 2-0 loss against Real Madrid. Jasper Cillessen and Toni Lato, meanwhile, are unavailable for Gracia.
Players to watch:
- Granada: The goalscoring burden has been well distributed among Granada’s squad this campaign, with six players netting two or more goals and no one bagging more than three. Martinez boasts two veteran strikers that he can call upon, including Roberto Soldado, but this could be a game where 38-year-old Jorge Molina has the final say. Signed in the summer from Getafe, the evergreen forward scored the last of his four La Liga braces in February 2020 against Valencia for the Madrid-based club, and he will be eager to follow up with another impressive showing for his new employers.
- Valencia: Exclusive of own goals, Carlos Soler has been directly involved in eight of the last 10 Valencia finishes in La Liga (five goals, three assists). The academy product has really come to the fore this term following the summer exodus of key midfield players, and he believes the club’s ambitions must be more than just survival, despite sitting just a point above the drop zone. “We shouldn’t look at survival as our goal,” Soler told Marca. “We have players with a lot of quality and we’re in the middle of the table, but everything is tight right now. We have to try to get positive results and climb the table.” That could start against Granada, but Soler must continue to perform wonders in the heart of Gracia’s midfield.
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Granada: LWWDL
- Valencia: LDDDL
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