Chance to bounce back against Granada
La Liga Santander Round 6 Preview
Real Valladolid (15th) v Granada (3rd)
Estadio José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain
Tuesday 24th September 2019. Kick off 18:00 (UK)
Real Valladolid look to rebound from Saturday’s loss at the hands of Villarreal when they welcome Granada to the José Zorrilla for just their second home match of the new campaign.
The weekend defeat saw them drop three places to 15th in the division, just one point away from being among the bottom three clubs.
In contrast, tonight’s visitors have exceeded all expectations so far. As runners-up in the Segunda last season, Granada have started very strongly and have lost just once to this point. That defeat came in Round 2 to Sevilla. Since then they have won all three of their subsequent fixtures posting wins away at Espanyol and Celta Vigo before humbling reigning champions Barcelona 2-0 at home. This incredible victory saw them climb to the peak of the league table overnight until Athletic Club overtook them on Sunday. However, third place at this stage is no mean feat by a squad with resources as limited as Granada’s and is a testament to the hard work and togetherness of the team led by Diego Martínez who is the youngest of any coaches at the helm in the top division.
Nine different players have made the score sheet, showing a depth in attack that would make some of the larger clubs envious, as they have found the net 11 times up to this point. Only Barcelona and Villarreal have scored more with 12. It has been on the road that Granada have been particularly dangerous, winning two of their three away matches and drawing one – the epic 4-4 draw at Villarreal to start the season. Real Valladolid would be well advised to tread lightly against a side who were impressive at Balaídos when they claimed the scalp of Celta nine days ago. Their away record is only bettered by Sevilla who have won all three of their contests in enemy territory.
There is not a huge history of meetings between these clubs. Since 2010, they have met nine times with the Andalucíans prevailing on 5 of those occasions, with a single draw. At the José Zorrilla, it has been more evenly matched; the teams have split their four contests in Valladolid with two wins apiece. The sides met twice in the Segunda division in 2017/18 with the home side winning in each game. In preseason this year, the teams played out an exhibition match in Marbella with Granada winning 2-1 courtesy of goals from veteran striker Roberto Soldado and Antonio Puertas. Óscar Plano replied with the only goal for Pucela.
Real Valladolid look to welcome back striker Enes Ünal into the squad as the loanee had to sit out Saturday’s loss to his parent club. There are no fresh injury concerns for Sergio González. Nacho returns to replace Fede Barba at left-back and Toni Villa returns to the squad. Anuar, who came on for Óscar Plano in the second half on Saturday is omitted.
For Granada, left-back Quini is unlikely to feature as he nurses a sprained knee. He had been an ever-present in the back four but missed the Barcelona match and was replaced by Carlos Neva who is slated to start again. Fede Vico may not be able to play either and he will be a big loss as his play in behind the strikers has been solid. He too was not involved in the famous win over Barcelona.