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La Liga Preview: Real Madrid v Granada
Created on 24 Jan., 2014 10:00 AM GMT
Granada face the unenviable task of attempting to end Real Madrid's 10-match unbeaten La Liga run at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Carlo Ancelotti's side are in a fine run of form in the Spanish top flight, with defending champions Barcelona the last side to claim three points against Real on October 26.
Real have been particularly dominant on home soil in the league, winning eight of their nine home fixtures, with city rivals Atletico the only side to leave the Bernabeu with maximum points.
The recent purple patch has seen Real close the gap to leaders Barca and second-placed Atletico to just one point and Ancelotti's men will be buoyed by a 5-0 demolition at Real Betis last Saturday in their last league outing.
Even more pleasing for Ancelotti was the fact five different players were on the scoresheet, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Angel di Maria and Alvaro Morata all on target.
That rout was followed by a 1-0 triumph at Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Tuesday, when Benzema notched the game's only goal in the 25th minute.
Granada's last two visits to the Bernabeu resulted in 5-1 and 3-0 defeats and a poor return of just 19 goals in 20 top-flight matches makes their task seem even more difficult.
However, Granada have proved stern opposition for La Liga opponents this season, with Lucas Alcaraz's men losing on just three occasions on their travels in the league.
Indeed, four of the seven Liga victories Granada have secured this term have come away from the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes.
Sami Khedira (knee) remains a long-term injury absentee for Real, who have an otherwise fully-fit squad to choose from, although the match is likely to come too soon for centre-back Raphael Varane as he has only recently returned to training following a knee problem sustained in November.
Granada could hand a debut to defender Tiago Ilori, who joined on loan from Liverpool for the rest of the season on Monday.