Freelance journalist and Spanish football expert David Cartlidge is back as he previews Real Madrid's match against Granada as they try to get their title bid on track.
MADRID, SPAIN - Real Madrid continues the search for their first La Liga victory as they welcome Granada to Bernabéu. The hosts are clear favourites at 1/9 to win the game with William Hill, while the visitors from Andalucía are 22/1 with bet365. The draw is 11/1 with BetVictor.
José Mourinho’s men were stunned last weekend in the short trip to Getafe, as they went down 2-1. They bounced back immediately with a Super Cup victory over Barcelona for the first silverware of the season, but will need to get three points secured here and get the league campaign on track. Against Getafe they looked subdued, and couldn’t handle the organised approach of the hosts who produced an excellent display.
Cristiano Ronaldo found the net against Barça and will look to bring that confident performance into the Granada game. Luka Modric made an appearance against Barça but he didn’t have a pre-season, so is still feeling his way back in. This one looks like an assured home win, especially given that Madrid are undefeated in their last 13 home matches in La Liga. Fabio Coentrao misses out as he has 3 games remaining on his ban for abusing an official.
Granada remains without a win also, first they were beaten by Rayo Vallecano and then despite leading and having a man advantage they drew with rivals Sevilla. With many new players coming in the team was expected to take time to gel, and this game against Madrid, might be a battle too much for them. With the quartet of Jaime Romero, Fabian Orellana, Youssef El-Arabi and Floro Flores they do present danger in attack though, and just how much they will go for it will be interesting.
Starting with the Half-Time/Full-Time market the odds of course go in favour of Madrid. BetVictor go 1/4 for Real Madrid/Real Madrid and William Hill go 9/2 on Draw/Real Madrid. You can get a huge 50/1 on Paddy Power for Draw/Granada.
Then we look at Over/Under goals. With over 2.5 goals scored in 8 of Real Madrid's last 9 games in La Liga, it’s best we start there and Stan James get you the best price at 2/7. Contradictory to that though, there have been under 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Granada's last 6 away games in La Liga – the best price for Under 2.5 goals is 10/3 with William Hill.
Finally we go to first goalscorer. Cristiano is expectedly out front and bet365 go 7/4 for him to open the scoring, while his attacking partner in crime Karim Benzema is 10/3 with BetVictor. Gonzalo Higuaín always gets himself in great positions though, and he’s 7/2 with bet365. An outside bet would be Mesut Özil at 7/1 with BetVictor. Granada’s goalscorers are out on much longer odds though, for example Floro Flores is 17/2 and the talented Orellana is 25/1 with William Hill. Watch out for Siqueira though as he takes set pieces and penalties so could be worth a punt at 50/1 with bet365.
The match kicks off at 1845 BST (1945 CET) and is live on Sky Sports 1HD