Afternoon all! The first of our three back-to-back live La Liga commentaries comes from the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes as Granada welcome Sevilla. A total of 17 points from their 14 matches thus far has left Granada in 12th position in the table. Meanwhile, the closeness in the division means that they are just six points off the top six.
Sevilla, meanwhile, currently sit in eighth position on 19 points. They have won each of their last two league matches – against Espanyol and Real Betis – and are starting to show signs that a top-four finish could yet occur. If they are to break into the Champions League positions once more, this is the type of match that they need to collect all three points.
GRANADA: Roberto; Foulquier, Murillo, Diakhate, Angulo; Recio, Yebda, Rico, Brahimi, Piti; El Arabi
SEVILLA: Beto; Navarro, Fazio, Carrico, Figueiras; Mbia, Rakitic, Iborra; Reyes, Bacca, Jairo
So there we have it. Piti is handed a start for the home side this afternoon, but there is no place for Diego Buonanotte, who is named on the bench. Sevilla, meanwhile, continue with Carlos Bacca
as their lone striker. Jose Antonio Reyes also comes in for a rare start, but Kevin Gameiro
and Alberto Moreno drop to the bench.
In terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Sevilla have won two of the last four, with Granada also winning once and the further match ending in a draw. As mentioned, the corresponding fixture last season ended in a 1-1 draw, but Sevilla were 3-0 winners on their own patch in January.
Granada have collected nine points from their last five league matches, with their two defeats arriving against Atletico Madrid and Barcelona last time out. They have been impressive defensively, meanwhile, with just 17 goals conceded, which is the same number as Real Madrid. Sevilla, however, have conceded 26 times in their 14 matches.
Goals have been a problem for Granada, however, with just 11 strikes in their 14 matches thus far. Alongside Osasuna, that is the worst record in the league. That is in contrast to Sevilla, who have found the back of the net on 27 occasions. Only Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona have scored more league goals than Sevilla this season.
Sevilla ended their away struggles before the international break when they won 3-1 at Espanyol, but it is important that they do not embark on another winless run on the road. Unai Emery has assembled a team full of attacking talent, but the way that they are set up does leave them open to the counter attack.
Just a reminder that following this match we have action from the Mestalla as Valencia welcome Osasuna, with the fixture due to start at 6pm. Week 15’s action concludes at San Mames as Athletic Bilbao welcome Barcelona in the late start. Be sure to stick with us for all the action and you will not miss a moment.
PREDICTION: Both managers have selected attacking teams this afternoon, which is good news for the neutral. The return of Piti is massive for Granada, but Sevilla have a number of players in top form. That said, I am going to sit on the fence and back a 1-1 draw.
Here we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the first period. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags exchanged. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be crucial in this type of match. Sevilla get the contest underway.
Not a full house inside the stadium this afternoon, but there is a strong atmosphere. Both of these sides are in need of the points and both enter the match in good form. Sevilla make the early running down the left with Jairo Samperio, but his low cross is cleared by Angulo, who is one of two Colombians in the Granada back four this afternoon.
Just a reminder that following this match we have action from Valencia against Osasuna, before Barcelona travel to Athletic Bilbao. Back to this one - half-chance for Sevilla as Reyes drives a dangerous cross into the Granada box, but Murillo is on hand to clear under pressure from Bacca. Bright opening four minutes from Unai Emery's side.
First sign of Brahimi as the Granada midfielder drives past two defenders, but Fazio is across to clear just outside the box. The home supporters are creating a strong atmosphere inside the stadium, but neither side has really threatened to open the scoring thus far. It is the type of match that could be decided by the odd goal.
CHANCE! Wonderful chance for Sevilla to open the scoring as Figueiras collects a loose pass inside the Granada box, but Roberto is across to make a fine save. The away side look the stronger outfit at the moment with the likes of Reyes, Jairo and Iborra providing support to Bacca.
Slightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments with both sides struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. Brahimi has the chance to attack down the right moments later and indeed finds Recio outside the box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post.
Just a few signs that Granada are starting to warm to their task here as Rico and Piti both deliver crosses into the box in quick succession, but the danger is cleared on each occasion. A corner causes Beto concern moments later, but the Portuguese stopper manages to claw clear. Still goalless with 13 minutes on the clock.
It's really bright work from the away side as Bacca combines with Jairo before spinning behind the Granada defence, but the flag is raised. Not too much in terms of clear chances thus far, but plenty happening in the middle of the park. Sevilla are in a really good place at the moment in terms of results and indeed confidence.
The referee has been more involved than he would like in the last couple of moments as the challenges continue to arrive from both sides. However, the official has not seen fit to issue a card thus far. Slight problem for Piti moments later as he clashes with Navarro, but both players return to their feet following a period of treatment.
Good pressure from Sevilla in the last couple of moments as they continue to deliver deep balls into the Granada box, but the final pass has not been there thus far. Brahimi remains the main outlet for the home side as he continues to weave outside the box, but we have seen little from El-Arabi thus far.
Both sides continue to play attractive football in the final third, but there has not been a clear chance for either thus far. Brahimi takes matters into his own hands with a sweeping drive from distance, but it never really threatened Beto. Little over 20 minutes of the first period remaining in this La Liga contest.
GOAL! Granada 0-1 Sevilla (Bacca)
Sevilla take the lead with 23 minutes on the clock as Bacca collects a loose pass outside the box before poking one into the bottom corner. Fine finish from the Colombian forward.
Not too surprising that Sevilla have opened the scoring. They have been the more adventurous in the final third. Granada attempt to respond down the right with Brahimi, but the midfielder is felled by Carrico, who picks up a yellow card in the process. End-to-end football with 26 minutes on the clock.
Half-chance for Piti as the Granada forward turns on the edge of the box before striking one towards goal, but his effort is blocked by Fazio. Another half-chance for Sevilla moments later as Bacca finds some space inside the box, but the offside flag is raised. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining.
It has been a good response from Granada with the likes of Piti and Brahimi causing problems in wide positions. Mbia, meanwhile, picks up a yellow card for a late challenge on Rico. You just get the feeling that Granada need to score the next goal if they are to take something from the match. Sevilla are full of confidence.
Half-chance for Bacca to add his second as the Sevilla forward collects a loose pass on the edge of the box before attempting to curl one into the bottom corner, but Roberto is equal to the danger. A mistake from Beto hands a half-chance to Granada moments later, but Fazio manages to clear. End-to-end football.
Granada have the ball in the back of the net as El-Arabi converts from close range, but the flag had been raised. Replays have shown that it was extremely close. In truth, it could have gone either way. Much better from the home side, however, as they continue to force the issue in the final third.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Granada have taken control of the possession. If the home side equalise in this half, then you would fancy them to claim all three points. However, Sevilla remain a threat on the counter with their pace and movement.
Sevilla simply cannot keep the ball at the moment as the challenges continue to arrive on the edge of the box, but the danger is finally cleared when Brahimi fells Fazio. There is a resilience about this Sevilla team in recent weeks, which was not the case in the early part of the season. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining.
CHANCES! Two chances in quick succession for Granada, but two fine saves from Beto. The first falls to Brahimi inside the box, but the Sevilla stopper makes the save, before denying Piti moments later. The pressure is building as we enter the latter stages of the first period. Still Sevilla hold on.
I should not think that there will be too much injury time at the end of the first period. There have hardly been any stoppages with the referee allowing the match to flow from end-to-end. Brahimi remains the most likely for Granada as he drives past two defenders, but Fazio is across to clear at the vital moment. This opening 45 minutes of football has just flown past.
CHANCE! Wonderful chance for Rakitic to score Sevilla's second as the ball falls for him just inside the box, but the Croatian fires his effort wide of the post. How big a miss could that be?
HALF TIME: Granada 0-1 Sevilla
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Sevilla leading courtesy of a strike from Bacca after 23 minutes. Granada have had their moments during an open first half of football, but Sevilla are heading for their second successive away win in La Liga.
STATISTICS: Granada have dominated the possession with 70%, while they have had seven attempts to Sevilla's four. However, all four of Sevilla's attempts have been on target, while Granada have hit the target three times. I would be astounded if we had seen the last of the goals this afternoon.
BENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking options on their bench in the shape of Riki, Ighalo and Buonanotte - three players that could all make a difference. Sevilla, meanwhile, have the likes of Gameiro, Rabello and Moreno in reserve. It would not be a surprise to see changes at the interval.
Here we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. Just a reminder that following this match we have action from Valencia against Osasuna. Be sure to remain with us for that. Right, Granada get the second 45 minutes underway on this mild early evening in Spain. Let's hope for goals.
Bright start to the half from Sevilla as Bacca attempts to turn on the edge of the box, but Diakhate is across to foul the Colombian. The resulting free kick is whipped into the area by Rakitic, but Roberto comes a long way to clear the danger. Sevilla look in the mood in the second half.
Mbia appears to have a problem here as the Sevilla midfielder dives into a challenge with Angulo and comes off worse than the Colombian. However, it does appear that he will be fit to continue. This type of incident will not worry Sevilla too much as they attempt to break up the play in the second period. Still 1-0 Sevilla with 50 minutes on the clock.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the early stages of the second period, but Granada continue to enjoy the better moments in the final third. You have to expect the home side to create chances as the second period advances. It would also not be a surprise to see changes made in the next 10 minutes or so if the score remains the same.
CHANCE! Another opportunity for Granada as Rico strikes one from outside the box, but Beto is on hand to make a fine save. You just get the feeling that this could be Sevilla's day. They have not won three La Liga games in a row for some time, but they are heading for that total at the moment. Still 1-0 with 55 minutes on the clock.
Sevilla make their first change of the match as Coke replaces Reyes, who has struggled to make a serious impact on his return to the team. In truth, the Spaniard doesn't quite fit into this Sevilla system, which is all about pace and movement. Still no movement on the Granada bench, but they have a number of attacking options. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining.
A poor challenge from Iborra on the edge of his own box presents Granada with a shooting opportunity. The resulting set piece is taken by Piti, but Beto is on hand to palm clear for a corner. Sevilla are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment, but their lead remains in tact as the second period continues to gather pace.
PENALTY TO GRANADA!
Granada are awarded a penalty as Carrico is penalised for handball inside the box. It is harsh, but I have seen them given. What a chance for the home side to level just past the hour mark.
GOAL! Granada 1-1 Sevilla (Brahimi)
Indeed Granada level as Brahimi strokes his effort into the side netting. Wonderful spot kick from the midfielder, who has been the pick of the home side's players this afternoon and indeed this season.
Now we will see how far Sevilla have come. They are certain to come under pressure in the next 25 minutes or so. Deafening noise inside the stadium at the moment as Granada push players forward. It has been a fine contest thus far and that will surely be the case in the latter stages of proceedings.
Sevilla make their second change as Moreno replaces Jairo. Not too much from the away side as an attacking threat at the moment as Granada continue to push for their second. A deep corner from Brahimi is met by Piti, but his header is high of the crossbar. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining.
Granada look to their bench for the first time this evening as Riki replaces El-Arabi, who has struggled to influence proceedings in this particular match. The home side are on the attack moments later with Piti, but his through pass is collected by Beto. Can Sevilla hold on? At the moment, they cannot get the ball.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments as both sides struggle to find that elusive pass in the final third. Granada continue to dominate possession, but there is a resilience about Sevilla at the moment. Little under 20 minutes of football remaining in this La Liga contest.
Possession football from Granada as they continue to keep the ball in the final third, but Sevilla are closing the gaps as they continue to retreat deeper and deeper. You just get the feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals in this match. Both have players that could make a difference.
Half-chance for Sevilla this time as Bacca finds some space inside the box before attempting to curl one towards the bottom corner, but Roberto is across to make a fine save. Bacca has another half-chance moments later, but he cannot make proper contact at the far post following good work from Iborra.
End-to-end football in the last couple of moments as Recio fires one high and wide of the crossbar for Granada, before Bacca slices one wide of the post down the other end. It would be fair to say that neither side is settling for a point at the moment as both continue to commit bodies in the final third. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining.
CHANCE! Wonderful chance for Piti to send Granada into the lead as he dances into the Sevilla box, but somehow he lifts his effort over the crossbar. Golden opportunity for the experienced Spaniard. Somehow Sevilla are still in the match.
Sevilla look to their bench once more as Gameiro replaces Iborra. It hasn't quite happened for the Frenchman this season, but he has a goal in him, there is no question about that. The striker is immediately involved as Rakitic swings a free kick into the box, but Gameiro cannot make proper contact under a challenge from Angulo.
Another half-chance for the away side as Mbia strikes one from the edge of the box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Granada make another change moments later as Buonanotte replaces Recio. Neither side are settling for a draw as the intensity continues to grow.
Not the best introduction for Buonanotte as the Granada winger goes down inside the box, only to receive a booking for simulation. Sevilla are down the other end moments later with Moreno, but his cross is straight into the arms of Roberto. Little over three minutes of normal time remaining.
Half-chance for Coke this time as the Sevilla defender finds some space on the edge of the box before attempting to curl one towards the top corner, but his effort was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. It does appear that we are heading for a 1-1 draw - which I predicted before kickoff!
GOAL! Granada 1-2 Sevilla (Gameiro)
Oh my word. Sevilla take the lead with three minutes of normal time remaining as Gameiro latches onto a header from Bacca before finding the corner of the net. What a time to move ahead.
Granada make their third and final change as Ighalo replaces Diakhate. Can the home side force an equaliser in stoppage time? The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional five minutes and we are indeed into the first of those.
Granada continue to force the issue with a series of long balls into the box. They are almost stung on the counter as Bacca finds Rakitic inside the box, but Roberto is across to make a fine save. End-to-end football in the third minute of stoppage time.
CHANCE! Incredible chance for Sevilla to secure all three points as Bacca dances into the Granada box, but somehow he curls his effort high and wide of the crossbar. A quite stunning miss from the Colombian.
FULL TIME: Granada 1-2 Sevilla
So there we have it. Sevilla leave it late to pick up all three points against Granada. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for Valencia against Osasuna. Until then!