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Jun 19, 2020 at 6.30pm UK at Los Carmenes
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Moreno (11')
Moreno (20'), Chukwueze (86'), Asenjo (90')

Preview: Granada vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's La Liga clash between Granada and Villarreal, including team news and predicted lineups.

Villarreal will be looking to make it three La Liga victories in a row when they travel to the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes to face surprise package Granada on Friday night.

The Yellow Submarine have won their last two in the league to rise into seventh spot in the table, while Granada occupy ninth, just two points behind their opponents here.

Match preview

Barcelona's Nelson Semedo in action with Granada's Darwin Machis in La Liga on September 21, 2019© Reuters

Promoted as Segunda Division runners-up last season, Granada have not finished higher than 15th in Spain's top flight since the 1973-74 campaign but are chasing a potential European spot this time around.

Indeed, a total of 42 points from 29 matches has left El Grana in ninth spot in the table, two points behind seventh-placed Villarreal and just four points off Atletico Madrid in sixth.

Diego Martinez's side have only lost one of their last eight in the league, picking up four wins in the process to leave themselves comfortably in the top half of the division.

They recorded a 2-1 win over Getafe on their return to action after the lockdown period on June 12 before picking up a point away to Real Betis on Monday night.

Villarreal boss Javi Calleja pictured in November 2017© Reuters

Villarreal, meanwhile, have won both their matches since returning to action on June 13, first recording a 1-0 victory at Celta Vigo before beating Mallorca by the same scoreline on Tuesday night.

The Yellow Submarine entered the lockdown period off the back of three straight defeats but have picked up two important victories since to leave themselves in seventh position in the table.

As it stands, Javi Calleja's side are only two points off sixth-placed Atletico and three behind Getafe in fifth, while they sit just three off fourth-placed Real Sociedad in the race for Champions League football.

Villarreal did not finish outside of the top six in La Liga between 2013 and 2018 but ended last season in 14th and will therefore be determined to claim a European spot this time around.

The two teams played out a 4-4 draw in the reverse game at the Estadio de la Ceramica back in August, while they also shared the points in a 1-1 draw when they last locked horns at the home of Granada in 2016.

Granada La Liga form: WWDDWD
Granada form: (all competitions) WDWDWD

Villarreal La Liga form: WLLLWW

Team News

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong in action with Granada's Yangel Herrera in La Liga on September 21, 2019© Reuters

Granada were without Colombian midfielder Yangel Herrera against Betis through suspension, but the 22-year-old is available for this match and should return to the XI.

The likes of Alvaro Vadillo, Alex Martinez and Angel Montoro remain doubts, though, while Quini and Neyder Lozano are definitely still on the sidelines through injury.

Carlos Fernandez's goal against Betis should see him keep his spot in the final third at the expense of Roberto Soldado, while Antonio Puertas is also expected to retain his position.

As for Villarreal, key centre-back Pau Torres is suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up against Mallorca, while Bruno Soriano and Ramiro Funes Mori are still injured.

Vicente Iborra is back from suspension, though, and should return to the middle of the park.

Carlos Bacca's goal last time out could see the Colombian retain his spot in the side, although Gerard Moreno is expected to return to the front three, potentially at Paco Alcacer's expense.

Granada possible starting lineup:
Silva; Foulquier, Sanchez, Vallejo, Neva; Eteki, Herrera; Machis, Vito, Puertas; Fernandez

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Quintilla, Moreno; Cazorla, Iborra, Trigueros; Moreno, Bacca, Chukwueze

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We say: Granada 1-1 Villarreal

Both of these sides will be eyeing a European finish in Spain's top flight, meaning that it is set to be a very interesting battle on Friday night. Both teams have been in good form since returning to action, and we are therefore finding it hard to separate them, ultimately backing a 1-1 draw.

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