MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 09:47:14| >> :120:5675:5675:
Apr 3, 2021 at 1pm UK at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes

Soldado (38'), Quini (45+1')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Moreno (9' pen., 18', 60' pen.)
Parejo (22'), Gaspar (43')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Granada and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Saturday's La Liga action kicks off with Villarreal's trip to Andalusia for their crucial clash with Diego Martinez's high-flying Granada side.

A win for the visitors could see them leapfrog Real Betis and Real Sociedad into sixth place, while three points for Granada would put the Nasrids within touching distance of Villarreal in the standings.

Match preview

Villarreal's Gerard Moreno celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Real Madrid on November 21, 2020© Reuters

After managing to overcome a mid-season blip in form with back-to-back league wins against Eibar and Cadiz, Unai Emery's seventh-placed Villarreal side are now firmly back on the hunt for European football next season.

Against Cadiz, before the international break, seasoned marksmen Gerard Moreno and Carlos Bacca were on target for the Yellow Submarine, with Emery's men winning 2-1 at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

With four braces in all competitions this season, Moreno is starting to become the club's main man up top and Villarreal certainly missed the 28-year-old poacher during his lengthy injury lay-off earlier in the campaign.

On international duty, Moreno also backed up his club credentials with a 75th minute headed goal for the Spanish national team, securing the points against Kosovo earlier this week.

Out of the 13 La Liga encounters between Villarreal and Granada, the Yellow Submarine have emerged victorious on seven occasions.

However, coming into this game, Emery will be well aware that his side have only won four of their last 15 league away games. If Villarreal can overcome their woes on the road, three points could very much be on the table for them this weekend.

Granada players celebrate overcoming Napoli in the Europa League on February 25, 2021© Reuters

In what has already been a wildly successful season so far for Granada, Martinez's side come into this game with one eye on the first leg of their mouth-watering Europa League quarter-final clash with Manchester United.

Yet, realistically, if Granada are to make it into the Europa League next season, they will need to up the ante in the league and that involves getting the better of Villarreal this weekend, something they have only accomplished twice in La Liga.

Currently eighth in the league, Granada have managed to keep pace with the big boys once again this season, but with the most goals conceded out of all the sides in the division (46), Martinez has been forced to rely on his stellar array of attackers.

Last time out in the league, Granada were undone by Valencia, losing 2-1 on the night, with Roberto Soldado picking up a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the game.

Having just about weathered a major injury crisis at the club in recent weeks, Martinez will certainly be wary of how fatigue could impact his side in the last stages of the campaign.

Granada La Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Granada form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Villarreal La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Villarreal form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Granada's Kenedy celebrates scoring their second goal with Jorge Molina on February 18, 2021© Reuters

The international break came at a good time for Granada, with the treatment room at the club beginning to get a bit crowded.

Martinez will no doubt be thankful that some of his men are now returning to full fitness.

However, absentees ahead of this weekend's clash include Luis Milla, Alberto Soro, Dimitri Foulquier, Neyder, Luis Suarez and Pepe Sanchez.

Emery will likely name a largely unchanged side to the one that beat Cadiz last time out, however, Paco Alcacer could replace Moreno during the game in order to preserve the attacker's energy for their midweek Europa League clash with Dynamo Zagreb.

Makeshift midfielder Juan Foyth, who is suspended for this weekend's tie, is expected to be replaced by Moi Gomez or Yeremi Pino, a move that would alter the shape of Emery's side.

Francis Coquelin is the only other absentee coming into this game.

Granada possible starting lineup:
Silva; Quini, Duarte, Sanchez, Diaz; Kenedy, Herrera, Quina, Eteki, Vico; Soldado

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Mario, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan; Chukwueze, Parejo, Gomez, Trigueros; Moreno, Bacca

SM words green background

We say: Granada 2-2 Villarreal

On paper, this game looks like a fairly winnable contest for Villarreal, whose attack could cause trouble at the back for Martinez's defenders. Yet, Granada are notoriously unpredictable and it would be foolish to write them off.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data

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CAtletico MadridAtletico38268467254286
2Real Madrid38259467283984
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8Celta Vigo381411135557-253
10Athletic Bilbao381113144642446
RReal Valladolid38516173457-2331

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