Real Madrid and Granada meet in the 36th matchday of the La Liga campaign, as the Whites look to continue pressurizing Atletico Madrid.
With just three matches left to play in La Liga, the title race is set to go right down to the wire and Real Madrid are one of the contenders. The defending champions go up against Granada on Thursday evening and a win at the Nuevo Los Carmenes would send them two points clear of Barcelona at second place, two behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane continues to miss five players for the match in Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Lucas Vazquez, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos. Marcelo has been left out of the travelling squad as part of a technical decision by the coaching staff, whereas a number of Castilla players have been called up too.
Thibaut Courtois will keep his place in goal. He has been in good form and has been one of the best Real Madrid players this season. Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez will pair up yet again in the heart of defence, hoping to keep at bay a side which attacks with pace. Miguel Gutierrez will get his first start for the first team at left back. Alvaro Odriozola will complete a four-man backline by assuming the right back’s role.
Casemiro is one yellow card away from suspension but despite a trip to Athletic Bilbao beckoning this weekend, he will occupy the defensive midfielder’s role. With the fullbacks having the license to go forward, he will stay back and form a back three with Militao and Nacho when the Whites attack against Granada, a team which plays an effective low block.
Toni Kroos assisted twice against Sevilla last weekend and will keep his place on the left side of midfield. Federico Valverde may replace Luka Modric considering that the Croat has been overworked in recent weeks. The midfielders will be key in the creative department as they always have this season with their ability to find pinpoint passes.
Eden Hazard scored his first Real Madrid goal against Granada and will return to the side after being left out of the eleven against Sevilla. Marco Asensio had an instant impact off the bench on Sunday and he will get minutes versus Granada right from the start too. Karim Benzema, scoreless in his last three matches, will be the captain and the striker.