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May 22, 2022 at 7pm UK at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes
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Preview: Granada vs. Espanyol - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Granada vs. Espanyol - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Granada and Espanyol, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Granada are at risk of being relegated on the final day of La Liga, currently sitting 16th and just one point above 18th-placed Mallorca ahead of Sunday's fixtures.

Espanyol visit the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes this weekend, when the visitors can only climb one spot from 13th, while they could finish 15th with defeat against Granada.

Match preview

Aitor Karanka's side moved away from the relegation zone after putting together a four-game unbeaten run, but that ended last weekend and they enter this match on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Real Betis.

Granada had their chances in that clash, but they were not as clinical as their hosts, in particular left winger Juanmi, who netted a brace against goalkeeper Luis Maximiano.

After a seventh and ninth-placed finish in the last two years, Granada have fallen significantly short of those feats, but, importantly, their top-flight status is in their hands on the final day this year.

Victory against Espanyol will guarantee Sunday's hosts a place in La Liga next season, and they will be confident about collect maximum points given the visitors' poor record away from home.

Granada have picked up only five more points on their own patch compared to their total on the road, but crucially for this encounter, Espanyol have won just once on their travels during this campaign.

Vicente Moreno was released from his duties at Espanyol earlier this month, with Luis Blanco in the dugout for the final two matches of the season, including a 1-1 draw against Valencia last time out.

The visitors took the lead in that match, but after Javier Puado's 43rd-minute strike was ruled out for offside, Raul de Tomas equalised for Espanyol and saved them from a fifth defeat in their last seven outings.

Having bounced back to La Liga from the second division at the first time of asking last year, after being relegated in 2020, a 13th-placed finish for Espanyol may be viewed in a positive light as a stabilising position to build on next year.

Overall, Espanyol have not been effective enough in both 18-yard boxes away from home, having only scored 15 goals while conceding 34 in 18 matches on their travels, suggesting that the hosts are favourites on Sunday.

Adria Pedrosa and Tomas were on target for Espanyol in the reverse fixture in November, when Granada failed to convert any of their chances at the RCDE Stadium.

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

Espanyol La Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D

Team News

Carlos Neva, Raul Torrente and Ruben Rochina will continue to be absent for Granada due to injury, but there are no new injury or suspension concerns for Karanka to worry about.

Luis Suarez returned to the starting 11 last time out, and he is expected to line up alongside Jorge Molina and Antonio Puertas, who both add vast experience to the forward line.

Right-back Santiago Arias made his first start last weekend since December, and he is likely to retain his place in the back four, which will also include Quini, Domingos Duarte and Victor Diaz.

Espanyol's top goalscorer Tomas is suspended for this fixture, and he will be a major miss in attack for the visitors, who will also be without Keidi Bare and Manu Morlanes due to injury.

Midfielder Yangel Herrera will be available for selection again after serving his suspension last weekend, and he is likely to operate in a midfield three with Sergi Darder and Oscar Melendo.

In Tomas's absence, there will be more emphasis on Puado to find the back of the net, looking to add to his four goals in La Liga this season.

Granada possible starting lineup:
Maximiano; Quini, Duarte, Diaz, Arias; Collado, Gonalons, Milla; Suarez, Molina, Puertas

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Cabrera, Lopez, Gomez, Sanchez; Melendo, Herrera, Darder; Ribaudo, Puado, Embarba

We say: Granada 1-0 Espanyol

With top goalscorer Tomas unavailable, Espanyol are likely to struggle in the attacking third even more so than they already have during the season away from home.

Granada still need to pick up points to secure their safety which gives the hosts extra motive, and that is likely to be a key feature in the result on Sunday.

For additional data used by our team to analyse our suggested result please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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