German midfielder’s stunner helps Los Blancos beat Valencia in semis
Valencia and Granada headlines day two of the 2021/22 La liga season with three more games lined up later in the day.
The hosts earned a point on the opening day with a goalless draw against Villarreal, while Granada began with a 1-0 win over Getafe.
Four of the last five matches between Granada and Valencia have ended with a win for the home team, however, a rejuvenated Granada could be out to cause an upset.
Granada burly center back Neyder Lozano is ruled out of this particular fixture with a fractured tibia, and will be side-lined for an extended period of time.
Cameroonian Yan Eteki is also a doubt, having missed out on the season opener, but the presence of Maxime Gonalons and Luis Milla should line up in the midfield in his absence.
The attacking line for Granada will be led by Colombian forward Luis Suárez, who earned a move after hitting 19 league goals in the 2019-20 season for Real Zaragoza in the Spanish second tier.
Valencia on the other hand will be without midfielder Hugo Guillamon, who is serving suspension following his straight red card against Getafe.
The home team will favour their chances on the ever present duo of Goncalo Guedes and Maxi Gomez, supported by the attacking threat of wingers Carlos Soler and Denis Cheryshev to deliver the much-needed results.
With the exclusion of goalkeepers Jasper Cillesen and Jaume Domenech due to injuries, Twenty-year-old Giorgi Mamardashvili is expected to maintain his clean sheets in his second successive game.
In other games of the day, Barcelona will be looking to make it back-to-back wins when they travel to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night.
Ronald Koeman's side opened their season with a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad last weekend, while Athletic played out a goalless draw with Elche in their first fixture.
The dust has settled on Lionel Messi's exit, and the Catalan giants will be in search of their 27th Spanish league title this season.