Osasuna v Granada preview
Osasuna manager Jose Luis Mendilibar has warned his side they are facing one of the Primera Division's in-form sides when they play Granada on Sunday.
Last Updated: 25/02/12 3:43pm
Osasuna manager Jose Luis Mendilibar has warned his side they are facing one of the Primera Division's in-form sides when they play Granada Sunday.
Granada have won three out of four since Abel Resino was brought in last month and Mendilibar believes the change since the former Atletico Madrid manager took charge is clear to see.
He told the club's website: "Granada are one of the best teams right now. They know how they want to play and they are going about things in the right manner. They know what their coach wants them to do and they are executing it 100%."
Mendilibar was frustrated by how his side started in last weekend's 2-0 defeat away at Sevilla, but is confident there will be no repeat back at the Reyno de Navarra stadium.
"Away from home it takes us a while to get into the match, it seems we need a slap to get started. At home that's not the case," he said.
"Moreover, we have the fans to wake us up. If we're in need of it they will give us a whistle to sharpen us up. Although I hope we don't need it, they are there for this reason too, not just to cheer us on. We need to do things to show them at the very least what we are trying to achieve."
Raul Garcia will return for the hosts after missing the Sevilla game through suspension and Roland Lamah and Ibrahima Balde could also be included from the start after coming on as substitutes in that game.
Resino, meanwhile, believes Granada must match Osasuna's work rate if they are to take anything from the game.
He told AS: "It is a difficult place to go and take something but we are ambitious against any opponent because you never know where you can achieve a positive result.
"If you are not at your very best games against Osasuna are very difficult. They are known for their work rate as they all run and fight and therefore we have to be prepared to do the same against a top level opponent."
Resino will be forced into rejigging his backline as Guilherme Siqueira is suspended and Inigo Lopez injured so Borja Gomez will move across to left-back with Pape Diakhate is expected to come in at centre-back.
Best bet: Osasuna with -1 handicap - 5/2