The lowdown on Granada CF

The lowdown on Granada CF

Barça's next opponents in the Copa del Rey are in eighth place in La Liga and enjoying their first ever season of European football

On Wednesday at 9.00pm CET Barça take on Granada in the Nuevo de Los Cármenes stadium in Andalusia for the second time in less than a month as the two teams face off for a place in the semi finals of this season's Copa del Rey. The blaugranes came out on top in their meeting back in early January in La Liga thanks to a comprehensive 4-0 win. Can they repeat the trick in the cup? Let's have a look at the club that stands between the blaugranes and a place in the last four. 

The city

With a population of around 470,000 people, the beautiful Andalusian city of Granada sits beneath the Sierra Nevada, about an hour by car from the Mediterranean coast, and is a popular destination for students and tourists alike. Its most famous monument is the Alhambra, an Arab citadel and palace.

The club

Granada Club de Fútbol was founded in 1931, and its greatest achievement was reaching the cup final in 1959, which it lost 4-1 to Barça. But towards the end of the century, the club declined, and when Granada finally won promotion back into La Liga in 2011, it was their first appearance in the top flight for 35 years.

Last season the Nazaríes (the nickname comes from the Moorish dynasty that ruled Granada in the Middle Ages) finished 7th, their best position since 1974, and the prize was qualification for Europe for the first time in club history.

The stadium

The 19,336 capacity Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes was opened in 1995 and although it is on a different site to the former Los Cármenes, it has retained the name, which refers to the typical villas with gardens.

Head to head

Barça have won every game they have ever played at home to Granada, but the record is not quite so perfect on the road. There have been two nasty defeats for Barça at Los Cármenes in recent memory. In 2014, a 1-0 loss in Granada put a major dent in Barça’s title bid (Atlético Madrid eventually won the trophy), and Granada also upset Barça last season in the league, when Ramon Azeez and Álvaro Vadillo (pen) scored in a shock 2-0 win for the Andalusians. However, the recent win 4-0 win in La Liga in Andalusia will have given Ronald Koeman's confidence to get past their opponents in the one off cup tie on Wednesday. 

The side have met three times before in the cup, the most recent meeting being in the final way back in 1959 when the blaugranes took a 4-1 victory to claim one of their total of 30 victories in the competition. 

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The season so far

Following a great start, Granada were among the early frontrunners in La Liga. But just one point from four games in November meant they dropped off the pace. Things picked up before Christmas for the Andalusians but a run of just one league win in six matches in January means they have slipped to eighth place in La Liga. 

The distraction of Europa League fixtures midweek may be one of the reasons for Granada’s sometimes erratic form. After negotiating three qualifying rounds to reach the group stage, they qualified for the knockout phase second in their group behind PSV Eindhoven and ahead of PAOK (Greece) and Omonia (Cyprus). They’ll now face Napoli in the round of 32.

In the Copa del Rey they needed an extra time  goal from Darwin Machís for victory at Cultural Leonesa, before then following that up with victories over Second División Málaga in the last 32 and Second Division B side CDA Navalcarnero in the last 16. 

Players with international caps
Darwin Machís (Venezuela, 27), Yangel Herrera (Venezuela, 21), Roberto Soldado (Spain, 12), Maxime Gonalons (France, 8), Ramon Azeez (Nigeria, 6), Dimitri Foulquier (Guadeloupe, 2). Luis Suarez (Colombia, 1), Yan Eteki (Cameroon, 1), Domingos Duarte (Portugal, 1)

Top goalscorers 2020/21 (all competitions)
Jorge Molina (9), Luis Suárez (7), Yangel Herrera (6), Darwin Machís (6), Roberto Soldado (6)

Midfielder Luis Milla shares his name with his father, who was a product of the Barça youth system and played 54 games for the first team before leaving for Real Madrid in 1990.

Top scorer Jorge Molina, who recently joined from Getafe, scored twice for Betis in a 3-1 defeat of Barça in the cup in 2011 (Barça went on to win the tie with a 5-0 victory in the second leg).

The manager

Diego Martínez spent most of his coaching career in various roles at Sevilla, and after managing Osasuna for the 2017/18 season he joined Granada and guided them to promotion back into the first division.

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Força Barça

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