The lowdown on Granada CF

The lowdown on Granada CF

FC Barcelona travel to Andalusia on Saturday (9.00pm CEST), and it's time to take a closer look at the Nazaries

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. It’s 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. The team generally hovered between the first and second divisions, but from the 1980s onwards spent three decades in the lower leagues.

Recent years have sparked a revival. Granada was back in La Liga for the first time in 35 years in 2011. And after dropping back to the second for the last two years, the Nazaríes (the nickname comes from the Moorish dynasty that ruled Granada in the Middle Ages) won their way back into the top flight last season.

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.

The squad

Players with international caps: Maxime Gonalons (France, 8), Roberto Soldado (Spain, 12), İsmail Köybaşı (Turkey, 23), Ramon Azeez (Nigeria, 4), Adrián Ramos (Colombia, 37), Yangel Herrera (Venezuela, 15), Darwin Machís (Venezuela, 19)

Players with a Barça past: José Antonio Martínez (Barça B)

Most Liga goals 2019/20: Antonio Puertas (2)

Most Liga assists 2019/20: Ángel Montoro (3, joint top in La Liga with Ander Capa of Athletic)

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 second place Division 2 last season.

FC Barcelona v Granada (1-0)

The season so far

It’s been a fine start to the season for Granada, where curiously their sole defeat has come in their only home fixture so far, the Andalusian derby with Sevilla:

Villarreal 4-4 Granada
Granada 0-1 Sevilla
Espanyol 0-3 Granada
Celta 0-2 Granada 

The stats

Barça lost 1-0 when they went to Granada in 2014, but won the other 15 of the last 16 meetings between the sides.

Granada have a 2-2-2 record against teams coached by Ernesto Valverde, but this will be the first time they have faced him as Barça manager.

Los Nuevos Cármenes was the place where Barça clinched the 2015/16 league title with a 3-0 victory (all thanks to a Luis Suárez hat-trick) on the final day of the championship. The only time we have been back since, we won 4-1. Let’s hope the good form continues on Saturday.

The quotes

Manager Diego Martínez: “Not even the most optimistic of our fans imagined we’d have seven points after four games … Facing Barça is not a problem, it’s a blessing considering that last September we were in the second division."

Venezuela international Yangel Herrera: "This team always goes out to compete whoever we are playing. We know that Barça are a great team, and what they do, but if we work hard we can cause them damage. We’re optimistic about this match.”

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