Granada v Real Sociedad preview
Granada looking for strong home finish if they are to maintain their top flight status.
Last Updated: 18/02/12 3:25pm
Mikel Rico: Home form crucial to survival
Granada midfielder Mikel Rico has highlighted the club's home form as key to whether they survive in the Primera Division this season ahead of Sunday's home clash with Real Sociedad.
The Andalusians sit just one place above the relegation zone but have lost only three of their 11 home games so far this campaign, and Rico believes victory over Sociedad at Los Carmenes this weekend is a must.
Sky Bet Odds
Granada - 13/10, Draw - 9/4, Real Sociedad - 21/10 Bet now
He told newspaper AS: "Every game is important but clearly the success of the last two years has been based on good results at home. At Los Carmenes we need to take almost all the points we still need for survival.
"Sunday's game will be a difficult one between two teams in form. It is a vital game for us because afterwards our schedule gets very tough and we need to win no matter what it takes."
Pape Diakhate is the only absentee from Abel Resino's squad due to his sending-off at Villarreal last weekend, so Borja Gomez should continue alongside Inigo Lopez in central defence, while Henrique is expected to be given his first start.
Sociedad boss Philippe Montanier, meanwhile, has demanded more from his side despite moving up to 11th with a 2-0 win over Sevilla on Monday.
The Frenchman told the club's website: "I hope that the best is still to come. For the intensity, effort and quality of the players, our domination of the ball isn't enough, but I think we are going to improve."
Montanier is also hoping for more consistency from young midfielder Ruben Pardo after he starred and scored the second goal against Sevilla.
"The reaction to his performance has been a little excessive. For me he played a normal game and scored a goal because he has the best shot in the squad," he said.
"The hardest thing for him will be to retain his place and play many more games at this high level."
Antoine Griezmann is expected to regain his place behind Imanol Agirretxe in attack as Xabi Prieto is ill, while Asier Illarramendi could feature after three months out with a knee injury.
Best Bet: Draw 1-1 - 5/1
Spanish Primera BBVA
|15||Deportivo La Coruna||24||24|