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China Daily Website

Real Madrid aim to keep feelgood factor at home

Updated: 2012-09-01 17:09
( Xinhua)

MADRID - Real Madrid will aim to maintain the feelgood factor after winning the Spanish Supercup when they entertain Granada in the BBVA Primera Liga on Sunday night.

The Supercup, which Madrid won on away goals after drawing 4-4 on aggregate with FC Barcelona, helped lift some of the gloom following a poor start to the campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia and a 2-1 defeat in Getafe.

The Getafe result especially saw Jose Mourinho complain about the attitude shown by some players and he was therefore content at the response in midweek.

Madrid need to maintain their response as they are currently five points behind Barcelona in the league and cannot allow that gap to grow any wider. The fact Madrid dropped a total of 14 points on the way to last season's league title shows how little margin for error there is between the top two sides in Spain.

Mourinho may make some changes to the side which kicked off on Wednesday with Karim Benzema coming into the starting 11 for Gonzalo Higuain, who opened the scoring, but also wasted several chances to have added to his tally.

Pepe will be back in heart of the Madrid defense after missing out in Getafe, while there is a chance Luka Modric may start following his impressive cameo in midweek. Mourinho may, however, opt to retain Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso in midfield and give Modric time as a second half substitute.

New signing Michael Essien will probably have to watch the game from the stands following his last minute arrival on a loan deal from Chelsea.

Granada travel to Madrid after drawing 1-1 at home to Sevilla last weekend and the game will be a stiff test for the side coached by former Alcorcon boss, Juan Anquela, who is making his debut with a top-flight club.

"I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about Real Madrid and what I am going to do about them. Then I ask myself the same question in the morning," commented Anquela Saturday in declarations which are unlikely to fill the hearts of the Granada faithful with optimism.