High-flying Granada host a struggling Valencia at the Nuevo Estadio Los Cármenes on Wednesday, as La Liga bids adieu to 2020 with its final matchday for the year.
Since winning promotion back to the top division in 2019, Granada have impressed everyone in Spanish football with their continued overachieving success.
After finishing the last season ranked a high seventh in the league, Diego Martinez's men have shown no sign of being one-season-wonders. They once again sit seventh in La Liga with 21 points from 14 games.
The Nazaries, however, had to face defeat in their previous game, away at Champions Real Madrid on Wednesday. Casemiro's second-half header and Benzema's sweet finish in stoppage-time handed the Andalusian side their fifth defeat of the season.
Meanwhile, as anticipated after selling a host of stars in the summer, Valencia are having one of their worst ever seasons in La Liga. Los Che are 14th in the league table, just one point above the relegation zone.
Javi Gracia's side faced a 1-0 defeat at home to Sevilla in their previous game, with a long-range effort from Suso in the 81st minute giving the visitors all three points.
Valencia could be looking at the prospect of a first relegation in 35 years if their fortunes and performances don't turn around soon enough.
Granada vs Valencia Head-to-Head
Granada have never managed to beat Valencia in La Liga in the 14 games between the two clubs in the history of the competition. Their meetings in the Primera division have ended in 11 wins for Valencia and three draws.
Their only win ever against Valencia came in last season's Copa Del Rey, when Roberto Soldado's stoppage-time penalty ended the Andalusian side's drought against his former club.
Granada form guide in La Liga: L-W-W-D-L
Valencia form guide in La Liga: L-D-D-D-L
Granada vs Valencia Team News
Striker Darwin Machis joins the long list of injuries for Granada who were already missing four other first-team players from the squad.
In addition, the club announced that Luis Milla has tested positive for coronavirus and would begin self-isolation. However, Maxime Gonalons should return to the starting line-up after missing the trip to Madrid due to a one-game suspension.
Injured: Darwin Machis , Fede Vico, Angel Montoro, Victor Diaz, Neyder Lozano
COVID-19: Luis Milla
For Valencia, Gabriel Paulista became the latest addition to the treatment table when the centre-half was subbed off early in the game against Sevilla. Uros Racic missed the previous game with physical discomfort and is likely to stay back for the side's trip to Granada.
Toni Lato's period of self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 is over, but it's not sure if the left-back will be fit for selection just yet.
Injured: Gabriel Paulista, Uros Racic, Hugo Guillamon, Jasper Cillessen, Kevin Gameiro
Doubtful: Toni Lato
Granada vs Valencia Predicted Line-up
Granada Predicted XI (4-3-3): Rui Silva (GK); Dimitri Foulquier, Domingos Duarte, German Sanchez, Carlos Neva; Yangel Herrera, Maxime Gonalons, Luis Milla; Antonio Puertas, Roberto Soldado, Luis Suarez
Valencia Predicted XI (4-4-2): Jaume Domenech; Daniel Wass, Mouctar Diakhaby, Eliaquim Mangala, Jose Gaya; Denis Cheryshev, Carlos Soler, Lee Kang-in, Jason; Goncalo Guedes, Maxi Gomez
Granada vs Valencia Prediction
Valencia are scoring goals at a steady pace but struggle to outscore their opponents as for every goal they score, they concede one at the opposite end.
They have shown enough on the attacking end in recent games, with Maxi Gomez, Manu Vallejo and Carlos Soler firing. But with Gabriel injured, it doesn't seem like their defensive woes will end anytime soon.
Granada's added motivation to get a maiden La Liga win over Valencia should get them over the line on Wednesday.
Prediction: Granada 2-1 ValenciaPublished 28 Dec 2020, 23:25 IST