Sporting Gijon vs Granada Preview

Striker Mate Bilic believes team spirit will help Sporting Gijon turn positive performances into La Liga points.

Football News: Sporting Gijon, Alberto Botia

Basement boys Sporting head into Saturday's clash with fellow strugglers Granada on the back of games against Sevilla and Barcelona, both of which ended in defeat despite positive performances.

Bilic, who made a positive contribution from the bench against Sevilla to set up Diego Barral's consolation goal, knows points are all that matter.

He told a press conference broadcast on his club's website: "I am ready to play and above all help the group. This is a team, there are no squabbles and in Seville we demonstrated that we are still alive.

"However now we have to start picking up points because if you don't La Liga punishes you. It all depends on us.

"I had half an hour (against Sevilla) and I know there are certain things I could have done better. But the same can be said for the team collectively.

"We didn't win, we are still bottom and we have to change this. On Saturday we have a good opportunity to do so."

Coach Manuel Preciado made a number of changes to the side early in the season but seems to have struck a balance in the past few weeks and has been heartened by the performances, despite being left with still only one point from his side's first seven games.

One of those changes since the opening games of the campaign has been the return of Nacho Cases from injury and the Portuguese midfielder has brought a bit more calm and precision to the Sporting midfield, replacing the more defensive ball-winning capabilities of Sebastian Eguren.

Granada have, like Sporting, had problems scoring goals this season. Their tally of two after seven games is the lowest by any side in Spain's top division in 10 years and they have more injury worries in the forward positions ahead of this weekend.

Alex Geijo and Dani Benitez are doubts after picking up knocks against Atletico Madrid last weekend, whilst Odion Ighalo has been given leave by the club for personal reasons.

In midfield Carlos Martins is out for three to four weeks with a quad injury but Hassan Yebda has recovered from the problem that kept him out against Atleti and will take his place in the starting line-up.



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