Espanyol vs Granada Preview

Granada midfielder Mikel Rico hopes his team can build on their positive performance against Real Valladolid last weekend when they face Espanyol.

Football News: Mikel Rico, Siquera, Diakhate

The Andalusians, who are just one point above the relegation zone, drew 1-1 with Miroslav Djukic's side but were the dominant team and could have taken all three points.

The result ended a run of three consecutive defeats and Rico is hoping for more of the same.

"The game with Valladolid left a good taste in the mouth and we are preparing for Espanyol in good spirits," he told a press conference.

"We know how to compete. The match against Valladolid is the way to go and against Espanyol we have to go all out from the start, we have to realise what we are playing for. We need to pick up points and win if possible."

The midfielder acknowledged that Espanyol were "one of the most in-form teams in the league" but was hoping his side can force the Catalans to have an off-day.

"Javier Aguirre [Espanyol coach] has done a great job with them, they are safe and going for Europe, but we have to make it clear on the pitch that one team is fighting for their lives and the other has less to play for," he added.

Midfielder Yacine Brahimi and forward Carlos Aranda are both available after overcoming injuries during the week but Jose Luis Garcia 'Recio' is suspended.

Espanyol midfielder Raul Baena declared that his team are fully committed to trying to qualify for the Europa League now they have secured their status in the league for next season.

A win at Getafe last week took the Catalans to 43 points and a win over Granada would take them level on points with Rayo Vallecano in the final European spot.

"We will give everything and take it game by game," Baena, who is confident of his team's chances, told reporters.

"The squad now has a clear idea of how we want to play and the players know what they need to do on the pitch and we are disciplined, organised and enthusiastic to keep on moving forward."

Winger Simao has been ruled of the game with Granada after picking up a calf injury in training, while Diego Colotto and Cristian Alvarez are both suspended.



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