Rodriguez returns for Madrid

With Barcelona not in action until later in the day, Los Blancos can close the gap at the top of the table to one point with victory, but really need to make a statement of intent after a period of inconsistency.

The 2-1 defeat in the Nou Camp two weeks ago was Real???s third defeat in four in all competitions ??? a run which has seen them leapfrogged by Barca at the top of the table.

The form of Gareth Bale has been talk of the Spanish capital, and after the international break, the Welshman will be key to ensuring Carlo Ancelotti???s men get their campaign back on track.

One win in their last seven league games has seen Granada slip to 19th, and are currently two points from safety ahead of their daunting trip to the Bernabeu.

Madrid boss Ancelotti will have a full compliment of midfielders to choose from for the first time in five months as James Rodriguez should make his return from a broken bone in his foot.

The Colombian will probably have to settle for a place on the bench with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco keeping their places in the side that lost at the Camp Nou last time out.

Meanwhile Raphael Varane should replace the injured Pepe in defence.