Thu, 22 Oct 2020

MADRID, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Spanish La Liga club Granada have to put Sunday's disastrous performance away to Atletico Madrid behind them if they are to book a place in the group stage of the Europa League on Thursday evening.

The side coached by Diego Martinez had kicked off their campaign with league wins at home to Athletic Club and Alaves, while also getting through two Europa League qualifying rounds, with a 4-0 victory away to Albanian outfit, Teuta and a 2-0 win at home to Locomotive Tbilisi a week ago.

However, the wheels came off on Sunday as they crashed to a 6-1 defeat away to Atletico Madrid, who tore Granada's usually solid defense apart time after time.

Martinez had fielded something approaching his strongest side in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and the only conclusion is that perhaps some of them were thinking about Thursday's visit to Sweden to play Malmo.

Roberto Soldado will probably replace Jorge Molina in the Granada starting 11 on Thursday, while the Darwin Machis will also probably start with Antonio Puertas perhaps dropping to the bench for the Chinese owned club.

Malmo cruised past Croatian side, NK Lokomotiva 5-0 at home in the last qualifying round, they have a lot more European experience than the Spanish side (who are making their debut in Europe this campaign) and they are tough to beat at home.

Since 2013 the Swedes have played 30 matches at home, winning 18, drawing six and losing six, with the defeats coming against powerful sides such as Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus and Wolfsburg to show the scale of the task facing Granada.

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