La Liga

Zidane hopeful that Granada can do Madrid a favour

Zinedine Zidane remains optimistic that Real Madrid can overhaul Barcelona and win La Liga after a dramatic penultimate round of fixtures on Sunday.

Madrid go into the final day of the season one point behind Barca and as the only team able to prevent the reigning champions from retaining their crown after Atletico Madrid slipped up at Levante.

Zidane’s team were good value for their 3-2 victory over Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu - earned by a Cristiano Ronaldo brace and a goal from the returning Karim Benzema - and they have now won 11 league games in a row.

Madrid head to Deportivo La Coruna on the final day while Barca visit Granada, who made sure they will remain in Spain’s top flight with an excellent 4-1 win at Sevilla.

However, despite the euphoria of rubber-stamping safety at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Zidane is hopeful that Granada will be motivated against Luis Enrique’s side.

The Frenchman told his post-match media conference: “We have to continue building up points and hope Granada do well in their game. We’ll do what we can to win our game.

“Now we are second, there’s one game left and anything could happen - you never know in football. We have to be aware of that fight until the final whistle.

“But the first thing we have to do is make sure we win our game - it won’t be easy, we know that.”

With a Champions League final against Atletico on the horizon, Zidane was asked whether he will consider shuffling his pack at the Riazor.

“We’ll rotate the side, but we’re only thinking about Deportivo,” he added.

“Then we have 15 days to prepare for the Champions League final. We’ll fight until the last minute.”

Benzema played just over an hour before being substituted as he continues his recovery from a hamstring problem, and Zidane thinks his compatriot is approaching full fitness again.

He added: “It wasn’t easy for him because he has not been physically well for a while, but he’s better now and the pains have gone.”

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