There needs to be a winner at El Molinon on Sunday if Granada or Sporting Gijon are to have a fighting chance of staying up.
Sporting’s decision to part with club legend Abelardo Fernandez for ex-Levante and Real Valladolid boss Rubi has not made the desired effect, despite a minor upturn in performances, with the side some eight points adrift of safety in La Liga.
“We can’t trip up against Granada, we have to win by any means necessary,” said the Catalan at a Press conference.
“I see the players to be very calm but not relaxed. I haven’t noticed any anxiety, they know that the situation isn’t good but they come into this game from having a good one at Valencia and that’s positive.
“The fans need to be with the team from the first to last minute.”
The Asturians will be without defensive stalwart Fernando Amorebieta and creative midfielder Moi Gomez due to injury.
Granada have similarly been deprived of January signings Adrian Ramos and Hector Hernandez as consecutive defeats have dropped Granada back into deep trouble, the Andalusians just a point above their opponents.
“It’s a very decisive game for what can happen in the future,” admitted Coach Lucas Alcaraz.
“Change has to come in terms of mentality. By circumstance or for other reasons, we’ve not been able to play well or win away from home.”
Sporting Gijon: Marino; Douglas, Babin, Mere, Canella; Vesga; Carmona, Alvarez, Victor, Burgui; Carlos Castro
Injuries/suspensions: Cuellar (I), Cases (I), Cop (I), Amorebieta (I), Viguera (I), Moi (I)
Granada: Ochia; Foulquier, Gaston, Saunier, Ingason, Cuenca; Carcela, Uche, Angban; Boga, Pereira
Injuries/suspensions: Wakaso (S), Vezo (I), Hector (I), Adrian Ramos (I)
Referee: Estrada Fernandez
Form guide: Sporting (D L L D L) Granada (L L W L W)
Previous meeting: Granada 0-0 Sporting
Kick-off time: 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET