Granada travel to Albania for European debut

Source: Xinhua| 2020-09-16 16:39:01|Editor: huaxia

MADRID, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Spanish La Liga club Granada make their European debut on Thursday when they head to Albanian side Teuta for a Europa League qualifying tie.

The club, owned by Chinese businessman Jiang Lizhang, qualified for Europe for the first time in their history by finishing seventh last season, but their task is made more difficult with qualification decided over one game rather than over two legs as in previous campaigns, with the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a compressed calendar.

Granada are still without veteran signing Jorge Molina, who tested positive for COVID-19 just after joining the club, but that didn't affect coach Diego Martinez's men as they opened the new La Liga season with a 2-0 home victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Martinez will probably name the same starting 11 in Albania, with Roberto Soldado leading the attack and wingers Darwin Machis and Antonio Puertas providing pace on the break in front of a midfield consisting of new signing Luis Milla, Yangel Herrera and Angel Montoro.

Teuta beat Israeli side Beitar Jerusalem 2-0 in the previous round and may have the advantage of greater match fitness, although Granada have greater quality, which they will need to show if they want to advance to the penultimate qualifying round on September 24. Enditem

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