Quique Sanchez Flores will run the rule over Watford new boys Abdoulaye Doucoure and Adalberto Penaranda if they feature against Real Madrid this evening.
Watford’s head coach will watch Granada’s home La Liga game from his north London residence and, if they are selected, will be keen to see how Penaranda and Doucoure fare against Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and co.
“Now they belong to Watford we can check them again,” the head coach told us. “We check Doucoure a lot already and also Penaranda, but now we watch them through the eyes of Watford. It’s different now when you see them through the Watford eyes.”
Doucoure cost Watford €6m to bring him from Rennes while Penaranda, we are told by a senior source late last week, will set Watford back £8m if he is in Watford’s Premier League squad next season. The thinking is, at this stage, that both players will be part of next season’s first-team plans.
Penaranda, 18, has not featured for Granada, where he has been on loan from Udinese, since the 5-1 mauling at Elbar on January 18 but Granada coach Jose Ramon Sandoval has not been shy in pitching him against the big boys, playing him in successive matches against Sevilla, Valencia and Barcelona at the turn of the year.
Granada certainly need Doucoure to help provide some fresh impetus. They have lost five of the last six and are second from bottom, two points from safety. Real Madrid, in contrast, have won ten of the last 13 matches and scored 17 goals in their last four.
• Granada v Real Madrid, 7.30pm KO, Sky Sports 1