MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 01:13:39| >> :600:2604054:2604054:
Feb 20, 2021 at 1pm UK at Martinez Valero
ElcheElche
1-0
EibarEibar
Calvo (33')
Gonzalo (42'), Marcone (53')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Gil (90+2')

Preview: Elche vs. Eibar - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Elche and Eibar, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Winless in 16 consecutive league games, new Elche boss Fran Escriba will hope to make an instant impact at the club with a win over fellow strugglers Eibar at the Estadio Martinez Valero on Saturday.

Jose Luis Mendilibar's embattled Eibar side face their third relegation six-pointer in as many La Liga outings on Saturday. Los Armeros have picked up just two points from their last six league games.


Match preview

Elche's Fidel celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Real Madrid on December 30, 2020© Reuters

Times are changing at Elche, and fans will hope the team will experience something of a new manager bounce this weekend.

Former Elche boss Jorge Almiron announced his resignation following the team's 3-1 loss to Celta Vigo last time out.

"I've taken the decision to leave, I wish my players all the best," Almiron told reporters. "They gave everything in the match but unfortunately things didn't go our way."

Escriba has arrived at Elche with one objective firmly in mind - to save the club from relegation. "My only thought is that we don't get relegated," he told the press this week. "I don't want to think about next season in any way."

Against Eibar this weekend, Escriba faces the very real possibility of seeing his side fail to win their 17th league game on the bounce. The last time Elche failed to win 17 or more in a row in a single top-flight campaign was in 1970-71.

If recent history is anything to go by, Elche have the upper hand coming into this tie; the club beat Eibar 1-0 earlier this season, and if Escriba plays his cards right, they could repeat that feat this weekend.

Three points for Elche, who are currently 19th in the standings, could see them haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

Eibar manager Jose Luis Mendilibar pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Seventeenth-placed Eibar have picked up just two points from their last six games, meaning Mendilibar will be walking on particularly thin ice on Saturday.

Eibar, who only managed to pick up one point from must-win games against relegation rivals Osasuna and Real Valladolid in recent weeks, are desperately in need of a win coming into this tie.

Fortunately for Eibar, the team have proven to be a lot more effective away from home this season. Thirteen of Eibar's 21 points have come from games on the road and Mendilibar will hope his side can find more fortune on their travels this weekend.

Against Valladolid last time out, Mendilibar's men were lucky to come away from the tie with one point to show for their efforts. A 1-1 draw perfectly reflected the lacklustre nature of the contest.

Kike Garcia, who came to his side's rescue against Valladolid, has scored seven goals in 22 appearances so far this season and a goal this weekend could see him equal his best tally in a single season in La Liga.

Elche La Liga form: LDLLDL
Elche form (all competitions): LDLLDL

Eibar La Liga form: LLDLLD
Eibar form (all competitions): LLDLLD


Team News

Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar pictured in September 2019© Reuters

Escriba will be without a number of squad players for his first game back in charge of the club.

Fidel, Nino, Jony and Gerard Barri are all out injured this weekend.

Mendilibar has been largely fortunate in regard to absentees this season and this tie will be no different.

Rober and Kevin Rodrigues remain out with muscular injuries.

Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Angel, Gonzalo, Gonzalez, Mojica; Josan Fernandez, Guti, Marcone, Rigoni; Carrillo, Boye

Eibar possible starting lineup:
Dmitrovic; Pozo, Oliveira, Arbilla, Rafa; Inui, Diop, Exposito, Gil; Enrich, Kike


SM words green background

We say: Elche 1-1 Eibar

What we have here is a relegation dogfight between both of La Liga's most out-of-form outfits. Desperation always tends to play a big part in these types of fixtures, but we do not think anything will separate the two sides.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CAtletico MadridAtletico38268467254286
2Real Madrid38259467283984
3Barcelona38247785384779
4Sevilla38245953332077
5Real Sociedad3817111059382162
6Real Betis381710115050061
7Villarreal3815131060441658
8Celta Vigo381411135557-253
9Granada38137184765-1846
10Athletic Bilbao381113144642446
11Osasuna381111163748-1144
12CadizCadiz381111163658-2244
13Valencia381013155053-343
14Levante38914154657-1141
15Getafe38911182843-1538
16AlavesAlaves38911183657-2138
17ElcheElche38812183455-2136
RHuesca38713183453-1934
RReal Valladolid38516173457-2331
REibarEibar38612202952-2330

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