MX23RW : Monday, June 14 12:33:58| >> :120:61410:61410:
Mar 17, 2021 at 6pm UK at Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
En-Nesyri (43'), Vazquez (89')
Gomez (10'), Oscar (39')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Mojica (78')

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

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

Sevilla welcome Elche to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Wednesday in an important tie at both ends of the La Liga table.

The hosts will be looking to record a second consecutive league victory to put pressure on the top three, while Elche sit just one point above the relegation zone, with this acting as both sides' game in hand on the teams around them.

Match preview

Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Sevilla returned to winning ways last time out, defeating Real Betis 1-0 at home thanks to an impressive Youssef En-Nesyri finish in the first half.

That put an end to a four-game winless run in all competitions for Julen Lopetegui's side, including two league defeats.

One of those losses came against Wednesday's opponents, when Raul Guti and Guido Carillo fired Elche to a 2-1 home victory over Sevilla, before Luuk de Jong scored late to reduce the deficit to one goal.

Also included in that run was a draw in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund.

The German outfit came into the second leg with a 3-2 lead, and that was extended when Erling Braut Haaland netted a brace on the night to boost their aggregate lead to 5-2.

En-Nesyri then popped up with a brace to make the game level on the night, but his injury-time goal did not leave enough time for Lopetegui's side to grab an equaliser and they narrowly lost the tie.

As a result of their dip in league form, the Andalusian outfit have lost some crucial ground on La Liga's top sides, now sitting six points behind third-placed Real Madrid.

Lopetegui's men will be hoping to put that behind them in this game, as they look to record back-to-back victories and return to the form that they had before the recent blip.

However, they come up against an Elche side who will be looking to topple the Spanish heavyweights for the second time in less than two weeks on Wednesday, as they aim to drag themselves away from the drop zone.

Elche's Dani Calvo celebrates scoring their first goal with Cifu on March 13, 2021© Reuters

Fran Escriba's side looked like they were going to pick up an unlikely result in their last game, when Dani Calvo gave them a 1-0 lead on the hour mark away at Real Madrid.

That lead did not last too long though, as Karim Benzema netted an equaliser followed by an added-time winner to snatch all three points for the defending champions.

Despite coming out as eventual losers, that effort against the Spanish giants, coupled with the recent victory over Sevilla, should bring about positivity in the Elche camp.

Escriba's men have shown clear improvement in recent weeks, and he will be hoping to continue that in this game as his side aim to register a crucial win and move ahead of 16th-placed Real Valladolid.

More importantly, a victory on Wednesday would see them move four points clear of the drop zone, a much safer cushion with 11 games of the season left to play.

Sevilla La Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Sevilla form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Elche La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Sevilla's Jules Kounde celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey on February 10, 2021© Reuters

Despite a hectic schedule in recent weeks, Lopetegui has managed to keep his side in good shape with regard to injuries.

Their only notable injury concern is Aleix Vidal, who is expected to remain out with a hamstring injury.

However, they will also be missing centre-back Diego Carlos for this game, as he will serve a suspension after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in the victory over Real Betis.

In his absence, Karim Rekik could come into the starting lineup to partner Jules Kounde, who has impressed at the back this season.

Their line will be led by the clinical Youssef En-Nesyri, who comes into this game with three goals in his last two games, having netted his 14th La Liga goal of the season last time out.

Elche's only absentee should be midfielder Emiliano Rigoni, who remains out with a hamstring injury.

Escriba only made one change to his team for the clash with Real Madrid as Johan Mojica returned to the lineup at left-back, and he could keep a very similar side for this encounter given the commendable performance they put in at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bono; Navas, Kounde, Rekik, Acuna; Jordan, Fernando, Gomez; Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos

Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Barragan, Calvo, Gonzalo, Mojica; Morente, Guti, Marcone, Fidel; Carillo, Boye

SM words green background

We say: Sevilla 2-1 Elche

While Elche have undoubtedly shown improvement recently, we expect Lopetegui's side to outclass them on home turf and record a second consecutive league win on Wednesday.

The return to form of En-Nesyri could be a major factor for the hosts, who should have more than enough to break down a fairly weak Elche back line, especially with their main man firing.

Top tip

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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 13, 2021
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