MX23RW : Wednesday, September 29 03:05:34| >> :600:416069:416069:
Oct 23, 2020 at 8pm UK at Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero
Josan (19'), Fidel (37')
Guti (77'), Fidel (86'), Barragan (90+3')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Lato (74')
Paulista (45'), Lato (90+5')

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

Sports Mole previews Friday's La Liga clash between Elche and Valencia, including team news and predicted lineups.

Valencia will be looking to recover from back-to-back defeats when they continue their 2020-21 La Liga campaign away to Elche on Friday night.

Los Che are currently 13th in the table with seven points to show from their six matches, while Elche have also claimed seven points at this stage but have only played four times in the league this term.

Match preview

Elche manager Jorge Almiron pictured while in charge of San Lorenzo in May 2019© Reuters

Elche will certainly have been encouraged by their start to the season, with a record of two wins, one draw and one defeat from four matches representing an impressive opening for Jorge Almiron's side.

Los Franjiverdes started their campaign with a 3-0 defeat to Real Sociedad but put three points on the board four days later by recording an impressive 1-0 victory at Eibar.

Almiron's team then shared the points with Huesca before the international break before returning to winning ways last weekend with a 2-0 success at Alaves courtesy of goals from Pere Milla and Tete Morente.

Elche secured a return to Spain's top flight for the 2020-21 campaign by advancing through the Segunda Division playoffs last term, overcome Girona at the end of August.

The Green-striped ones last competed in La Liga in 2014-15, when they actually finished 13th but were relegated to the second tier because of unpaid debts to the tax authorities. A further relegation to the third tier of Spanish football for the 2017-18 campaign was an indication of their struggles at the time, but they are now back at the top level and will be determined to consolidate.

Javi Gracia in charge of Watford on February 2, 2019© Reuters

Valencia, meanwhile, have won two, drawn one and lost three of their six league matches to sit 13th in the table on seven points, just three points outside of the relegation zone.

Los Che made a fairly encouraging start to the campaign but have now lost their last two, suffering a 2-0 defeat to Real Betis on October 13 before being beaten 2-1 at Villarreal last weekend.

Head coach Javi Gracia recently revealed that he wants to leave the Mestalla and is only remaining in his position due to a contractual obligation, while key midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia has hit out at the club's chairman Anil Murthy on social media, accusing the 47-year-old of 'destroying an ambitious project'.

The likes of Dani Parejo, Francis Coquelin, Ferran Torres, Rodrigo Moreno, Cristiano Piccini and Ezequiel Garay all moved on during the summer transfer window, while Garcia was unable to improve his team.

Valencia's squad is still full of talent, but it is very difficult to imagine them claiming a European spot this season, and the future of the club under owner Peter Lim is certainly unclear.

Elche La Liga form: LWDW

Valencia La Liga form: WLDWLL

Team News

Geoffrey Kondogbia pictured ahead of a Champions League match for Valencia in November 2019© Reuters

Elche will again be without the services of Josema Sanchez on Friday due to a hamstring issue, while Lucas Boye and Miguel Angel Cifuentes remain doubts with ankle and muscular issues respectively.

There seems little reason for Almiron to change the side that impressively won at Alaves on Sunday, meaning that the goalscorers from that game, Milla and Morente, should continue in attack.

Guido Carrillo is one of the players pushing for a spot in the starting XI after featuring off the bench last time out, but the home side's head coach is unlikely to shuffle his pack here.

As for Valencia, Gabriel Paulista's return from injury has given the team a timely boost, particularly as Eliaquim Mangala is still on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.

Kondogbia's involvement is the main talking point in terms of team selection for the visitors as the Frenchman was unable to take part against Villarreal due to a muscular injury.

Gracia is expected to make changes from the side that lost against the Yellow Submarine, with Denis Cheryshev and Kevin Gameiro both pushing for spots in the side.

Kondogbia's absence would see Carlos Soler line up in central midfield once again, but the latter could be moved wide if the former can prove his fitness in the build-up to kickoff on Friday night.

Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Barragan, Verdu, Calvo; Josan, Guti, Marcone, Fidel; Morente, Milla, Sanchez

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Domenech; Correia, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Gaya; Cheryshev, Wass, Soler, Guedes; Gameiro, Gomez

SM words green background

We say: Elche 1-1 Valencia

Valencia are in desperate need of a positive result, but it will not be a straightforward 90 minutes against Elche, who have impressed many with their performances early in the season. We are expecting a tight game at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on Friday night and fancy a low-scoring draw.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a draw 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:data

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Geoffrey Kondogbia pictured ahead of a Champions League match for Valencia in November 2019
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