MX23RW : Thursday, January 27 20:11:11| >> :600:550573:550573:
Jan 16, 2022 at 1pm UK at Martinez Valero
Boye (78')
Gonzalo (10'), Mojica (87'), Gonzalez (90+3'), Milla (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Parejo (81'), Capoue (90+3'), Iborra (90+4')

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

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

Villarreal will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run in La Liga to six matches when they travel to Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero to face Elche on Sunday afternoon.

The Yellow Submarine are currently eighth in the table, boasting 29 points from their opening 20 matches, while Elche have collected 19 points from 20 games to occupy 16th position.

Match preview

Elche coach Francisco Rodriguez before the match on December 18, 2021© Reuters

Elche have won four, drawn seven and lost nine of their 20 La Liga matches this season to collect 19 points, which has left them in 16th spot in the table, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Los Franjiverdes will bring a three-game unbeaten run into this weekend's contest, though, having picked up four points from their last two league fixtures, in addition to beating Almeria in the Copa del Rey.

Elche have actually only lost one of their last five matches in all competitions, which came away to Barcelona, so the visitors should enter this match in good confidence, although they suffered a 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture away to Villarreal earlier this season.

Francisco's side will take on Real Madrid in back-to-back games after this one, welcoming Los Blancos in the Copa del Rey on January 18 before visiting Bernabeu in the league next weekend.

Despite their encouraging run of form, Elche are still very much in a relegation battle in Spain's top flight and will be wary of losing this match, as two of their next four are away to Real Madrid and Sevilla.

Villarreal's Pau Torres celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 9, 2022© Reuters

Villarreal, meanwhile, were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Sporting Gijon earlier this month, but the Yellow Submarine are still competing on two fronts, having advanced to the knockout round of the Champions League.

Unai Emery's side have also been in excellent form in the league, winning four of their last five matches, remaining unbeaten in the process, to move into eighth spot in the table, just four points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and only five behind Real Betis in third.

Villarreal played out a 2-2 draw with Atletico in their last league match, with Pau Torres and Alberto Moreno on the scoresheet for the home side at Estadio de la Ceramica.

The Yellow Submarine have had their problems in 2021-22 but only Real Madrid (45) have scored more La Liga goals this season, with Emery's side finding the back of the net on 33 occasions in their 20 matches.

As mentioned, Villarreal also triumphed 4-1 against Elche earlier this season, but the points were shared in a 2-2 draw when they locked horns in the corresponding fixture last term.

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

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

Villarreal La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

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

Team News

Villarreal's Yeremi Pino celebrates after winning the Europa League on May 26, 2021© Reuters

Elche have no confirmed absentees for this weekend's match, although Lucas Boye, Kiko Casilla, Gonzalo Verdu, Pedro Bigas will all face late fitness tests.

The home side will also welcome both Fidel and Diego Gonzalez back into their starting XI on Sunday, with the pair missing out against Espanyol last time out through suspension.

Pere Milla scored twice from a wide area on Monday and should feature in that area of the field once again, while Boye's possible return could see Guido Carrillo drop down to the bench.

As for Villarreal, Francis Coquelin, Ruben Pena and Paco Alcacer will miss the contest through injury, while Arnaut Danjuma remains a fitness doubt for the visitors.

The Yellow Submarine will also be without Aissa Mandi, Samuel Chukwueze, Boulaye Dia and Serge Aurier due to their involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Yeremi Pino and Alfonso Pedraza could come into the starting XI this weekend, but Alberto Moreno should keep his spot in an attacking area, while Gerard Moreno will again lead the line for Emery's side.

Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Palacios, Roco, Gonzalez, Mojica; Milla, Mascarell, Gumbau, Fidel; Perez, Boye

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Parejo, Trigueros, Capoue; A Moreno, G Moreno, Pino

SM words green background

We say: Elche 1-2 Villarreal

Elche's recent form has been impressive, with Francisco's side losing just one of their last five matches, but Villarreal are on a roll at the moment in Spain's top flight. We are expecting this to be a close contest but believe that Villarreal's superior quality to shine through to secure an important three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

ID:475259:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect11896:

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Arnaut Danjuma warms up for Villarreal in September 2021
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