Almeria are the league leaders in the Segunda Division but kicked off 2022 with a 1-0 home loss to FC Cartagena. They secured a place in this round of the Copa del Rey with a 2-1 win over Amorebieta in December.
Elche also dropped points in their opening fixture of 2022, playing a goalless draw against Granada at home. They set up a date with the home side with a 1-0 away win over Unionistas de Salamanca.
Almeria vs Elche Head-to-Head
There have been 28 meetings between the two sides across all competitions. Almeria have been the better side in this fixture and lead 12-7 in wins while nine games have ended in draws.
The two clubs have met twice in the Copa del Rey, with the hosts emerging victorious on both occasions. They last squared off in a Segunda Division fixture at Thursday's venue, with the game ending in a 2-0 win for Los Franjiverdes.
Almeria form guide (all competitions): L-W-W-D-W
Elche form guide (all competitions): D-L-W-L-W
Almeria vs Elche Team News
The home side have received some good news ahead of the game as five players who tested positive for COVID-19 last week have reported negative tests and resumed training. Only Chumi and Juanjo Nieto's tests were not conclusive.
José Carlos Lazo has picked up a knock and has been sidelined for at least a couple of weeks. Here are the rest of the injury concerns for Rojiblancos:
- Arnau Puigmal - Undisclosed
- Daniel Carriço - Muscle injury
Injury: Daniel Carrico, José Carlos Lazo, Arnau Puigmal
Doubtful: Chumi, Juanjo Nieto
The visitors do not have any injury concerns for the game, but Lucas Perez is the only player who did not test negative for COVID-19 among the five players who had returned positive tests last week.
Enzo Perez has returned from Chile and will be eligible to play against Espanyol.
Doubtful: Lucas Perez, Enzo Roco
Almeria vs Elche Predicted XI
Almeria Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Fernando Martinez; Alex Centelles, Srdjan Babic, Chumi, Alejandro Pozo; Samuel Costa, Cesar de la Hoz; Curro Sanchez, Arvin Appiah, Francisco Portillo; Umar Sadiq
Elche Predicted XI (4-4-2): Edgar Badia; Helibelton Palacios, Antonio Barragan, Diego González, Johan Mojica; Jose Morente, Omar Mascarell, Ivan Marcone, Fidel Chaves; Lucas Boye, Guido Carrillo
Almeria vs Elche Prediction
Elche have struggled in front of the goal this season and have 18 goals from 19 games. Almeria have looked solid in their league outings and also have the best defensive record in the Segunda Division.
When the two sides face off on Thursday, a win for the home side is the most likely outcome from the game.
Prediction: Almeria 2-1 Elche
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