Elche host Osasuna at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero as the two relegation-threatened sides go up against each other on Tuesday in La Liga.
Newly-promoted Elche had started their season back in the top flight with a bang, earning 10 points from their first five games of the season.
But the side from Valencia have since fallen off the pace, with no wins in their last seven games. That run has seen them slip to 15th position in the table, only one point clear of the drop zone with the prospect of going straight back down to the Segunda division heavily lurking.
In their recent fixture, Elche traveled away to Atletico Madrid on Saturday in a 3-1 defeat to the league leaders.
Luis Suarez scored a brace for Atleti, before Lucas Boye kept the visitors' hopes alive by pulling one back. A Diego Costa penalty in the 80th minute eventually sealed the win for the Rojoblancos.
Meanwhile, Osasuna are in an even bigger rut at the moment with four losses on the trot as they sit rock-bottom in the table with a third of the season already played.
The Basque side can take some heart in the fact that they are not too far from the safety zone with 11 points and can rise in the table should they snap their seven game winless run.
That may be easier said than done given their recent form. In their recent fixture on Saturday, Osasuna were blown away at home by Villareal, losing 3-1 as they played most of the game with 10 men.
Elche vs Osasuna Head-to-Head
The only time Elche and Osasuna have faced off in Spain's top division was in 2013-14 when the two fixtures between the sides ended with a win for Osasuna and a draw.
The two clubs most recently met in the Segunda division in 2018-19. Osasuna won one of the two fixtures between the sides on their way to winning back promotion to La Liga, with the other ending in a draw.
Elche form guide: L-L-D-D-D
Osasuna form guide: L-L-L-L-D
Elche vs Osasuna Team News
Coach Jorge Almirón will be without the services of Guido Carrillo, who has only participated in three games for Elche this year on account of a recurring knee problem. Other than that, there are no fresh injury concerns for Los Franjiverdes.
Injured: Guido Carrillo
Centre-back Aridane Hernández was sent off against Villarreal and will miss Osasuna's trip to Elche on Tuesday. Unai Garcia will likely replace him in the heart of the defence.
In addition, Lucas Torro, Juan Manuel Perez and Chimy Avila are all unavailable due to injuries.
Injured: Lucas Torro, Juan Manuel Perez, Ezequiel Avila
Suspended: Aridane Hernández
Elche vs Osasuna Predicted Line-up
Elche Predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Edgar Badia; Antonio Barragan, Gonzalo Verdu, Josema, Juan Sánchez Miño; Ivan Marcone; Raul Guti, Fidel Chavez, Josan, Tete Morente; Lucas Boyé
Osasuna Predicted XI (4-4-2): Rubén Martínez; Nacho Vidal, Unai Garcia, David Garcia, Juan Cruz; Ruben Garcia, Jon Moncayola, Oier Sanjurjo, Roberto Torres ; Kike Barja, Ante Budimir
Elche vs Osasuna Prediction
Elche are currently struggling for goals, with their attack combining for only 10 goals this season. Only Eibar have scored fewer goals in the league.
But while Elche are struggling for goals, Osasuna's troubles lie in their backline, which has conceded 21 goals in 13 games. Considering those poor defensive statistics, one would expect a more prudent approach from the away side in this game.
Keeping that in mind, in addition to Elche's goalscoring woes, a draw seems like the most probable result.
Prediction: Elche 1-1 OsasunaPublished 21 Dec 2020, 01:56 IST