Elche welcome Real Betis to the Estadio Martinez Valero on Sunday in a round 29 clash of the 2020-21 La Liga season.
The hosts are in the midst of a relegation battle and are only two points ahead of Eibar in the relegation zone. Real Betis, meanwhile, are competing for European spots; their 45 points enough for sixth in the table.
Elche began March with a shock 2-1 win over Sevilla at home, but then proceeded to lose 1-2 away to Real Madrid and 0-2 away to Sevilla. Los Franjiverdes arrested their losing run with a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Getafe ahead of the international break.
Real Betis have only lost to Sevilla and Barcelona in twelve La Liga games in 2021, winning eight games in that period. El Glorioso went into the international break on the back of a dominant 2-0 win over Levante, with Nabil Fekir and Juanmi finding the net.
Elche vs Real Betis Head-to-Head
Perhaps surprisingly, Elche has had an edge over Real Betis in recent times, winning three of the last six games. Betis have won twice and drawn once.
The Andalusians last won away to Elche in the 2010-11 Segunda Division, defeating them 2-0. The two teams last met in November earlier this season, with Real Betis running out comfortable 3-1 winners at the Benito Villamarin.
Elche form guide in La Liga: D-L-L-W-L
Real Betis form guide in La Liga: W-L-W-W-W
Elche vs Real Betis Team News
Fran Escriba will be without forward Lucas Boye for this match as he serves his suspension for accumulating five yellow cards. Pere Milla ought to replace him alongside Guido Carillo in a 4-4-2 formation.
Antonio Barragan is back in training and fit to start. Josan is still recovering on the sidelines, with Pablo Piatti also a doubt for this game.
Doubtful: Pablo Piatti
Suspended: Lucas Boye
Manuel Pellegrini continues to be without Victor Camarasa and Dani Martin, who are nursing long-term injuries. Marc Bartra has recovered from his heel injury and is fit to start. Aissa Mandi may be fatigued from international commitments with Bartra likely to replace him.
Diego Lainez may also be rested after featuring for Mexico.
Injured: Victor Camarasa, Dani Martin
Elche vs Real Betis Predicted XI
Elche (4-4-2): Edgar Badia (GK); Antonio Barragan, Gonzalo Verdu, Dani Calvo, Johan Mojica; Tete Morente, Raul Guti, Ivan Marcone, Fidel; Guido Carrillo, Pere Milla.
Real Betis Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Joel Robles (GK); Emerson, Marc Bartra, Victor Ruiz, Alex Moreno; Guido Rodriguez, Andres Guardado; Aitor Ruibal, Sergio Canales, Nabil Fekir; Borja Iglesias
Elche vs Real Betis Prediction
Real Betis may not have the best of records away to Elche, but they still ought to be favourites coming into this game. Nabil Fekir was in fine form prior to the international break and ought to trouble the Elche defense.
We expect it to be a close encounter, with Betis eking out a narrow win.
Prediction: Elche 1-2 Real Betis