The Estadio Martinez Valero plays host to a crucial clash in La Liga's relegation battle as Elche face Real Valladolid in a round 31 clash on Wednesday night.
Elche are nineteenth in the table on 26 points, just one point behind Huesca and Deportivo Alaves in seventeenth and sixteenth respectively. Real Valladolid are eighteenth in the standings themselves, a point ahead of Elche although they have a game in hand.
Los Franjiverdes extended their winless run to six games over the weekend, as Elche fell to a 0-2 defeat away to Osasuna. They had drawn 1-1 at home to Real Betis after the international break, following which they lost 1-3 away to Huesca.
Following their last-gasp 0-1 loss to Barcelona at the start of April, Real Valladolid suffered more heartbreak against Granada last week. The Pucela were leading 1-0 at home only to lose the game 1-2 thanks to two late goals. Valladolid have now gone four games without a win, drawing at Osasuna and at home to Sevilla earlier.
Elche vs Real Valladolid Head-to-Head
There have been six draws in the last ten games between Elche and Real Valladolid, with Elche winning three and Valladolid victorious in one. That sole victory came in the 2016-17 La Liga 2 season, a 2-1 win at home.
The visitors' last win away to Elche came in the 2011-12 Segunda Division, a 2-1 win. The two teams last met in January earlier this year, with Elche earning a 2-2 draw at the Estadio Jose Zorilla.
Elche form guide in La Liga: L-L-D-D-L
Real Valladolid form guide in La Liga: L-L-D-D-W
Elche vs Real Valladolid Team News
Fidel returns to the squad after serving his suspension against Osasuna and should start straight from the off. Fran Escriba continues to be without Guido Carillo though.
The Elche boss faces some tough decisions, with Edgar Badia and Paolo Gazzaniga battling to stay in goal, while Josema, Antonio Barragan and Omenuke Mfulu may get a run out.
Injured: Guido Carillo
Oscar Plano returns to Sergio Gonzalez' squad after serving his suspension against Granada. Fede San Emeterio and Joaquin Fernandez have trained with the group and are fit once again. With Javi Sanchez injured, Joaquin ought to replace him at centre-back.
Shon Weissman was absent from training and may miss the game, with one of Marcos Andre or Kenan Kodro likely to replace him.
Injured: Javi Sanchez, Shon Weissman, Raul Carnero, Jawad El Yamik,
Doubtful: Kiko Olivas, Jota
Elche vs Real Valladolid Predicted XI
Elche (4-4-2): Edgar Badia (GK); Helibelton Palacios, Gonzalo Verdu, Dani Calvo, Johan Mojica; Tete Morente, Raul Guti, Ivan Marcone, Fidel; Pere Milla, Lucas Boye
Real Valladolid Predicted XI (4-4-2): Jordi Masip (GK); Saidy Janko, Bruno Gonzalez, Joaquin Fernandez, Lucas Olaza; Fabian Orellana, Roque Mesa, Ruben Alcaraz, Oscar Plano; Kenan Kodro, Sergi Guardiola
Elche vs Real Valladolid Prediction
Both teams are in terrible form coming into this game, although Valladolid have run the likes of Barcelona and Granada close. The Pucela are slowy recovering injured players and it could play a part with Elche tiring visibly of late.
We expect a relegation dogfight, with Valladolid eking out a narrow win.
Prediction: Elche 1-2 Real Valladolid