Preview: Elche vs. Almeria – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday’s La Liga clash between Elche and Almeria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both looking for their first points of the La Liga season, Elche and Almeria will do battle in the second round of league fixtures on Monday.

The hosts were comfortably beaten by Real Betis on the opening day, while their opponents lost to defending champions Real Madrid on their return to Spain’s top flight.

Match preview

Elche coach Francisco Rodriguez on March 6, 2022© Reuters

After only narrowly avoiding relegation back to Spain’s second tier in the 2020-21 season, Elche enjoyed a more impressive campaign for the most part last time around, beating the previous points tally by six and finishing 13th.

They did have a late scare, though, dropping close to the bottom three following three consecutive defeats, but a 3-1 win over Getafe on the final day saw Los Franjiverdes end four points clear of the drop zone and head towards a third consecutive term in La Liga.

Francisco‘s side started the new season with a difficult test against Real Betis, and they were unable to get off the mark, eventually losing 3-0 having been reduced to 10 men inside the first 20 minutes as John Nwankwo was sent off.

Borja Iglesias put their hosts ahead on the half-hour mark, and Juanmi hit goals either side of half time to send Elche home empty-handed.

Now playing their first home game of the season against newly-promoted Almeria, Francisco’s men will aim to quickly put their first three-point haul on the board on Monday.

The visitors make the trip on the back of a narrow opening-day defeat, after winning promotion back to the top flight last season.

In their seventh consecutive season in the Segunda Division, the Rojiblancos set out to finally return to La Liga, and they succeeded, eventually securing the league title as they amassed 81 points from their 42 outings.

ruby‘s side were handed an unenviable start to the new season, as they welcomed defending champions Real Madrid on the opening day, eventually being beaten after an impressive effort.

Away Ramadan gave his side an unlikely lead in the sixth minute, and Almeria would stay ahead until the hour mark, only for Lucas Vazquez to level the game and David Alaba to hit a 75th-minute winner, seeing Los Blancos escape with a narrow victory.

Rubi’s men will now aim to take the positives from that performance and take their first points of the season on Monday.

Elche La Liga form:

Almeria La Liga form:

Team News

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

Elche head into Monday’s contest without defender John Nwankwo, who will serve a suspension after being shown a red card in their opening-day defeat to Real Betis.

Elsewhere, key men like Javier Pastore, Gonzalo Verdu and Lucas Boye are all doubts, having missed last week’s game after picking up injuries in pre-season.

In the likely absence of Boye, Roger Marty should again lead the line, while winger Pere Milla will be heavily relied on after scoring eight goals and providing four assists in La Liga last season.

Ivan Martos and Juanjo Nieto remain out of action for Almeria due to injuries, but, otherwise, Rubi will have a full squad to pick from and should not make too many changes after a competitive performance against Real Madrid.

Their attack will again be led by Umar Sadiqwho helped fire them to promotion with 18 league goals last season, while Largie Razmani will also keep his place after opening the scoring in that eventual defeat to the defending champions.

New arrival Kaiky Fernandes should again feature at the heart of the defense alongside Srdjan Babic and Rodrigo Elywith former Barcelona duo Chum and Sergio Akieme set to operate in wing-back roles.

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

Almeria possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Ely, Babic, Fernandes; Chumi, Robertone, Costa, Eguaras, Akieme; Sadiq, Razmani

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We say: Elche 1-1 Almeria

Almeria were certainly the more impressive of the two sides on the opening day, but Elche will be keen not to suffer a second straight defeat, particularly at home to a newly-promoted side, and we see a share of the spoils as the most likely outcome.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5: date

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