Almeria rested a number of players for their La Liga (LL) match against Real Madrid on Saturday in order to prepare for this game against Elche, and they’ll be hoping the risk pays off. They should have more confidence after scoring twice against the defending champions as they try to avoid the drop zone and maintain their unblemished record this season (W4, D2) against the four teams below them.
Almeria have only won one of their past four league games at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos (D1, L2) following their most recent home defeat, but at least they haven’t had the same outcome in back to back LL home games this year (W3, D2, L4). Additionally, they haven’t kept a clean sheet here against Elche since October 2011 (W4, D2, L4), and they have lost the last two home head to head.
Elche’s dominant 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday was an impressive way to halt a streak of six straight league losses, but given that they are 17 points behind the team in 17th place, it has probably come far too late to keep them in the top tier. Unless they can defy the odds and win all six of their remaining league games this season and have other results go their way, La Liga 2 beckons for 2023/24.
If they fail to record their second LL road victory of the season (D3, L12), their relegation will be officially assured after losing each of their past four league away games while only scoring once. Elche’s three seasons stint in Spain’s first division appears to be coming to an end as Almeria returns to full strength, despite the fact that their strong recent record at this venue provides a glimmer of optimism.
Lucas Robertone has contributed to nine LL goals this season (G2, A7), with the first coming in the form of an assist against Elche back in August. Tete Morente of Elche scored his final two goals between the 40th and the half.
Diego Fuoli and El Bilal Toure of Almeria will both be out injured on Tuesday, while Srdan Babic has returned after serving a suspension against the Spanish champions.
The team’s major players will be back in the lineup for this match, with Luis Suarez likely to start at center-forward after several changes were made by head coach Rubi for the trip to Real Madrid.
Alejandro Pozo, Lucas Robertone, Leo Baptistao, and Alex Centelles will all be called back, and Babic is anticipated to join the defense in the center position.
Regarding Elche, Jose Angel Carmona and Helibelton Palacios are unquestionably out due to injury, while Omar Mascarell and Pedro Bigas continue to have serious fitness concerns.
There is a good likelihood that head coach Beccacece will go with the same starting lineup that Boye led against Rayo at the start of the game.
On Saturday, Pere Milla began on the left, and that is likely to be the case again here. Morente and Fidel are both expected to provide support in the final third of the field.
Possible starting lineup for Almeria
Melero, Martnez, De la Hoz, Robertone, Pozo, Chumi, Babic, Centelles, Baptistao, Suarez and Embarba.
Possible starting lineup for Elche
Badia, Josan, Magallan, Clerc, Blanco, Nwankwo, Gumbau, Morente, Fidel, Milla and Boye.
We predict: Almeria 1-0 Elche
At the bottom of the standings, this game is crucial, and those engaged in the relegation fight will undoubtedly want Elche to win. Although Almeria has played well at home this year, we anticipate La Union to earn a crucial three points and send Elche to the bottom of the table.