Elche vs Athletic Club Match Preview & Predictions

Elche vs Athletic Club

Elche vs Athletic Club predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the hosts aim for a final day escape.

Date Saturday 22nd May 2021
Kick-Off 18:00 (local time)
Stadium Manuel Martinez Valero
Competition LaLiga

Elche vs Athletic Club Preview

Elche stadium

Elche welcome Athletic Club on Saturday on what is a make or break afternoon for the home team. They are relying on favours elsewhere but would give themselves a fighting chance of beating the drop should they see off Athletic in their match.

Victory would mean safety for Elche providing Huesca don’t beat Valencia in their game at El Alcoraz. Elche would even stay up with a draw if Huesca lose and Real Valladolid don’t beat title-chasing Atletico Madrid. However realistically, Fran Escriba’s side need to target maximum points and hope the gods are smiling on them.

They have reason to fancy their chances. They’ve been pretty strong at home since Fran Escriba returned to this position although they were beaten 2-0 in a key relegation six-pointer against Alaves in their last outing on home soil. That was a hammer blow to their survival prospects but they responded in the right way with an excellent Second Half display at Cadiz last weekend as goals from Pere Milla, Diego Polanco and Fidel Chaves sealed a 3-1 win.

Much may depend on what kind of state Athletic are in here. They collapsed to a 4-0 defeat at Granada on the final day of last season and with nothing really to play for at the end of a long season that has seen them play three cup finals, they’d be forgiven for starting to think about their summer breaks.

We have seen a bit more experimentation from Marcelino in recent weeks which suggests he has been looking more and more towards next season. 21 year old Oihan Sancet has been given a run of starts in attack with Inaki Williams struggling for form and Raul Garcia seemingly out of favour. The latter did come off the bench against Real Madrid last weekend but quickly picked up two yellow cards ensuring his season has come to a premature ending.

Head to Head

  • Last 3 Competitive Meetings: 2 Athletic Wins, 1 Elche Win, 3 Draws.
  • Athletic won the reverse fixture 1-0 in January.
  • They won on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the Copa del Rey on this ground last term.
  • They’ve taken 4 points from their 2 league visits this century.

Team News

Diego Gonzalez is suspended for the hosts while Johan Mojica is an injury doubt.

Raul Garcia serves a ban for the visitors. Ander Capa, Iker Muniain and Yuri Berchiche miss out again through injury.

Predicted Elche Starting Lineup:

Gazzaniga – Josema, Verdu, Barragan – Fidel, Mfulu, Guti, Josan – Piatti – Boye, Milla (3-4-1-2)

Predicted Athletic Club Starting Lineup:

Simon – Balenziaga, Martinez, Yeray, De Marcos – Morcillo, Vencedor, Garcia, Berenguer – Sancet, Villalibre (4-4-2)

Elche vs Athletic Club Prediction: Elche to Win 2-0

Athletic are only fighting for mid-table positions and they may struggle to match Elche’s intensity here. The home team will take momentum into this game following an excellent 2nd Half fightback last weekend and they look more than capable of at least holding up their part of the bargain as they bid to secure a dramatic final day survival.

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About Mark Sochon 2069 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk