Elche vs Villarreal predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Yellow Submarine aim to continue their climb up the table.
|Sunday 16th January 2022
|14:00 (local time)
Elche vs Villarreal Preview
There is just one game in LaLiga this weekend and it’s a derby clash in the Valencian Community. With 250 km between the two towns, it’s one of those derbies that certainly wouldn’t be classed as such in most European countries and there’s not a great deal of hostility between the clubs in truth.
Both teams will be focused on the need to put points on the board, although they have very different reasons for that. Elche are battling relegation and would certainly settle for a repeat of last season when they scraped to survival on the final weekend. Their chances of staying afloat again received a big boost last time out when they surprisingly went to Espanyol and came away with a 2-1 victory.
Pere Milla’s brace within the first fifteen minutes was decisive and while Elche would only have one more attempt on goal in the game, a stubborn defensive effort ensured they claimed a rare road victory. They have only lost 2 of their 9 home games so far this season though, following on from strong home form at the back end of last season, so this has the makings of a tricky game for the visitors.
Villarreal have hit form though and have looked really dangerous going forwards in recent weeks with star striker Gerard Moreno fit and firing again. They’d reeled off four straight wins in LaLiga, scoring five in two of them, before a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid last weekend in a game notable for a number of reasons including an Angel Correa wonder goal as well as costly goalkeeping errors at both ends.
The performance would have been a boost for Unai Emery who would have been slightly concerned about the impact of losing four players to AFCON duty. The losses of Boulaye Dia and Samuel Chukwueze do starve them of a bit of quality in the final third but they’ll be optimistic about their chances of coping without them in this game and the home clash with Mallorca next weekend.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Villarreal Wins, 4 Draws.
- The last two meetings in Elche have both ended 2-2.
- Elche haven’t beaten Villarreal since a 3-2 second tier win at the Ceramica in 2013.
- They’ve not won any of the 9 meetings since, losing 4.
Fidel and Diego Gonzalez return from bans for Elche and will be hoping to reclaim their starting spots despite that win last time out. Gonzalo Verdu, Pedro Bigas and Lucas Boye are carrying knocks and are doubts.
Villarreal are missing Aissa Mandi, Serge Aurier, Boulaye Dia and Samuel Chukwueze due to their AFCON involvement. Arnaut Danjuma remains a doubt.
Elche vs Villarreal Predictions
Score Prediction: Elche 1-2 Villarreal
Elche are invariably competitive when they play in front of their own fans and few sides have it easy here. Villarreal will be expecting a tough game but they arguably carry the biggest goal threat in LaLiga aside from Real Madrid when things are clicking, and that has been the case lately with the likes of Dani Parejo and Gerard Moreno on top of their game. The visitors may just edge this.
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