Preview: Elche vs. Celta Vigo
Elche’s search for their first victory of the 2022-23 La Liga campaign will continue on Friday evening when they welcome Celta Vigo to Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero.
The home side are bottom of the table, boasting just four points from their opening 15 matches of the season, while Celta sit 17th, having collected just 13 points from their opening 15 games of 2022-23.
Elche have drawn four and lost 11 of their 15 La Liga matches this season to collect four points, which has left them rooted to the bottom of the table, nine points behind 17th-placed Celta.
The team’s last league victory came on the final weekend of the 2021-22 campaign against Getafe, with the result leaving them in 13th position in the table, boasting 42 points from their 38 matches.
Elche are in their third straight season at this level, which is their best run since the late 1970s, but their position in the top flight for 2023-24 is in severe doubt, even at this stage.
Pablo Machin’s side have lost each of their last four in La Liga, including a 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid on December 29, while they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Ceuta in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday.
Elche had overcome Guadalajara in the second round of the cup, but they were shocked by their third-tier opponents in the round of 32, so their focus is now fully on the league.
Celta were also in Copa del Rey action on Tuesday, suffering a 3-1 loss to Espanyol after extra time, with Sergi Darder and Nico Melamed scoring for the Catalan outfit.
The Sky Blues picked up a point in a 1-1 draw with Sevilla in La Liga on December 30, with the result leaving them in 17th position in the table on 13 points.
Celta are only one point ahead of 18th-placed Sevilla, and there is no getting away from the fact that it has been a tough season for the Vigo outfit thus far, winning just three of their 15 league matches, suffering eight defeats in the process.
Carlos Carvalhal’s side have another three league games before the end of the month, facing Villarreal, Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao ahead of a trip to Real Betis at the start of February.
Celta have been a La Liga team since 2012, so it would be a shock if they were eliminated this season, especially considering their comfortable eighth and 11th-place finishes in the last two campaigns.
The Sky Blues suffered a 1-0 defeat to Elche in the corresponding match last season, but they recorded a 1-0 victory when the two teams last locked horns in May.
Elche La Liga form:
Elche form (all competitions):
Celta Vigo La Liga form:
Celta Vigo form (all competitions):
We say: Elche 1-1 Celta Vigo
Celta have drawn three of their last five in La Liga, while they are without a victory since the start of October. Elche are yet to triumph this season, but we have a feeling that the home side will be good enough for a point on Friday night, which would certainly be a step in the right direction.