Preview: Real Madrid vs. Elche

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Elche

Real Madrid will be aiming to make it back-to-back wins over Elche when the two sides lock horns for the second time in quick succession at Bernabeu this weekend.

Los Blancos beat Elche 2-1 in the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey on Thursday evening and will now be looking to strengthen their position at the top of La Liga when the pair meet in the league.

Gonzalo Verdu sent Elche ahead in the 103rd minute of Thursday’s Copa del Rey contest at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero, but Isco levelled the scores five minutes later before Eden Hazard came up with the winner to send Carlo Ancelotti’s side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Los Blancos have now won each of their last five games in all competitions, including a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup final last weekend, while their last league match on January 8 ended in a 4-1 home success over Valencia.

A total of 49 points from 21 matches has left Real Madrid top of the table, four points clear of second-placed Sevilla, while they are 16 points ahead of the reigning champions Atletico Madrid and 17 clear of Barcelona, with neither side able to launch a title challenge this term.

Having already won the Spanish Super Cup, Los Blancos will be targeting a clean sweep in La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, and it is vital that they put another three points on the board this weekend ahead of their return to action against Granada on February 6.

Real Madrid have won seven and drawn three of their 10 home league matches this season, while Elche have collected just eight points from their 11 games on their travels; Ancelotti’s side also ran out 2-1 winners when the pair locked horns in the reverse game back in October.

Elche entered Thursday’s clash with Real Madrid off the back of three straight wins in all competitions, including their last two against Espanyol and Villarreal in Spain’s top flight.

Francisco’s side will have been boosted by their performance against Los Blancos in the Copa del Rey, while their recent victories in the league have moved them up into 15th spot in the table, now five points clear of the relegation zone at a key stage of the campaign.

Elche finished 17th in La Liga last term, just two points above the relegation zone, and they are bidding to make it back-to-back seasons at this level of football for the first time since 2015.

Los Franjiverdes will certainly be the underdogs as they head to the Spanish capital on Sunday, but the recent meetings between the two sides have been close encounters, with Real Madrid only winning 2-1 in their last three matches, while Elche held Los Blancos to a draw in the league back in October 2020.

Real Madrid La Liga form:
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Real Madrid form (all competitions):
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Elche La Liga form:
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Elche form (all competitions):
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We say: Real Madrid 2-0 Elche
Real Madrid will be back at full strength this weekend, and we are finding it difficult to back anything other than a home victory here. Elche impressed in Thursday’s Copa del Rey contest but are again likely to come up short against title-chasing Los Blancos at Bernabeu.

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