Preview: Sevilla vs. Elche

Preview: Sevilla vs. Elche

Sevilla welcome Elche to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Wednesday in an important tie at both ends of the La Liga table.

The hosts will be looking to record a second consecutive league victory to put pressure on the top three, while Elche sit just one point above the relegation zone, with this acting as both sides’ game in hand on the teams around them.

Sevilla returned to winning ways last time out, defeating Real Betis 1-0 at home thanks to an impressive Youssef En-Nesyri finish in the first half.

That put an end to a four-game winless run in all competitions for Julen Lopetegui’s side, including two league defeats.

One of those losses came against Wednesday’s opponents, when Raul Guti and Guido Carillo fired Elche to a 2-1 home victory over Sevilla, before Luuk de Jong scored late to reduce the deficit to one goal.

Also included in that run was a draw in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund.

The German outfit came into the second leg with a 3-2 lead, and that was extended when Erling Braut Haaland netted a brace on the night to boost their aggregate lead to 5-2.

En-Nesyri then popped up with a brace to make the game level on the night, but his injury-time goal did not leave enough time for Lopetegui’s side to grab an equaliser and they narrowly lost the tie.

As a result of their dip in league form, the Andalusian outfit have lost some crucial ground on La Liga’s top sides, now sitting six points behind third-placed Real Madrid.

Lopetegui’s men will be hoping to put that behind them in this game, as they look to record back-to-back victories and return to the form that they had before the recent blip.

Fran Escriba’s side looked like they were going to pick up an unlikely result in their last game, when Dani Calvo gave them a 1-0 lead on the hour mark away at Real Madrid.

That lead did not last too long though, as Karim Benzema netted an equaliser followed by an added-time winner to snatch all three points for the defending champions.

Despite coming out as eventual losers, that effort against the Spanish giants, coupled with the recent victory over Sevilla, should bring about positivity in the Elche camp.

Escriba’s men have shown clear improvement in recent weeks, and he will be hoping to continue that in this game as his side aim to register a crucial win and move ahead of 16th-placed Real Valladolid.

More importantly, a victory on Wednesday would see them move four points clear of the drop zone, a much safer cushion with 11 games of the season left to play.

Sevilla La Liga form:
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Sevilla form (all competitions):
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Elche La Liga form:
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