Sunday, November 29

Elche: Another derby to keep growing


Pere Milla and Mfulu, during a training session

Pere Milla and Mfulu, during a training session

Jorge Almirón’s Elche returns to the scene in LaLiga this afternoon (2:00 p.m.) at the home of a needy Levante after the two-week break by the national teams, which the franjiverde coach has taken advantage of to continue combining his players and try new tactical variants with the team, which has made its usual game scheme so far at 5-4-1. With 11 points out of 21 possible, the Elche team faces this new regional derby as another opportunity to continue growing and maintain the distance of five points that separate them from the relegation zone. A danger zone that opens, precisely, the granota team of Paco López after chaining six consecutive days without winning.

For the Ciutat de València appointment on the tenth day, Almirón has problems in the left lane as he cannot count on the injured Sánchez Miño, Fidel and Rigoni, but recovers forward Guido Carrillo, while you can count on goalkeeper Edgar Badia, one of the most fit goalkeepers in the championship, who has recovered in time from the blow to the hip he suffered in the last game against Celta.

As the other player specific for the left-back demarcation, the Malian Koné, has delayed his return to Elche a lot After being called up with his national team, in which he has not played these two weeks of break, Almirón is considering placing the Colombian Lucumí in Fidel’s position, who has already acted sporadically in that position at his previous clubs. “Fidel has proven to be very important for me and for the team, but you have to adapt to the casualties and it is a good opportunity to see footballers who play less because the squad is getting better and the competition is greater,” said yesterday the technical.

In any case, the Argentine coach opts for keep your 5-4-1 scheme for the match of this tenth day against Levante. “The team has felt safe with a line of five and I hope that whoever plays it understands the system well and adapts quickly,” he said. “I’m not complaining about the casualties, but about adapting as best as possible,” adds the coach, who has also rehearsed during the break with a defense of four and the central Josema as an improvised left back.

Almirón needs to regain more control in his team’s possession football and considers including the Aragonese in the “eleven” Raúl Guti to give him more pause and touch the double defensive pivot formed by Iván Marcone and Nuke Mfulu. In the last game against Celta the team had a lot of deployment and defensive work in the center of the field, but accused the lack of precision at the beginning of the plays and calm to have and circulate the ball. In addition, in the defensive phase, the coach has also emphasized these two weeks on a better adjustment of the lines to cover the interior corridors that Celta found in the Martínez Valero (1-1) and the gaps in the back of the sides that Betis exploded in the previous duel at Villamarín (3-1).

After those last two days without winning, Elche want to find victory again (their last triumph was in another derby against Valencia at home 2-1 a month ago) against a direct rival for permanence like Levante, tied to six points with the other two teams that close the table, Valladolid and Huesca. So far, the franjiverde team has offered its best version against the teams that are also fighting for salvation after winning in Eibar (0-1) and Alavés in Vitoria (0-1) and drawing at home with Huesca (0 -0) and Celta (1-1).

Opposite, the Levante only has the injury of Macedonian international Bardhi, while his forward and scorer Roger Martínez has finally entered the call after overcoming his quarantine by covid-19.

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