Sunday, March 7

Salvation passes through Martínez Valero


Elche's main offensive reference, forward Lucas Boyé, training yesterday at the stadium.  |  SONIA ARCOS / ECF

Elche’s main offensive reference, forward Lucas Boyé, training yesterday at the stadium. | SONIA ARCOS / ECF

Elche have to win at home. The only possible way to salvation passes through Martínez Valero, where Fran Escribá’s team receives this Saturday (14 hours) Eibar, a direct rival for permanence, and through which Sevilla, Betis, Real Valladolid, Levante also have to pass , Atlético de Madrid, Deportivo Alavés and Athletic Club de Bilbao on the last day.

The franjiverde coliseum should be the stronghold of a team that in the first round has only achieved a victory at home, against Valencia on matchday 7 (2-1). Precisely that was the last game that Elche won and there are already 16 days that the franjiverdes accumulate without knowing victory.

The team from Elche has only been able to add nine points in the Elche coliseum, eight in the entire first round and one in the only match they have played in the second against Villarreal. Elche has managed to draw at home against Celta (1-1), Huesca (0-0), Cádiz (1-1), Osasuna (2-2), Real Madrid (1-1) and against the yellow submarine (2 -two). Quite poor numbers for a team that wants to continue in the First Division. The defeats came against Real Sociedad (0-3), Granada (0-1), Getafe (1-3) and Barcelona (0-2).

These results at home and nine points out of 33 possible have condemned the Franco-green team to the relegation zone, despite the fact that their start to the League was encouraging, mainly at home. If salvation is estimated to be around 40 points, Fran Escribá’s new Elche should get more than half in his home games.

The first grand final will be this Saturday against Eibar (17th in the table, 21 points, three above the franjiverdes), which the people of Elche already won as a visitor 0-1 on September 30. The people from Eibar come to Martínez Valero wanting revenge. On the last day, Mendilibar’s men tied (1-1) in their fiefdom against another direct rival, Valladolid (18th and 21 points.

That tie between the two teams ahead of Elche gives Fran Escribá’s team the chance to get out of relegation places if tomorrow they win and the Pucelanos (9pm) lose in their fiefdom against Real Madrid. If these two circumstances occur, the franjiverdes will leave the red zone of the classification and will see the future with more optimism.

The next home match will be against Sevilla, on March 6 (4.15pm). Betis will visit Martínez Valero on April 4, almost a month later after playing two games in a row away.

Later, there will be two games in a row in Martínez Valero, which will be decisive, against Valladolid and Levante, two other rivals from the lower part of the classification.

After receiving Atlético de Madrid on matchday 34, with the colchonero team already being able to be champion or playing the title in Elche, the last two matches of Elche at home will be against Alavés, a priori, another direct rival, and close the season against Athletic Club de Bilbao.

Acceptable as a visitor

The numbers at home for the Elche team with Almirón have been very poor. However, home searches haven’t been that bad. Elche has been able to add two victories (Eibar and Alavés) away from Martínez Valero, one more than at home, and has achieved three draws (Levante, Villarreal and Valladolid), ending in defeat on five occasions (Betis, Atlético de Madrid , Athletic Club, Valencia and Celta). In total, the Elche team has achieved nine points away this season, the same as at home.

If the franjiverdes manage to keep those numbers away from home and improve at home, especially by winning the games against direct rivals, they can dream of maintaining the category. The first step must be taken tomorrow against Eibar.

Fidel is ruled out and Diego, Josan and Mojica are in doubt until the last minute

The new Elche coach, Fran Escribá, faces the first meeting with the reduced squad. Fidel has not yet recovered from his muscle injury in the hamstring area and has not yet trained with the group, so he is out, as is youth squad Jony Álamo, who also suffers from muscle discomfort. Josan and Johan Mojica have improved a lot throughout the week and could be on time. They will be doubt until the last minute. For his part, the central Diego González has also dragged discomfort in the hamstring in recent training sessions, from which he is already injured and his participation in the match is not certain. In this way, Escribá only has 19 safe players for tomorrow’s important game against Eibar. In addition, doubts are going to condition the four players who initially come out on the defensive line.

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