Bottom-placed Elche, who have their days numbered in La Liga, are all set to host second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Second-placed Atletico Madrid will look to make it four wins in a row in La Liga when they square up against Elche. The home team have had a nightmare season so far, winning only three out of their 33 matches. And they are all set to be relegated after the end of the season. Meanwhile, the visitors recently managed to overtake Real Madrid and claim the second spot in the league.
Elche’s La Liga campaign this season has been a massive disappointment. They have only accumulated 16 points out of 33 league games, leaving them at the bottom of the division with no hope of avoiding relegation.
The team’s relegation to the second tier has already been confirmed following their 2-1 defeat to Almeria earlier this month. They only have pride to play for in their remaining five fixtures and will be hoping to end the season on a high note.
Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, can mathematically keep their title hopes alive if they win their match against Elche. However, it is highly unlikely that they can catch up with Barcelona, who have the chance to secure the trophy by beating Espanyol.
Atletico’s main objective now is to finish above their capital rivals, Real Madrid, as they currently sit in second place, just one point ahead of them. Although Atletico failed to progress to the knockout rounds of any European competition this season, their league form has been impressive.
In the reverse fixture between the two teams, Atletico came out on top with a 2-0 win. However, this time it might be a touch different as Elche have nothing to lose. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at this fixture and tries to predict the tactics they will use.
Team News & Tactics
Pablo Machin will be without the services of Pedro Bigas and Helibelton Palacios, who are out injured. Meanwhile, Omar Mascarell and Jose Angel Carmona remain doubtful for this fixture.
💚 𝐄𝐋𝐂𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐅 𝐃𝐀𝐘 🤍
🏟 Martínez Valero
⏰ 21:30#MuchoElche pic.twitter.com/nQMQ28SXMH
— Elche CF 🌴🇬🇧🇺🇸🇦🇺🇮🇪 (@Elchecf_en) May 11, 2022
Machin is expected to keep rotating his players and provide opportunities to everyone as they have already been relegated to the Segunda Division.
The home team will start with the 4-4-2 formation, where Axel Werner will be in goal. Josan and Lautaro Blanco will be the full-backs. Meanwhile, in the heart of the defence, Lisandro Magallán will pair up with Carlos Clerc.
Tete Morente and Pere Milla will start out wide in the centre of the park, the duo will look to provide the width to their attacks. Fidel Chaves and Alex Collado will start as the central midfielders. They will look to dictate the pace of the game. As far as the attack is concerned, Ezequiel Ponce will pair up with Randy Nteka.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Werner; Josan, Magallan, Clerc, Blanco; Morente, Fidel, Collado, Milla; Ponce, Nteka
The visitors will be without the services of Memphis Depay, Marcos Llorente, Stefan Savic and Reinildo due to injuries. Meanwhile, Mario Hermoso and Jan Oblak’s participation is still doubtful for this fixture. However, Hermoso could feature in the XI if gets the green light.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 13, 2023
Diego Simeone is expected to start with the 3-5-2 formation. Even if Oblak is fit in time, Simeone is unlikely to risk him. As a result, Ivo Grbic will start in goal.
The back three will consist of Mario Hermoso, Axel Witsel and Jose Maria Gimenez. Nahuel Molina and Yannick Carrasco will start out wide as the wing-backs. They will look to stretch the opposition and go higher up the pitch at every possible opportunity.
Rodrigo De Paul, Koke and Thomas Lemar will start in the centre of the park. They will look to control the pace of the game against a team that have been struggling for form throughout the ongoing season. Meanwhile, star striker Antoine Griezmann will pair up with Alvaro Morata in attack.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Grbic; Witsel, Gimenez, Hermoso; Molina, De Paul, Koke, Lemar, Carrasco; Griezmann, Morata
- Atletico Madrid have the second-best defence in the league, they have only conceded 26 goals in their 33 outings.
- Diego Simeone’s men are the joint second-highest goal scorers in the league having found the back of the net on 60 occasions.
- Elche have the worst defence in the league having conceded 64 goals so far.
- The home team have won the least number of matches (3) and suffered the most defeats (23) in the ongoing season.
- Atletico Madrid have an outstanding record against Elche, winning 10 out of the 11 times they have faced each other.
Player to Watch
Antoine Griezmann has 13 goals and 13 assists in 33 La Liga appearances this season. The French attacker has been in excellent form throughout the campaign. Griezmann’s attacking prowess, combined with his intelligent movement off the ball, makes him a constant threat to any opposition defence.
He has the ability to create chances for his teammates and also score goals himself, making him a complete attacking player. With Elche’s defence likely to be compact and difficult to break down, Griezmann’s ability to find space and create openings could prove to be the key to unlocking their defence.
Elche 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Elche’s relegation has already been confirmed, and they will be looking to end their disappointing campaign on a high note. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid will be aiming to secure three points to keep their slim title hopes alive and to maintain their second place in the table.
Elche have a strong defensive record at home, conceding only 12 goals in 16 matches, and they will be determined to make it difficult for Atletico to break them down. Diego Simeone’s men, on the other hand, will be looking to continue their impressive form in the league and take advantage of Elche’s weak attack.
It is likely to be a closely contested match, but Atletico Madrid’s quality and form should give them the edge to secure a crucial victory. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-0 win for the visitors.
Succinctly detailed analysis of the game. I love it. Looking forward to more. Keep up the good work!