After just suffering a narrow extra time defeat at home to Real Madrid to see themselves eliminated from the Copa del Rey, Elche will have to regroup quickly as they are set to travel to the Santiago Bernabeu for a rematch with the Madrid giants. It was a drama filled ending on Thursday with Elche taking a shock 1-0 extra time lead after a Madrid red card only for the visitors to then score two goals with 10 men to win the tie 2-1. Elche are currently sitting 15th in La Liga with 22 points and have a five point buffer over the relegation zone. The hosts in this match are sitting atop the table with 49 points and have opened up a four point lead over second place Sevilla. Los Blancos will be looking to continue their stellar home form where they have yet to lose in the league and have recorded a goal differential of +16 over their 10 matches.
Despite the huge challenge Elche will face in this match, Los Franjiverdes haven’t made a habit of taking heavy losses this season. Elche have only had two defeats this season in which they have lost by more than one goal, 4-1 away to Villareal and 3-0 at home against Betis. The other seven losses that the side has suffered were by a single goal margin including the reverse fixture against Madrid and the latest Copa del Rey defeat which, technically speaking, was a draw after 90 minutes. Real Madrid haven’t been inflicting too many heavy defeats upon opponents in La Liga either, with five victories coming by three or more goals and eight victories by a single goal. There have been a few occasions of the hosts even completely stalling out at the Bernabeu, having been held to three 0-0 draws.
We’re going to back Elche on the +2.5 Asian Handicap in this one, meaning any result other than a 3+ goal defeat will be a winning bet. Credit to manager Fran Escriba and the players at Elche as they have been a stubborn side this season and have not been on the end of many hidings. Of course, going away to Real Madrid always brings the potential for just that but given the visitors tendency to play closely contested matches we’ll back them not to suffer a heavy defeat.