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Preview: Osasuna vs. Elche - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Osasuna vs. Elche - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's La Liga clash between Osasuna and Elche, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Osasuna will be looking to avoid a fourth straight La Liga defeat when they welcome Elche to Estadio El Sadar on Monday night.

The home side are currently ninth in Spain's top flight, having picked up 19 points from their opening 14 matches, while Elche sit 18th with just 11 points to show from their first 14 games of 2021-22.

Match preview

Osasuna have finished 10th and 11th in La Liga since returning to this level of football for the 2019-20 campaign, and Los Rojillos have made an encouraging start to this season, currently sitting ninth in the table.

Indeed, a record of five wins, four draws and five defeats has brought them 19 points, just a point behind seventh-placed Barcelona ahead of the next set of fixtures in Spain's top flight.

Osasuna are without a win in their last five in the league, though, with their last success coming away to Villarreal in the middle of October.

Jagoba Arrasate's side picked up an impressive point away to Real Madrid on October 27 but have lost each of their last three to Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid.

Osasuna recorded a 2-0 victory over Elche in the reverse match during the 2020-21 campaign, but two of the last three La Liga meetings between the two teams have finished level.

Elche, meanwhile, have won two, drawn five and lost seven of their opening 14 matches of the season to collect 11 points, which has left them in 18th position in the table.

Los Franjiverdes only just survived relegation last season, finishing 17th, and it is not too much of a surprise to see them at the wrong end of the table at this stage of the campaign.

Fran Escriba was dismissed as head coach following the 3-0 home defeat to Real Betis last weekend, with Pablo Manusovich currently in charge of an interim basis.

Elche have now lost three of their last four league matches and are without a victory at this level since the start of October, which has left them inside the relegation zone but four points above basement side Levante.

Osasuna La Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Elche La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Osasuna will be without the services of Lucas Torro through suspension, with the midfielder picking up a booking during the 1-0 loss to Atletico at Wanda Metropolitano.

Juan Perez is also still out with a muscular problem, while the hosts are expected to be without Rober Ibanez, who recently contracted coronavirus.

The majority of the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Atletico are again likely to feature, although Torro's absence will open the door for Oier to feature in the middle of the park.

As for Elche, Fidel remains a doubt due to a muscular problem, but the visitors do not have any other fitness issues leading into Monday's match.

It seems likely that interim manager Manusovich will make changes from the home loss to Betis, with Helibelton Palacios, Raul Guti and Kiko Casilla among those pushing to return.

Fidel will feature on the left if he is available for selection, while Javier Pastore and Lucas Perez are also expected to support Lucas Boye in the final third of the field.

Osasuna possible starting lineup:
Herrera; Vidal, U Garcia, D Garcia, Sanchez; Moncayola, Brasanac, Oier; Avila, Kike, R Garcia

Elche possible starting lineup:
Casilla; Palacios, Bigas, Roco, Mojica; Guti, Mascarell; Perez, Pastore, Fidel; Boye

We say: Osasuna 2-1 Elche

After four tough games in a row - facing Real Madrid, Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Atletico - Osasuna will have earmarked this match as the perfect chance to return to winning ways, and we are expecting the home side to pick up all three points on Monday night courtesy of a narrow success.

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