Prediction: Real Madrid will win, but Elche will also sign up
Real Madrid host Elche in a match that was postponed due to the Royals' commitment to the Club World Cup.
We have an obvious difference in classes here.
Although the visitors have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks (1-2-1).
However, they still have a lot to make up for in the battle against relegation.
Elche achieved its first win of the season in the last round of La Liga (1-6-13).
But now he has one of the worst possible opponents to face as he tries to build momentum.
However, Real Madrid is far from flawless lately.
Their last appearance in the Primera Division ended with a 0-1 defeat by Mallorca.
The Whites unexpectedly dropped points in home games against Osasuna and Girona earlier this season.
Still, it's hard to see anything other than a convincing home win here.
Los Blancos played some excellent football against Al-Hilal at the weekend.
Maybe they weren't as focused as they would be in a La Liga game. The 3 goals conceded came from here.
But Carlo Ancelotti had plenty to be happy about, especially in attack.
I think the upcoming game is a pretty comfortable assignment for the Kings.
This could be a chance for them to warn Barcelona that the title race is not over yet.
In summary, my prediction is a win for Real Madrid and a respectable goal for Elche.
Real Madrid are 11 points behind in the title race
Real Madrid fans are hardly liking the way the La Liga table looks at the moment.
Their favorites are 11 points behind Barcelona ahead of this postponed game against Elche.
And the bookies are already tipping Xavi's men as outright favorites to win the title this campaign.
It is true that Carlo Ancelotti's team is not in a good position at the moment. But there is still plenty of football to be played in the season.
There is another El Clasico on the horizon, which Real will need to win if they are to catch up with their arch-rivals.
It is not out of the realm of possibility for the Blancos to overtake Barca between now and early June.
To do so, however, Madrid must regain their focus.
Real Madrid have been in shaky form in La Liga lately (2-1-2)
Before leaving Spain for the Club World Cup, the Kings were not in great form.
They have failed to win three of their last five matches in the Primera Division.
It was this that allowed Barcelona to gain a lead at the top of the standings.
Real Madrid is the world club champion
Perhaps the Club World Cup title will give them the springboard they need to go up again.
The European representative generally triumphs in this race.
So there was nothing spectacular about Real Madrid emerging victorious in Morocco.
But 4-1 and 5-3 wins over Al Ahli and Al-Hilal respectively will boost the Blancos' confidence.
Which they will need as they prepare to return to domestic action this week.
Elche is in last place in La Liga
It's fair to say that the 2022/23 campaign has not gone to plan for Elche so far.
Following promotion in 2020, they retained their place in La Liga the following year, after which they finished 13th.
But this season has been disastrous, leaving Elche needing a miracle to save themselves with 18 games remaining.
Elche has just one win this season (1-6-13)
Elche head into this daunting trip to Madrid having won just 1 game all campaign.
On the plus side, this win came in their last game.
After Pere Mia's hat-trick gave the team a much-needed 3-1 triumph over Europa League chasers Villarreal.
The visitors' winger, however, underwent surgery on his collarbone and will be out for a long time.
And despite this success, Elche are 12 points off safety at the moment.
Elche revives its slim hopes of salvation at Manchin (1-2-1)
Elche is already under a third manager for the season, which is never a good sign.
Francisco was relieved of his duties in October after a year at the helm.
While Jorge Almiron only lasted a month on the hot seat.
Pablo Machin was appointed just before the start of the World Cup.
And his team has lost just one of their last four games.
But the former Sevilla coach knows deep down that Elche have a mountain to climb and then some to avoid relegation to the Segunda Division.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineup: Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Camavinga; Modric, Chuameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Rodrigo
Injured: Vasquez, Mendy, Hazard
Lineup: badia; Gonzalez, Rocco, Magallan; Carmona, Guti, Gumbau, Clerk; Ponce, Boye, Fidel
Injured: Miya, Nwankwo, Collado, Morente
Punished: Mascarel, Palacios