Elche have yet to win a game this season and are without a permanent manager as they prepare to host Mallorca on Monday.
A fifth successive loss for Elche was the final straw for the board and they confirmed the sacking of head coach Francisco on Tuesday. With just one point to show from seven outings, it was hardly a surprise that Francisco was shown the door and Alberto Gallego has been placed in charge on an interim basis.
Mallorca, meanwhile, have collected eight points from their opening seven games although they have lost two of their last three outings. A return to winning ways on the road on Monday could see them move into the top half of the standings.
Elche vs Mallorca Betting Tips
Elche are in their third successive La Liga campaign but, having finished 13th and four points clear of the relegation zone last season, it’s looking like they may struggle to retain their top-flight status this time around.
They were close to picking up just their second point of the season last time out, but a 95th-minute strike from Unai Lopez saw Rayo Vallecano beat Elche 2-1 and that proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Francisco.
A change in the dugout could possibly help to improve their fortunes on the pitch but the board must make the right call when appointing Francisco’s successor over the coming weeks.
Los Franjiverdes have the worst defensive record in La Liga, conceding 18 times, while they have the second-lowest tally in front of goal with just three scored.
Mallorca finished below Elche last season and just a point above the drop zone but head coach Javier Aguirre made some shrewd signings over the summer and is reaping the rewards.
They have lost three times this term but two of those defeats have come against Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Elche will once again have to manage without the services of Gonzalo Verdu due to suspension, while midfield duo Omar Mascarell and Javier Pastore are both sidelined with injuries.
This will be the first game in charge for interim boss Gallego and it’s likely he will look to make changes as he attempts to get Elche’s season up and running.
Gallego is expected to stick with the 3-5-2 formation of Francisco but Tete Morente could be drafted into the attack, while Pere Milla is also pushing to be included in the starting XI.
Mallorca don’t have any new injuries but Lyon loanee Tino Kadewere remains unavailable and back-up goalkeeper Dominik Greif is still recovering from a hip problem.
Aguirre is set to deploy Lee Kang-in alongside forward Vedat Muriqi but he could switch things up at the back with Matija Nastasic pushing for a recall in the back three.
Mallorca to win @ 13/8
Mallorca haven’t been able to build any momentum this season but they look well-placed to return to winning ways at the expense of a woeful Elche.
Los Piratas went down with some pride in a 1-0 loss to Barcelona last time out and can draw confidence from their away performances this term.
A trip to Real Madrid in their most recent away fixture ended in a heavy defeat but they won at Rayo Vallecano and drew at Athletic Bilbao.
Last season’s visit to Elche saw Mallorca lose 3-0 but it’s difficult to see anything but an away win this time around.
Highest scoring half – first half @ 11/5
Elche goalkeeper Edgar Badia has picked the ball out of his net on more occasions than any other stopper in La Liga this season with his side shipping 18 goals.
The majority of those (13) have been conceded in the first half of games with Elche often finding themselves down and out of matches before it even reaches the midway point.
Indeed, the first half has been the highest-scoring half in six of Elche’s seven league engagements this term and that could prove to be the case again on Monday.