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The odds for Real Madrid vs Elche are brought to you by the DraftKings Sportsbook, where a deposit bonus of up to $1000 is available right now.
Back Real Madrid to beat Elche with a -2.5 handicap - in effect, a home win by a three-goal margin or more. The Blancos need to go on a winning run in La Liga, and this game should be pretty straightforward for them to negotiate.
Real Madrid will not like the look of the La Liga table right now. They are 11 points adrift of Barcelona in top spot ahead of this rearranged fixture against Elche this weekend. The best online sportsbooks now have Xavi Hernandez’s men as strong favorites to win the La Liga title ahead of Madrid, the defending champions.
It is true that Carlo Ancelotti’s side are not in a great position right now. But there is plenty of soccer still to be played this season. There is one more Clasico on the horizon, which Madrid probably need to win if they are to overhaul their arch-rivals.
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Blancos chase down Barcelona between now and the beginning of June. In order to do so, though, Madrid must recapture their focus.
Perhaps victory at Club World Cup 2023 will give them the springboard they need to mount a genuine title tilt. The European representative usually triumphs at that event, so there was nothing especially spectacular about Madrid coming out on top in Morocco.
But 4-1 and 5-3 victories over Al Ahly and Al-Hilal respectively will have given the Blancos a confidence boost as they prepare to return to domestic action this week.
Before they left Spain to compete in the Club World Cup, Madrid were not in great form. They have failed to win half of their six league matches since World Cup 2022. That allowed Barcelona to pull clear at the summit of the standings.
Madrid will hope that their extra experience gives them an edge as the business end of the campaign approaches. But in order to give Barcelona something to worry about, Ancelotti’s side must stop dropping points in games they should be winning - including this clash at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
It is fair to say the 2022/23 campaign has not gone to plan for Elche so far. After promotion in 2020, they stayed up by the skin of their teeth the following year, then finished 13th last term. But this season has been calamitous, leaving Elche in need of a miracle to stay up with 18 games remaining.
They head into this daunting trip to the Spanish capital having won just one game all campaign. On the plus side, that victory came in their last fixture, as a hat-trick from Pere Milla brought Elche a much-needed 3-1 triumph over Europa League-chasing Villarreal.
Yet despite that success, Elche find themselves 12 points adrift of safety at the time of writing. If Espanyol avoid defeat by Real Sociedad on Monday, the Franjiverdes will be 13 points behind 17th spot by the time their meeting with Real Madrid gets under way.
Elche are already on their third permanent manager of the season, which is never a good sign. Francisco was relieved of his duties in October after a year in charge, while Jorge Almiron lasted for just a month in the hot seat.
Pablo Machin was appointed just before the start of the World Cup, and his side have lost just one of their last four matches. But the former Sevilla coach knows deep down that Elche have a mountain to climb - and then some - to avoid slipping into the Segunda Division.
Elche have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, even if they still have considerable ground to make up in the battle against relegation. But after their first win of the season last time out, this is one of the worst possible fixtures for Machin’s side to face as they attempt to build momentum.
Madrid have been far from flawless of late. Their last La Liga outing was a 1-0 defeat by Real Mallorca. They have dropped points unexpectedly in home games against Osasuna and Girona this term.
Yet it is hard to see anything other than a convincing home victory here. Madrid played some excellent soccer against Al-Hilal at the weekend. They were perhaps not as focused as they would have been in a La Liga game, hence the concession of three goals. But there was plenty for Ancelotti to be pleased about, especially in attack.
We envisage this being a pretty comfortable assignment for Madrid. This could be a chance to make a statement of intent and warn Barcelona that the title race is not done yet. Back Madrid with a -2.5 handicap on Wednesday.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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