Lens Vs Montpellier – prediction, team news, lineups

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Los Che are currently seventh in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, while Elche are rock bottom of the division, having collected just two points from eight matches.

Match preview

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso on May 16, 2021© Reuters

Valencia have won four, drawn one and lost three of their eight La Liga matches this season to collect 13 points, which has left them in seventh position in the table, only three points behind fourth-placed Atletico.

Gennaro Gattuso‘s side have picked up seven points from their last three games during a strong run of form, and they will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 victory over Osasuna.

Justin Kluivert and Mouctar Diakhaby were on the scoresheet at Estadio El Sadar last time out, and Valencia will now be bidding to record their fifth league success of the campaign against the league’s basement side.

Los Che, who have scored 14 times in La Liga this term, were ninth in Spain’s top flight last term, but they have shown early signs of a possible top-six challenge, which would see them return to a Europe.

Valencia have been victorious in each of their last three league games against Elche, including a 2-1 success in the corresponding fixture between the two sides last term.

Elche manager Jorge Almiron pictured while in charge of San Lorenzo in May 2019© Reuters

Elche reappointed Jorge Almiron as head coach ahead of this match, with the 51-year-old returning to the club that he left in February 2021, and he will be tasked with moving Los Franjiverdes out of the relegation zone.

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a very tough start to the campaign for Los Ilicitanos, who have only picked up two points from their opening eight matches to sit bottom of the table.

Elche are only four points from the safety of 17th, though, and there is still plenty of football to be played before the end of the campaign.

The strugglers suffered five straight league defeats before managing to pick up a point against Mallorca last time out, with Ezequiel Ponce on the scoresheet at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero.

Elche, who will host Real Madrid in their next game after this one, are in their third straight season at this level of football, finishing 17th and 13th since returning to the top flight in 2020.

Team News

Elche's Fidel celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 6, 2022© Reuters

Valencia will be missing Marcos Andre and Diakhaby this weekend through suspension, while Jaume Domenech is definitely out of the contest due to a knee injury.

Samu Castillejo is also a doubt due to a back problem, so it could be the same side that took to the field for the first whistle against Osasuna last time out.

Edinson Cavani is again expected to be supported by Kluivert and Samuel Lino in the forward areas, with Andre Almeida operating as the number 10 for Gattuso’s side.

As for Elche, Omar MascarellJavier Pastore and Fidel will miss the contest through injury, while Lucas Boye is suspended after picking up a red card against Mallorca.

Ponce is again set to feature in the final third of the field alongside Roger Marti, but Domingos Quina should come back into the starting XI for this contest.

Pol Lirola and Pere Milla are also among those pushing for spots in the side, and the new manager could decide to keep with the 3-5-2 formation that started last time out.

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Mamardashvili; Correia, Paulista, Comert, Gaya; Moriba, Guillamon; Kluivert, Almeida, Lino; Cavani

Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Palacios, Verdu, Bigas; Lirola, Quina, Guti, Gumbau, Clerc; Marti, Ponce

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