Malaga vs Elche preview - Torres looking for winning send-off

Posted Saturday, December 20, 2014 by PA

Defender Miguel Torres wants Malaga to end the year on a high when they visit rock bottom Elche on Sunday.

Malaga endured a difficult start to the season, winning just one of their opening five games, but they have turned a corner recently thanks to a run of three straight victories.

Javi Gracia's team advanced to the last 16 of the Copa del Rey with an emphatic win over Deportivo la Coruna this week and they are only out of the Europa League qualification places on goal difference.

Torres admits he and his team-mates do not want to enter the winter break on the back of a defeat, though, so he is hoping for a fourth straight win over strugglers Elche on Sunday.

"My wish is that we can continue our form in 2015, but for this to happen we have to end this year well at Elche," the Malaga defender told a press conference.

"I think that this season will end up being a good season for us if we keep working like this and we keep enjoying it."

Malaga's opponents have struggled since they kicked off their season with a 3-0 home defeat to Barcelona.

The team from Alicante have won just two league games this season and are two points from safety after 15 matches.

Even thought it came against Segunda Division opposition, Elche's win over Valladolid in the cup has raised morale and Gracia expects a tough game on Sunday.

"They need points in the league and they will do everything to get them," the Malaga coach said.

"We are an ambitious team and I want to see that in Elche. I am hoping we get the three points.

"We have an opportunity to do a good thing before we finish (for the winter break)."

Elche's last league win came on November 2 when they beat Espanyol 2-1 at the Estadio Martinez Valero.

The midweek Copa del Rey win was Fran Escriba's 100th game in charge of Elche.

Escriba, who took over at Elche two years ago, played down the achievement and insisted his sole focus is beating Malaga this weekend.

"I am proud and it was nice to achieve that landmark," Escriba told a press conference.

"But that's not worrying me now. The only thing I am thinking about is Sunday's game."

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