Elche vs Valencia preview - Alves eyeing Elche upset



Posted Thursday, March 19, 2015 by PA

Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves is hoping the club can maintain their excellent run of form and claim all three points at lowly Elche on Friday.

The Che outfit is riding a six-match unbeaten run, including five wins in that stretch, to maintain their push for Champions League football next season.

Last week's 2-0 triumph over Deportivo La Coruna lifted Valencia to third in the Primera Division, one point clear of defending Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

"It's important to take three points at Elche in order to achieve our aim," Alves told his club's official website. "Our only thoughts are of playing next season in the Champions League.

"We are going through a positive spell and we are just focusing on the task at hand."

A top-four finish would guarantee Valencia a spot in the Champions League.

The side coached by Portuguese boss Nuno has lost just one of their last 14 games and given away just one goal in their last three league games.

"We are just focusing on working hard, knowing that as the season continues, every game becomes harder," Alves said. "Elche have their own aims and ours is to continue to add points every week."

Elche lost 3-0 at Sevilla on Sunday to drop to 15th in the standings, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

The club that is based in the southern part of the Valencia region has been difficult to beat at home of late, except against Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Elche have won three of their last five games at the Martinez Valero stadium.

"We are playing at home and we should always point to win here," said Elche midfielder Mario Pasalic, who is on loan from Chelsea. "Valencia is a very strong team and a draw would still be a good result for us."

The visitors are without Spanish forward Alvaro Negredo, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

Elche, coached by Valencia-born Fran Escriba, are hoping to recover midfielder Aaron.

Aaron missed last weekend's match with a muscular injury.



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