La Liga Preview: Elche v Real Madrid
By Football News
Real Madrid make their first trip to Elche in 24 years on Wednesday looking to claim their fifth win in six La Liga games this season.
Carlo Ancelotti's side have dropped just two points so far this term - in a 2-2 draw at Villarreal - and go into the match at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on the back of a 4-1 win over Getafe on Sunday.
Real came from a goal down to beat their city neighbours at the Bernabeu, with Cristiano Ronaldo grabbing a brace.
The last time Real faced Elche, they did the double over them with 3-1 and 4-2 victories in the 1988-89 top-flight campaign, and the capital club have only lost one of their last 10 meetings against the newly promoted side.
Fran Escriba's team made it back into La Liga for the first time since 1989 by winning the Segunda Division last season, but they have yet to win on their return to the top tier.
However, they have only lost twice in their opening five games, and can take heart from the fact that they have not been beaten in either of their home matches.
But worryingly for Escriba, whose side have kept just one clean sheet this term, Real have scored 10 goals in their last two matches.
Ancelotti will definitely be without world-record signing Gareth Bale after the Wales international picked up a thigh injury in the warm-up before their game with Getafe.
Bale underwent tests on Monday which showed fatigue in the muscle, but the manager said after the Getafe fixture that he should be fit for the Madrid derby against Atletico on Saturday.
Fabio Coentrao, Marcelo (both hamstring) and Xabi Alonso (foot) are also unavailable, but Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos gave the Italian a boost when they returned to full training on Monday morning.
Elche have injury concerns over Cristian Sapunaru (knock) and Sergio Pelegrin (hernia) ahead of the match, with the former more likely to be available than the latter.