Elche will be bidding to make it three La Liga wins in a row when they welcome Osasuna to Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero on Saturday afternoon.
The home side are currently 14th in the table, eight points clear of the relegation zone, while Osasuna occupy ninth position, four points behind eight-placed Athletic Bilbao.
Elche’s back-to-back wins over Mallorca and Real Betis have moved them up into 14th position in the table, now eight points clear of the relegation zone, so they are in a brilliant position to stay in the league heading into the final straight.
Los Franjiverdes finished 17th in La Liga last term, while they have only ended a top-flight season in a position higher than 16th on one occasion since 1977, meaning that this could go down as a hugely successful campaign.
Francisco’s side actually lost five of their six league matches between February 25 and April 10, which left them fearful of dropping into the relegation zone, but the two wins over Mallorca and Betis have been vital, and they kept clean sheets in both of those fixtures.
Elche will take on Cadiz, Atletico Madrid, Celta Vigo and Getafe in their final four league games of the season, and they are only actually four points behind 10th-placed Valencia, so it is certainly possible for them to finish in the top half with a strong end to the campaign.
Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate on March 13, 2022© Reuters
Osasuna, meanwhile, will enter this weekend’s match off the back of a 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid, but Los Rojillos have won three of their last five in the league, including their last away match at Valencia.
Jagoba Arrasate’s side have collected 44 points from their 33 league matches this season to sit ninth in the table, two points ahead of 10th-placed Valencia and four behind eighth-placed Athletic Bilbao.
Osasuna have finished 10th and 11th in their last two top-flight campaigns, and 10th represents their best season at this level since ending the 2011-12 season in seventh.
The Pamplona-based outfit actually have the sixth-best away record in La Liga this season, picking up 23 points from 16 matches, which is the same number of points that Elche have claimed on home soil.
Three of the last four league meetings between these two sides have finished all square, including a 1-1 draw in the reverse match earlier this term, while it was 2-2 in the corresponding game last season.