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Friday's La Liga preview: Struggling duo set to square off

The first La Liga games of 2023 take place on Friday with a double-header scheduled, involving three clubs battling against relegation.

Elche and Celta Vigo feature in the first fixture of the evening at 17:30 before Valencia host Cadiz at 20:00. 

Relegation six-pointer to get 2023 up and running

WhatElche v Celta Vigo
WhereEstadio Manuel Martínez Valero, Elche
When17:30, Friday 6th January 2023
How to watchLaLigaTV & bet365 Sports Live Streaming
OddsElche 14/5, Draw 9/4, Celta Vigo 11/10

After failing to win a single game this season, Elche prop up the La Liga standings and relegation seems highly likely with a nine-point gap to 17th-placed Celta Vigo. 

A win on Friday would offer some hope of fighting back over the second half of the campaign, however, it may already be a lost cause based on what we've seen from them so far in 2022/23. 

They've lost each of their last four outings and have tasted defeat in five of their seven fixtures on home soil, scoring just four goals across those matches at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero. 

Problems on the pitch have led to big changes in the dugout and Pablo Machin was appointed as their third permanent manager this season on 17th November, while they've also had two caretaker managers this term. 

Machin lost his debut game 2-0 but he wasn't expected to yield any points when travelling to Atletico Madrid. 

The former Sevilla, Espanyol and Alaves boss will be eager to deliver against Celta on Friday, though. 

Celta have also changed their head coach this season, bringing in Carlos Carvalhal on 2nd November after a poor start under Eduardo Coudet. 

They picked up just 12 points from the first 36 on offer with Coudet at the helm and Carvalhal, who has overseen two draws from three fixtures, looks to be steadying the ship. 

The Sky Blues have the third-worst away record in the division, claiming just four points on their travels and netting only four goals across seven games.

With that in mind, a low-scoring affair is likely to be on the cards when these two struggling sides meet and backing under 1.5 goals at 2/1 offers value in the Alternative Total Goals market.

Elche have failed to register on three occasions at home this campaign, while they haven't scored more than one in a single game when hosting. 

Celta, meanwhile, have drawn a blank in three of their seven on the road and haven't netted more than once in any of their away fixtures. 

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Home comfort key for Los Che

WhatValencia v Cadiz
WhereEstadio de Mestalla, Valencia
When20:00, Friday 6th January 2023
How to watchLaLigaTV & bet365 Sports Live Streaming
OddsValencia 11/20, Draw 31/10, Cadiz 5/1

Valencia returned to action following the World Cup break with a loss at Villarreal but they have a great chance to bounce back when they host Cadiz. 

Los Che sit 10th and they are six points adrift of the European places with Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis, who sit fifth and sixth respectively, both on 25 points. 

Consistency has been an issue for Gennaro Gattuso's side, having failed to win back-to-back games in 2022/23. 

They did enjoy a five-game unbeaten streak through September and October, winning two and drawing three, and they'll need to try and rediscover that kind of form if they are to start climbing the standings. 

Valencia can take confidence from their home record, earning 13 of their 19 points at the Mestalla, ahead of Friday's clash with Cadiz. 

Cadiz avoided relegation by just a solitary point last season and 2022/23 looks set to be another campaign when they are constantly fighting for their place in the top division. 

After starting this term with five successive defeats to nil, Cadiz did eventually find their feet as they embarked on a five-game unbeaten run, although four of those matches ended in a draw. 

They've sealed just two wins all season but are only a point adrift of safety and have plenty to play for. 

However, taking anything away from Friday's engagement looks unlikely, especially when considering they've notched just four times on the road.

Backing Valencia To Win to Nil at 6/4 looks an attractive prospect, while Valencia to win and over 2.5 goals, which is priced at 6/4 in the Result/Total Goals market, also offers interest.

Former Paris Saint-Germain frontman Edinson Cavani is Valencia's top-scorer in La Liga with five to his name and he offers value at 6/4 To Score Anytime.  

The Uruguayan registered in Valencia's last league outing, a 2-1 loss at Villarreal, and was rested for the 3rd January Copa del Rey victory over La Nucia.

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