Elche held Sevilla to a 1-1 draw when the two sides locked horns in the reverse match earlier this season, but they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Estadio Ramon during the 2020-21 campaign.
The visitors will be the underdogs on Friday night, but there is no question that they will enter the match full of confidence, having put together a five-game unbeaten run in the league, recording three wins in the process.
Francisco‘s side have won three of their last four in Spain’s top flight, including a 3-1 success over Alaves on February 5, with Pere Milla netting a brace during a strong performance at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero.
Elche finished 17th in La Liga last term, only two points clear of the relegation zone, but they are currently up in 14th position, eight points clear of the bottom three.
Los Franjiverdes have not managed to secure back-to-back seasons at this level of football since 2015 but look well-placed to retain their top-flight status for another campaign.
Sevilla will be without Gonzalo Montiel, who was injured in the early stages of the clash with Osasuna, which could open the door for January signing Jesus Corona to start at right-back, with Jesus Navas also a major doubt.
Anthony Martial should make his home debut for Sevilla in this match, while Jules Kounde is set to return to partner Diego Carlos in the middle of the defence, with Lopetegui expected to switch to a back four.
As for Elche, Gonzalo Verdu will hope to shake off a knock to retain his spot in the middle of the defence, and the visitors have no other fresh concerns heading into the contest.
As a result, there is every chance that head coach Francisco could select the same side that took to the field for the first whistle against Alaves last time out.
Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Corona, Kounde, Carlos, Acuna; Rakitic, Fernando, Jordan; Ocampos, En-Nesyri, Martial
Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Palacios, Verdu, Bigas, Mojica; Morente, Mascarell, Gumbau, Fidel; Milla, Boye