The best possible news for not just Villarreal fans but really, futbol fans in general, emerged earlier this week as Giuseppe Rossi’s second operation on his knee was declared a success. The Italian international born in New Jersey is still six months away from returning to action but for a player who hasn’t seen action in a year, it is good news. What’s also good news for Villarreal fans is the play of their team. Currently unbeaten on the season, the Submarino head north to Asturias to face Sporting in the Sunday nooner. The Gijon outfit will be without a few key pieces like Sergio Fernandez and Nacho Cases but Villarreal manager Julio Velazquez is still playing the caution game saying that Sporting will be a promotion contender in the end. Ummmm. I don’t think so. ROAD WIN.
“If we don’t win in Murcia it won’t be the end of the world.” Those were the prophetic words of Racing Santander manager Fabri (who else?) when talking about this weekend’s contest between the two aforementioned clubs. US captain Carlos Bocanegra was a late scratch prior to last week’s draw versus Numancia but should be back this weekend. Murcia are coming off a big 0-3 win that probably had more to do with Xerez’s overall suckiness rather than Murcia’s prowess. Everyone’s happy here. DRAW.
Ponferradina pulled off the upset of the week last week winning away at Real Madrid Castilla but even though they are back home it should be a much larger task having to face Sabadell in El Bierzo. The Catalans are winners of their last four and hungry for a fifth using a stifling defense that should make life difficult for a team like Ponfe. No reason whatsoever to go against a hot team. ROAD WIN.
Like so many Segunda teams, Cordoba are afflicted with off-the-field issues which unfortunately played out this week as the club’s current and past board of directors are too busy blaming each other for the club’s debt. Fortunately for the squad, they still play some darn good futbol in front of the home fans and they get another crack at that this weekend against Barcelona B. The Baby Blaugrana’s winning streak was put on hold last week after their home 1-1 draw to Las Palmas and they’ll be missing some key pieces this weekend including goalkeeper Oier and Sergi Roberto who will be with the Barca senior team in a certain match against a team from the capital city. Cordoba are stellar at home but their captain Gaspar Galvez is hurt and Lopez Silva is suspended. ROAD WIN.
Speaking of Las Palmas, star player Vitolo admtted this week that this season has not been what he’s hoped for both personally and from a team perspective. After two seasons that had their fill of dazzling play and unfortunate injuries, this was to be Vitolo’s year after a possible move to Real Madrid Castilla fell throug,h but things have not worked out. Vitolo and the gang face a big contest at home this weekend against Almeria who inexplicably drew with Hercules last week. Despite the island fever that most teams get when playing on the home ground of the Pio Pio, Almeria have historically done well on Gran Canaria including a 2-2 draw last season. I’ll go with the same. DRAW.
My flirtation with Huesca looks to have come and gone as the Aragonians have slipped back down the standings. Things won’t get any easier this Saturday as they face Girona at home. Gotta give it up to the Catalans who have become one of the more entertaining sides in the Segunda. This was exemplified by Marcos Tebar who said “I’m having a lot of fun playing this season.” Twice Girona have scored ‘manitas’ this season including one at Guadalajara but beware as that has been the team’s only away win. Huesca like to dig in and make life difficult for visitors. It won’t be pretty but Girona get the ROAD WIN here.
Just call it a gut feeling but I think Elche’s scorching start to the Segunda season ends this weekend when they head to Anduva to face Mirandes. That doesn’t make a lick of sense because not only have Mirandes not won at home this weekend, but they haven’t even scored a goal! Am I nuts? Yes. Of course. But I am also an eternal believer in the bald-headed banker Diego Armando Pablo Infante. It makes zero sense to pick this which is all the more reason to do so. HOME WIN.
Two managers under fire will see their teams do battle on Saturday as Guadalajara meet Xerez. While Guadalajara put up a brave fight last week at Sabadell losing 2-1, Xerez were humiliated in front of the home fans losing 0-3 to Murcia. Even though Carlos Terrazas’ team is lower in the table, Esteban Vigo should be the first one to go. The former Hercules boss admitted that his players have ‘a problem’ and that they are ‘committing errors they shouldn’t.’ For that reason, Vigo has been working on the psychological side of things with them. Ain’t exactly working. Xerez haven’t even gotten a point away from Chapin this season. HOME WIN.
Something has to give this weekend in Huelva as Recreativo welcome in Alcorcon in a solid mid-table duel. Recre have won all three home contests this season beating Mirandes, Lugo and Murcia. Meanwhile in their two games on Recre’s home grounds, Alcorcon have four points with a win two years ago and a scoreless draw last year. Alcorcon are better than the three sides Recre have beaten this season so I expect a close one here. DRAW.
Numancia return home to Soria to host Lugo who have to feel buoyed by their dominating 2-0 win last week over Mirandes. Numancia snuck out of the Sardinero with a 1-1 draw versus Racing last week which wasn’t bad at all. Key stat here is that Numancia have yet to give up a goal at home in three matches and play a Lugo side who have eight goals in seven matches. Kinda like the hosts to get a 1-0 here. HOME WIN.
We conclude with poor ol’ Juan Carlos Mandia who is on his own personal three match Bataan death march to unemployment as Hercules host Real Madrid Castilla. The higher-ups at the Alicante club told Mandia prior to last week’s match that he’d be able to stay on another three games and he actually managed to pull out a good result drawing away at Almeria. Unfortunately a hungry, young and dangerous Real Madrid Castilla team visits the Rico Perez which will likely see another round of crowd unrest. Bad situation here. ROAD WIN.
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