I can remember earlier this year when the fellas over at VillarrealUSA.com had me on their podcast and asked if there was alot of transfer activity in the Segunda during the January window. “Not much,” was my response as the norm was Primera teams offloading a player to a Segunda team or Segunda teams transferring among themselves. Not so the case this time around as several Segunda clubs landed some fairly known fish. Two will becoming in from England: Newcastle sending Xisco to Cordoba on loan and Liverpool sending Dani Pacheco to Huesca on loan. It is also worth looking at all the activity by Villarreal and Hercules. Six new faces join the Submarino including former Cruz Azul man Javi Aquino while Hercules add seven new players, five of whom were without a club. Needless to say, much more activity this year than in years past.
Villarreal coach Marcelino sees his ‘new’ team as now having the potential to go back up to the Primera and they’ll aim for a second straight win this weekend at Guadalajara. It won’t be easy as Guadalajara are much improved and were late losers last week at Girona. Sometimes it can take a little tme for new players to gel, combine that with an improved Guada side and I think this has the makings of a DRAW.
Six matches after threatening to kill a referee, Javi Matilla finally returns to a Murcia squad that is desperately seeking some positive results. Maybe it’s no coincidence that since Matilla’s suspension, they have struggled to win but on Sunday opportunity knocks as they visit Huesca. As mentioned earlier, Huesca pulled off a coup grabbing Liverpool’s Dani Pacheco yesterday before the transfer window closed. Could very well be the best signing in the Segunda, just have to see how things pan out. Murcia are struggling while Huesca have to be feeling good, especially after last week’s win. HOME WIN.
Got a tasty one out on the islands as Las Palmas host leaders Elche on Saturday. The Pio Pio suffered a defeat last week in Lugo while Elche took care of their business in the derbi alicantino against Hercules. Las Palmas are excellent at home but will have to fend off Elche’s excellent counterattack which just got stronger as they re-added Angel from Levante yesterday. Should be a fun one but I think it ends with a point for each. DRAW.
Fresh off their win in the Mini-Clasico, Barcelona B face a different kind of Clasico, this time a Catalan derbi against neighbors Sabadell. Barca B look great but in 2013 Sabadell have turned their home ground into a ‘fortin’ of sorts beating Girona and Alcorcon by a combined score of 6-1. Mild upset here. HOME WIN.
Yikes. Sporting-Racing. This was a Primera fixture last year. This year? Not so much. In fact, it looks more like a potential Segunda B match in 2014. Sporting at least rescued a point last week (albeit in controversial manner) against Murcia while Racing, well, are Racing. HOME WIN.
Could it be? Three wins in a row? it’s entire possible for Mirandes who host a beleaguered Xerez side on Sunday. Mirandes look great and appear to be hitting their stride while Xerez are sinking. Two teams moving in opposite directions here. HOME WIN.
Should be a good one at El Toralin with Ponferradina hosting Girona. The Catalans rediscovered the winning ways in last weeks win over Guada while Ponfe’s 2013 continues to sputter as they are winless in their last four, having picked up just a single point in that time. But Ponfe are good at home and a funny feeling says they’ll be up for it. HOME WIN.
Recreativo are back in Huelva and host a Numancia team still reeling from last week’s home loss to Huesca. Recre appear to be too reliant on Chuli but with just two wins away from Soria, Numancia are prone to defeat on the road. HOME WIN.
Cordoba are back at home with new man Xisco in tow and face a Lugo side who are upbeat after last week’s win over Las Palmas. Lugo have actually managed a few away wins of late but playing in Cordoba is another matter. The Andalusians are of course quite strong on their home ground having only allowed seven goals there this season. Plus, the verdiblancos are in the thick of the playoff chase. No way they let three points slip by. HOME WIN.
In the late Sunday night game Almeria hit the road and head north (actually, that’s pretty much the case for every away match, isn’t it?) to face Real Madrid Castilla. The Baby Moudrilenos are still indignant about the refereeing in last week’s Mini Clasico, but what else is new. Meanwhile a promotion hungry and confident Almeria look to hold their edge in the three way battle for second between themselves, Girona and Alcorcon. Gutsy esult here for the guests, says me. AWAY WIN.
Funny how just last June Hercules-Alcorcon was the first leg of the Segunda playoff semifinal. Hercules’ poor form this seaosn may have led people to forget that they were actually in the playoff last year, but a renewed sense of hope in 2013, despite the debri loss last week, has filtered through the side. As for Alcorcon, the home results are excellent as always, but away from the Santo Domingo, they look half the side they are. I thought that had been corrected with some away wins in the fall, but since eating those 12 grapes at midnight on December 31, it’s been the opposite. A win here would put Hercules on the doorstep of getting out of the drop. I say they do it. HOME WIN.
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