A weekend in Orlando at Disney World prevented me from writing up a Segunda Focus piece last week so I am rested and ready to get back to business. Actually, I am nowhere near rested. Disney World is stressful if you are the parent of a four year old who’s there with her six year old cousin. You expect it to be this magical place when in the end you spend most of the time in line.
Such is life in the Segunda for teams hoping to nail down that playoff spot. It’s wonderful to be there, but the wait to actually reach where you want to be is insufferable. Look no further than Saturday’s Girona-Alcorcon monster match up. This is the battle for second as Alcorcon, with 65 points, visit Girona who sit at 64. Both teams come into it feeling good at Elche’s expense. Girona drew with the league leaders last week at the Martinez Valero while Alcorcon topped the Ilicitanos 1-0 two weeks ago at home. Monitlivi is expected to be fairly full, a rarity for sure but certainly nice to see and deserving for the home side. Alcorcon’s away form still concerns so going with a HOME WIN.
Another big one sees Villarreal welcoming in the aforementioned Elche as the Submarino look to secure a win in front of the Madrigal faithful. Elche’s huge gap at the top has been whittled away in the last few months and is now down to eight. Their current 73 points in most Segunda seasons (the ol’ 70-50 promotion/relegation threshold) would make them Primera bound. But this year with such a log jam in the 2-6 spots, it’s not a given. Think about it, an Elche loss coupled with an Alcorcon or Girona win would see the lead narrowed to five or six. That ain’t much. add to the fact that Elche boss Fran Escriba is rumored to be taking the Levante gig, well, you have some tension then in Ilicitano-land. Meanwhile, Villarreal seem to have the right spirit. Marcos Senna says he wants back in the Primera and midfielder Bruno says that now’s the time to enjoy playing, not be fretful. You know who’s fretful? Elche, especially after Villarreal’s HOME WIN.
Las Palmas remain in the final playoff spot but still can’t seem to shake Ponferradina who are chomping at their heels two points back. The Pio Pio host Sporting whose late season revival has taken a hit in the last two weeks with consecutive defeats. As for the Pio Pio, it’s been 180 minutes since they last scored at home but they should be able to snap that against Sandoval’s bunch. HOME WIN.
Not much to report on when it comes to Barcelona B-Lugo on Saturday. Lugo are comfortably mid-table in their first season back in the Segunda which is a nice achievement while Barcelona B hope to bring some joy to the Mini Estadi in what was a rather dour midweek in the Ciudad Condal. HOME WIN.
If last week’s win over Sabadell was big, then three points in La Mancha for Mirandes against Guadalajara would be massive. Mirandes sit just one point above the drop with 41 points and face Guada with 44 points. Carlos Puoso and Carlos Terrazas are quite familiar with each other. Guada have shown their mettle in the second half of the season, but when there’s a Pablo Infante, there’s always a way. DRAW.
Fun story. Two friends of mine from Galicia who study here in Austin at the University of Texas were over for dinner the other night. The discussion invariably turned to futbol and when I mentioned to my friend Alberto from La Coruna how well Ponferradina were doing, I received back a look of stupor. “They are?” See, even those next door in Galicia have no idea about this pesky team from El Bierzo. But all credit to them. They just never go away and Saturday lines up as a perfect chance to grab another three points. Recreativo are in visiting and are in their usual mid-table end of season non-chalance. Just two back of Las Palmas, Ponfe look set to make a move. HOME WIN.
The sand is running out of the hourglass on Huesca as they face another huge relegation six-pointer. This time it is versus Hercules who are one point above the drop with 41 points. Huesca at 36, need to win and need to win now. The spirit showed in a 4-3 win over Sabadell three weeks ago has been absent in the last two, including a disappointing 1-1 draw at home against Ponfe. They head to Alicante to play Hercules whose defense ranks first in the second half of the season. *Gulp*. HOME WIN.
The Racing survival dream is slowly dying and with a visit to promotion-hungry Almeria, things don’t stand to get much better. Almeria are letting automatic promotion slip away so they’ll be keen to secure three and cement their playoff standing. HOME WIN.
Murcia pulled off a big win against Almeria last week at home so now the Segunda 19th-placed team who are still in the drop are on the hunt for another victory, this time at the Di Stefano in Madrid against Real Madrid Castilla. Anything happen in Madrid this week by the way? Never mind… I like desperation and a mild upset here. AWAY WIN.
Mid-table comfort as Sabadell hosts Numancia. DRAW.
Sadly, with Friday’s result now done, Xerez are officially in the Segunda B losing to Cordoba 1-3. Hard to believe it was just the 2009-2010 season when the Chapin saw Primera futbol. But just ask Tenerife (and likely Racing too) how quickly things can change.
Follow me on Twitter! @ArchBell