After 41 weeks of blood, sweat and accusations of ‘maletines’, we arrive at the final week of the Segunda season and what a treat for all of us that an absolute monster of an affair is on the docket.
Villarreal-Almeria. Winner gets promoted to the Primera; loser is in the playoffs where anything can happen.
The Submarino downed Barcelona B over the weekend 3-0 with an emphatic performance at the Mini Estadi, which may as well have been dubbed the Mini Madrigal. 10,000 strong made the trip up the coast to see the boys in yellow and what an amazing spectacle seeing the stadium full of yellow. Bad news for Villarreal though is that a hamstring injury to Uche could see him miss the Almeria clash. That injury happened early while the game was till 0-0. Marcelino opted for a move attacking formation playing Pereira up top and Marcos Senna starting on the bench. It worked out so now either a draw or win sends Villarreal to the Primera.
Side note – I did have a chance to speak with Villarreal winger Javier Aquino in the mixed zone after the Mexico-Nigeria game. He was sorry to have missed the match but could not have been happier that so many Villarreal supporters were traveling to the match. A huge smile creased his face when talking about it.
The going was a bit more difficult for Almeria who got a late goal from Charles to squeeze past Girona 2-1. The Brazilian had both Almeria goals against a very game Girona side who thought they should have had a penalty. “The referee didn’t have the balls to call it,” said Girona’s Acuna afterward. Girona now will prep for the playoffs and will at least be able to host the second leg semifinal.
As for Villarreal-Almeria. Wow… What an affair. You couldn’t ask for more. One game and winner goes to the Primera. Almeria are an excellent side but on the backs of a four-match winning streak and a hugely supportive crowd, I like Villarreal to win it.
What is happening to Alcorcon? They had their doors blown off by Real Madrid Castilla, a 4-0 loss that saw Jese score a golazo. Suddenly, Alcorcon are in danger of not making the playoffs all together. If they fail to win at home against Sabadell, and both Las Palmas and Ponferradina win their matches, Alcorcon, once an automatic promotion candidate, won’t even have the chance to play their way in. Their form has been atrocious of late and they should count themselves lucky for even getting that late draw at Barcelona B a few weeks ago. Even if they do make it in, it’s hard to see them making it to the playoff final.
Ponferradina chose the worst time ever to have a bad match at home. (Supposedly) relegated Racing jumped out ahead 0-2 in El Bierzo before Ponfe woke up and equalized. Still, they couldn’t find a third and Las Palmas happily accepted the gift to squeak past Numancia 2-1. Alcorcon are at 66, Las Palmas at 66 and Ponfe at 65. Three teams, two spots. Las Palmas are at Murcia, Alcorcon home vs. Sabadell and Ponfe visits Lugo. I would say that Las Palmas should have an easy fixture against an already relegated Murcia….. but there is a question as to whether Murcia really is relegated…… Assuming they are relegated, I’ll go Las Palmas and Alcorcon to make the playoffs.
So what the hell am I talking about? As it turns out, Murcia, Huesca and Racing are all still alive even though the table suggests that they aren’t. The LFP has made the decision to automatically relegate Guadalajara due to financial fraud and essentially for cooking the books. Considering all the financial ‘issues’ that have gone on with Spanish clubs especially in the last few years, this all seems pretty harsh. The club plans to appeal, but as of right now that means a ‘salvacion’ spot is up for grabs. As mentioned earlier, Murcia host Las Palmas while Racing host safe Hercules and Huesca visits safe Recreativo. Huesca and Murcia are at 44 while Racing are at 43 points Recreativo. It would be incredible but I think Racing just might pull this off and stay up.
-ArchBell (twitter: @ArchBell)