La Liga 2 Preview Week 30: Can the top six all bounce back?March 10, 2018
It was a crazy week in La Liga 2 as the last round of matches saw five of the six top teams all drop points.
Huesca looked nothing like league leaders as they endured a torrid time at home to Almeria, drawing 2-2 in a match that saw them have Pulido and Melero dismissed.
Rubi’s men have now failed to register a win in their last three outings. Snapping hard at their heels are Rayo Vallecano who are unbeaten in their last eight matches. The form team continues to be, surprisingly,
Real Zaragoza who have ascended to 11th spot on the back of a draw and four wins. They overcame Numancia thanks to a double from Pombo.
Last night, Tenerife won the opening match of the round as they triumphed 3-1 over Real Oviedo at the Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez with goals from Samuele Longo who bagged his twelfth of the campaign and a double from Mula.
At 2-0 down, the visitors had pulled a goal back from Juan Forlin shortly after the hour mark to make it interesting but they could not go on to take anything from the match. More details on this, and all the Week 30 matches will be available in the Segunda round-up.
Looking ahead to the rest of the matches this weekend, there are some mouth watering clashes in one of the tightest divisions in world football. My match of the week is, perhaps, a slightly off-beat choice, as Granada entertain Nastic in Saturday’s first tussle.
Granada slipped up last week losing 2-1 away to Lugo, who snapped their own three match losing streak in the process, thanks to a goal in the dying embers of the match from Carlos Pita who grabbed his second of the day. However, Granada are only two points behind second-placed Rayo Vallecano and can leapfrog them if results go their way today.
This will be a particularly interesting match because, although there is a huge gulf in league position between these two sides, Gimnastic have played quite well away from home.
In fact, they boast the league’s best away record which is stark contrast to their home form where they have won just three times. On the road, however, they have fared much better winning six and drawing four of 15 away matches.
They will need to apply themselves for the full 90 minutes at Los Cameres if they want to pull off a shock result. Maikel Mesa is their top scorer with seven goals from his midfield role, closely followed by forwards Manuel Barreiro, also with seven, and Nigerian Uche Ikechukwu one behind on six. They will be without the services of Eddy Israfilov as the Armenian continues to recover from a collarbone injury, Muhammed Djetei (cruciate ligament) and Nicalao Dumitru who is nursing a thigh problem.
The hosts are very strong in their own ground, winning an impressive 11 of 14 home matches. They too have not had their problems to seek on the road, winning only three times but they are on an impressive run where they won four out of the last five.
They came unstuck against little Lugo last week, but lead scorer Darwin Machis has scored four times in his last five outings so gives them attacking impetus against a side that is winless in their previous three. Jose Luis Oltra has almost a full squad to choose from with the only notable absentee being midfielder Angel Montro who is back in training following a leg injury. Defensively, El Grana are conceding less than a goal a game at home, so Nastic will have their work cut out to bypass a stingy back line.
In the other Week 30 matches, promotion chasing Real Valladolid make the trip to Alcorcon looking to keep pace with the pack and could find themselves in the final playoff berth if they win and other results fall in their favour.
There has been speculation swirling around the Jose Zorilla in recent weeks about whether or not manager Luis Cesar Sampedro will stay the course of the season and former boss Miroslav Djukic, who led the side to promotion during his last tenure, is strongly rumoured to be a potential replacement.
Pucela took their eye of the ball last week and let another lead slip against Rayo Vallecano at home, so it remains to be seen if the continuing uncertainty over the man at the helm is having any impact on the field. Alcorcon have gone three matches without a win and are struggling, with only one win in five to show for their endeavours. Los Alfareros are vulnerable in defence and will not relish facing league top-scorer Jaime Mata this week.
Rayo Vallecano travel to the Juegos Mediterraneos to face Almeria who, although 14th, have picked up ten points from a possible 15 of late. Michel’s side too are in good tune, undefeated in their last five outings and are only five points behind Huesca so they will be looking to take advantage of any slip by the leaders.
Cadiz should have no problems in an Andalucian derby as they host Sevilla Atletico who remain rooted to the foot of the table and without a win in eight matches since they sprung a surprise on Lugo in the first match of 2018. Cadiz are in fourth and breathing hard down the neck of Granada, just a point behind.
Form team, Real Zaragoza, have enjoyed a run of four consecutive wins and will be odds-on favourite to make it five in a row as they welcome Lorca to La Romareda. The visitors are winless in thirteen having not won since November and are second from bottom, edging Sevilla Atletico by only two points courtesy of two draws in February.
Barcelona B entertain Numancia at the Mini Estadi and look to get back to winning ways on the back of two draws, while the Rojillos travel to Catalonia in an effort to snap a two match losing skid and remain in the hunt for a playoff position.
Osasuna are on the road as they visit Albacete at the Carlos Belmonte stadium. Their form has been patchy of late and the hosts are undefeated in their last three, but Diego Martinez’s men are always dangerous and the hosts would be wise to treat them with caution.
Lugo make the long trip south to Andalucia to face Cordoba, buoyed by their win last week Granada. Cordoba made heavy weather of dispatching Alcorcon last week but were impressive in their last home match after coming from behind to beat ten-man Real Valladolid 2-1.
At El Molinon, Sporting welcome 19th placed Cultural Leonasa and should be too strong for the side from Castile y Leon. The Asturians have picked up ten point from a possible 12 and are heavily fancied against a visiting side who have one win to show for their last five outings.
In the final match of the weekend, leaders Huesca will look to stem the leak of points they are currently suffering having gone three matches without victory. This sloppy form has allowed the chasing teams to gain ground on them so Rubi’s men will relish the chance to put one over on a disjointed Reus in Catalonia and steady the ship. They will be without Jorge Pulido and Gonzalo Melero who both saw red in their draw with Almeria.