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Arch Bell On May - 18 - 2012

Segunda Focus: Clearing Up

After a rapid-fire week of games in the Segunda, things have cleared up a bit when it comes to the playoffs and relegation. The second automatic promotion spot very much remains in doubt but we’ll get to that later. Let’s start at the bottom.

It’s do or die for Gimnastic who are nine points off of safety (even after the Villarreal lifeline) and are expected to go down this weekend. Nastic ended up drawing with Girona midweek 1-1 in a game they just had to win since Girona is the first team outside the drop. Jorge D’Alessandro’s gang heads to Murcia this weekend in what should seal their relegation down to the Segunda B. HOME WIN.

Next up is Cartagena who are at 34 points and five off of safety. Oddly enough, Juan Carlos Rios has gotten this team to fight until the end earning two wins and a draw in their last three full matches. They face a Huesca team in Aragon that pretty much has their permanencia wrapped up here. Desperation wins out here. ROAD WIN.

Things just can’t seem to go right for Alcoyano who have lost too many games at home that they had to have. In the last six weeks, there have been devastating losses to Nastic, Guadalajara, Girona and Murcia. All games where you would have thought they could have at least gotten a result. But they didn’t. Now they head northwest to Galicia to face Celta in Balaidos. Anyone think they have a chance? No way. HOME WIN.

Girona-Cordoba sets up as a tricky game for each because frankly neither one of them wants to lose this one. Cordoba now boast a six point lead over Almeria for the final playoff spot while Girona are five points clear of the drop. This one has a kick and giggle 0-0 written all over it. DRAW.

Speaking of Almeria, has a team cratered worse than this one has? This was a team in first place earlier this season and now even having the league’s Pichichi in Leo Ulloa, they appear to be on the outside looking in. Let’s face it. Firing Lucas Alcaraz was a horrible decision. Esteban Vigo hasn’t exactly righted the ship and the team faces another year in the Segunda. They get a final crack at things on Saturday when they host Alcorcon. The Madrid suburbanites are coming off a 3-1 win led by a Quini hat trick. Alcorcon can officially clinch a playoff spot with a win this weekend as they will continue to jockey with Hercules and Cordoba on playoff positioning. But there has been a big distraction of late as rumors swirl that Juan Antnio Anquela is in line to be the next manager of Rayo. Nothing confirmed though. As for the game itself, Almeria shows some fight but Alcorcon have become a good road team too. DRAW.

Anybody remember what happened back on November 12th? That was actually the day before the first derbi gallego but it was also the last time Numancia won away from Soria prior to Wednesday’s victoria in Alicante against Hercules. I fully admit it was the last thing anyone expected but credit to Numancia for showing some fight. They now host Barcelona B this weekend in a rematch of last year’s wildest match of the season when Barca B won 4-6. The Baby Blaugrana may not have earned an extra 120,000 euros on Wednesday (more on that in a bit), but they should put on another show at Los Pajaritos. ROAD WIN.

The league leaders are counting down the days until promotion and it could come as early as this weekend as Depor head to Xerez to face the Azulino. A Depor win combined with either a Celta or Valladolid loss would promote Depor. Considering the opponents though, it is more probably that promotion comes a few days later in Tarragona. Depor man Riki made a good point the other day saying that with 82 points they would have already been promoted by now if this was a normal Liga Adelante season. But of course it’s not so they have’t. No te preocupes Riki. Ya viene… ROAD WIN.

So Cadena SER in Valladolid has come out with the claim that Celta offered Barca B 120,000 euros to win their Wednesday match against the Pucelete. It’s a strong accusation to make but at this time of year ‘primas’ and ‘maletines’ are a topic of conversation always. But in this case it seems a bit silly considering Celta control their own destiny as they own the tiebreaker with Valladolid. As for the Pucelete themselves, it’s a home match against Sabadell, which they should win. Expect Celta and Valladolid to come down to the wire for the final promotion spot. HOME WIN.

Also on the docket is Hercules visiting Las Palmas. This game is important for the alicantinos to recover from that bad home loss to Numancia. Hercules are in fifth, one point behind Alcorcon. Yes, they’ll be in the playoff but you want to have that 4th place spot so you get the home return leg. Meanwhile the Pio Pio are safe and sound. I’ll go with the guests. ROAD WIN.

Cheers to Villarreal B for manning up midweek after the senior team’s relegation and winning 4-2. The Baby Submariners get another home match this weekend against Recre. HOME WIN.

Finally, we take a look at the Elche-Guadalajara match. On the outside, it doesn’t look like much but considering Guadalajara’s fall in form, this one will be worth watching. Out of the teams just above the drop, Guadalajara look like the one that could collapse and from the teams who ae in the relegation zone, Cartagena have been playing the best futbol of late. They are separated by six points. I say it gets cut to three by Sunday night. HOME WIN.

Follow me on Twitter! @ArchBell

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Arch Bell

A longtime lover of Spain's often-ignored Liga Adelante, Arch started writing about second division in 2008 on a blog called 'Bienvenido Al Infierno' which he ultimately brought to La Liga Weekly in 2009. He has since gone on to cover Segunda matches in Spain for LLW and has conducted interviews with Segunda Division players. You can find Arch's writing on ESPN.com as a contributor to Soccernet. Arch also hosts a bilingual soccer radio show in Austin, Texas called Futbol En Vivo which airs every Tuesday from 1-2pm CST and can be heard locally on 91.7 FM or online at www.koop.org.

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