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LaLigaWeekly On April - 1 - 2011

Segunda Focus: Fed Up

Liga AdelanteThis past week in the Segunda was one for the cranky and fed up which included both players and fans. As is ritual in Spain when a team is performing abysmally, several fans went to Albacetes training grounds to yell at the players and call them a bunch of losers and mercenaries. I have to side with the fans here. Watching Alba play can be downright depressing. Youd be hard pressed to find a pulse on that team right now.

Another group of fans who have had enough are the Tenerife fans who are getting together in their penas to plan demonstrations and protests. My only question is: What took you so long? Im afraid it might be too little too late for the canarios.

Lastly there was a big hubbub surrounding Rayos playing status this weekend at Valladolid and whether the players would actually suit up and play. As we all know, the Ruiz-Mateos family havent paid their employees, let alone the players, in months and almost a year for some. Rayo captain Michel stated earlier this week that the team might consider sitting out this weekends match. That would have taken some monster cojones and in the end the players have said that they will play but one thing is certain and thats the players are getting more and more serious about this. Probably the most humorous part of it all were the Valladolid fans online asking for Rayo to make their mind up so they wouldnt actually get in their call and arrive to the stadium only for there to be no game that afternoon. Gotta love it.

So speaking of Valladolids home match against Rayo, this past weeks events are almost setting up for a major letdown by the Segunda lider. Lets face it. Rayo were more concerned with off the field stuff rather than facing Valladolid. Add in the fact that they are still on a high from the big win last week against Betis, it makes for a hangover situation against the Pucelanos who are playing pretty darn good right now. HOME WIN.

Shifting back to Tenerife, their season is on the line Saturday as they head to Tarragona to face Gimnastic. Nastic are the first team above the drop zone and are seven points up on the canarios. A loss in Catalunya would put Tenerife 10 points back. A draw does very little too. The locker room is in shambles with players fighting with each other. Time to blow this thing up. Nastic win and win big. HOME WIN.

The Friday Night Lights game pits one of the more intriguing matches this weekend in the Segunda with Elche visiting Las Palmas. Because of the threat of a general strike in both the Primera and Segunda, this game wasnt scheduled until Tuesday once the issue was resolved. Elche are a bit annoyed at having to make the long trip out to Gran Canaria on just two days notice plus they are slammed with injuries. Still, they have won five in a row and are doing it with a very good defense which will be tested against the Pio Pio. Las Palmas have won three straight themselves, all shutouts, and are playing some of their best futbol since the fall. If you look at the standings, you would say Elche would be the favorite here but with the outside factors in play, I think there stands to be an even game. DRAW.

If the season ended today, Granada and Cartagena would earn the final two playoff spots as they sit in 6th and 7th positions respectively. These two square off on Saturday in Granada in what should be a vibrant and entertaining match. We all know Granada is great at home but Carta have a bit of mojo going too. The hangup for Granada is that they have several players returning from the international break and that always makes for a dicey situation. Those included are Chilean Fabian Orellana and Ghanaian Jonathan Mensah. Meanwhile Carta won at home last week without Toche and new addition Mustapha Riga looks like he fit in quite nicely. I like a mild upset here. ROAD WIN.

Its a short trip up the southwestern Andalucian coast from Jerez to Huelva and an even smaller distance separating Xerez from Recreativo in the Segunda standings. Recre devastated Celta last week in Vigo winning 0-3 while Xerez played to a frustrating draw with Granada 1-1. Xerez really need to get busy winning some games if they want to hang around the playoff chase while Recre are hoping to use last weeks victory as a springboard to a late push themselves. Credit Recre for getting some huge results this season. If it hadnt been for that horrible start, theyd be right there in the thick of the playoff chase. Still, the Huelva club can be inconsistent much like their foes this weekend. DRAW.

At this point I would say there is not a whole lot at stake in this weekends Cordoba-Huesca game. You are essentially looking at two teams are clear of the drop zone but still too far away from a playoff berth. A win for Cordoba could merit some attention but Huesca have a habit of playing spoiler on the road. DRAW.

Here it is! The battle of the babies as the Baby Submariners at Villarreal B duel with the Baby Blaugrana from Barcelona B. Each have excelled at different points this season and right now its Barca B who are sending shock waves through the Segunda with their goal-scoring prowess. With the two senior teams also scheduled to play in El Madrigal this weekend, it should make for a magical weekend of futbol to the Castellon suburbanites. Neutrals will enjoy the heck out of this match featuring the two best canteras in Spain. Its been a while since Barca B lost but I think the Baby Submariners will be playing with tons of pride on the line so Ill go with them. HOME WIN.

We now go from the uber-exciting to the dreary and fdll as Albacete welcome in Salamanca on Saturday. Im going to be more interested in seeing how many people show up to the stadium and how many times Ill be hearing peseteros! from the home fans. Salamanca were blown away last week by Valladolid but they played a man down most of the way. But can they score against the worst team in the Segunda? (Yes, Alba is worse than Ponferradina). If a match happens in the Segunda and no one is there to watch it, was it actually played? DRAW.

There is another big one this weekend in the Segunda but frankly Im not expecting the tension and excitement between Betis and Celta that we had last weekend with Betis and Rayo. Maybe it was because Rayo-Betis was THE showcase game in Spain last weekend that made it special. And I hardly see that 1-0 defeat as a bad loss for Betis. What was a bad loss was Celta losing the way they did at home to Recre. That was absolutely deflating and Im anticipating that theyre gonna get their clocks cleaned in Sevilla on Sunday. Even though Betis lost, they played well while you could not say the same for Celta. I think at some point theyll get out of their funk but it wont be this week. Celta fans better start preparing themselves for the playoffs because thats where they look to be headed. HOME WIN.

If Numancia want to show that they are serious about a playoff push, they have to at least get a result in the Santo Domingo against Alcorcon which is no small feat. Quini and Borja dominate opponents on their home turf so the Soria club will need another class performance by their man Barkero. An early goal would do wonders for Numancia but thats the problem, Alcorcon just dont give up that many goals at home. I have to credit the way the Madrid suburbanites played last week against Barca B. They were in that match for a good stretch and really put together some runs especially in the latter part of the first half. Its just too tough to bet against Alcorcon at home. HOME WIN.

Lastly we turn our attention to Ponferradina Girona. The old folks at Girona are back to their winning ways after downing Albacete last week But then again, who hasnt beaten Albacete? Even though they are lower in the table, Ponfe are a better team than Albacete and theyll at least show up in front of their home fans in El Bierzo. This is a bit of a trap game for Girona who must not get too overconfident. Hmmm. Going with a gut feeling here. DRAW.

Hasta lunes!

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