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LaLigaWeekly On May - 6 - 2011

Segunda Focus: Road Trip!

So first and foremost I need to mention that Ill be hopping on a plane on Sunday and traveling to Spain where I plan to get in plenty of futbol watching. Of note, Ill be at Thursdays Rayo Vallecano Elche game in the press box doing live blogging/Tweeting in what could be the match that sends Rayo to the Primera. For anyone interested in seeing Tweets, just follow me @archbell. Needless to say it should make for a pretty great evening should that happen. Stay tuned to these pages next week.

On to this weekends matches, we might as well start with tonights encounter between Elche and Alcorcon. The Madrid suburbanites lost out on an opportunity to make some more headway in the standings last week after losing at home to Huesca. They now travel to Elche who are still chapped from letting a late two goal lead slip away to Salamanca. Alcorcon have been poor on the road and losing to Huesca at the Santo Domingo was a huge blow. Elche get Kike Mateo back into the squad and will be approaching this as a final so they wont lose their playoff standing. Pepe Bordalas men get it done. HOME WIN.

For a while Villarreal B were the filial de moda this year in the Segunda but six losses in their last seven matches has changed that so now the Baby Submariners dont want to sink any further in the standings. They travel to Aragon to play Huesca who are also on the cusp of ensuring safety for another year. I really dont believe these two teams will have much to worry about though when it comes to relegation. Look for another kick and giggle scoreless DRAW.

The Sunday nooner features a quick trip up to Cordoba for Betis in yet another Andalucian derbi. Like Huesca and Villarreal B, Cordoba have accrued enough points where relegation isnt a worry and the playoffs are too far out of reach. Meanwhile Betis are tantalizingly close to promotion as the co-leaders are now just two wins away from going back to the Primera. Hay que festejarlo. I wonder if Pepe Mel will be doing some scouting of Cordoba striker Charles. Makes sense since there is the lingering talk that Achille Emana wont be back next season. This should be a fun one. ROAD WIN.

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Barcelona B host Albacete on Saturday and I almost cringe as to what the final score might be. Granted Albacete did draw in Vallecas but thats because the entire Rayo team was replaced by their bizarro twin brothers at the 75th minute mark. Barca B have actually looked vulnerable of late losing at Valladolid last week but like everyone else, all losing streaks stop against the Queso Mecanico. HOME WIN.

The Curse of Juan de Vigo returns to the fold this weekend as Celta host Girona on Saturday at Balaidos. You have to go back to Jornada 25 on February 20th the last time Celta won at home. I cant remember if Juan was actually at that game but I would venture to guess he was not. Anyhow Gironas playoff dreams are pretty much over which is a bit of a shame because they were playing so wonderfully just two months ago with their Despotovic-Jandro-Peragon tridente. Meanwhile Celta coach Paco Herrera is grasping at straws at what to do with his club He better hope Valladolid runs down Elche or Granada because Celta would have very little chance at beating the pucelanos now. DRAW.

Speaking of Valladolid, they head to Soria on Saturday to play Numancia and will be aiming for a win since their nearest playoff pursuer, Cartagena, are at home against Ponferradina. This will be a tricky one because Cedric and Barkero always play better at the Pajaritos and if those two guys are playing well, then Numancia are tough to beat. Youll also recall that these two played a heck of a game in the first leg with Numancia winning 4-5. Valladolid are a much better team now and theyll show their merit. ROAD WIN.

As mentioned, Carta are at home against Ponferradina and kick off at the same time as the Numancia-Valladolid match. With Toche and Victor in the squad, Carta should feel pretty good about things however Pedro Botelhos recuperation from last weeks injury is still in doubt. Itll be a workmanlike effort for Carta here. HOME WIN.

Valladolids other nearest pursuer, Xerez, are back at home at Estadio Chapin to play Las Palmas on Saturday. The Pio Pio are still six points clear of the relegation zone but the more points the better for them since the last thing they want to have happen is to face Tenerife is the season finale with their permanencia on the line. Xerez are five points behind Valladolid and really need a win to keep pace especially with some difficult match-up ahead including Rayo, Celta and Salamanca. Im just not convinced about the azulino at this stage. DRAW.

Saturday poses as a trap match for Recreativo who head out to the islands to play Tenerife. Recre coach Juan Carlos Rios isnt even talking about a possible playoff berth saying that his team just needs to focus on winning this week. No surprise there really but what will be interesting is how Recre deals with a road match they are actually suppose to win. For the past four months theyve been surprising teams on the road but now the tables are turned a bit against the canarios. Speaking of the beleaguered side, its nice to see the team owner finally come out publically and issue a, my bad for this season. Too little too late if you ask me. Its nice to see players like GK Sergio Aragoneses say, Ill stay with Tenerife in the Segunda B but only to then have him follow up with, as long as there is a plan and strategy in place for promotion! Thats a nice easy-out there Sergio. But still, I have to believe the players who have stated that theyll fight to the finish and theyll put on a brave front against Recre. God might strike me down for doing this but I just have the feeling something weird happens on Saturday. HOME WIN.

Salamancas season was hanging by a thread last week only to see them score three goals in a huge comeback win over Elche. Things get even tougher this week as they head to Vallecas to take on a side that is chomping at the bit to seal their promotion to the Primera. Salamanca are still four points shy of reaching Gimnastic in the safety zone. The Catalans kick off Sunday against Granada so once again Salamanca will play and wait and hope for the best. At this point, theyll be praying for a Grnada win because there is just no stopping Rayo who can now taste the celebration cava. Plus the good news came down that the Ruiz Mateos family has sold the club to Martin Presas which is a step in the right direction to cure those payroll ills. HOME WIN.

Lastly, as noted above, Nastic welcome in road-weary Granada into Tarragona. Nastic gutted out a massive win on the road last week versus Villarreal B and will look to carry that into Sundays tilt. With six matches left, Granada have a fairly good hold on their playoff spot and if anything, teams may be jockeying for that sixth position so they can get a crack at Celta. A share of the spoils will help here. DRAW.

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