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Arch Bell On May - 11 - 2012

Segunda Focus: Top Tilts

This weekend we get treated to two top five tilts in the Segunda Division as the home stretch is basically here with six matches remaining.

Celta wrapped up their suspended match versus Cartagena with the score unchanged 1-1 which leaves them behind Valladolid by two points for second. This week Celta are back at home but face an Alcorcon team that is unbeaten in their last seven including six wins. Alcorcons road woes are a thing of the past as this side has finally figured out how to get results away from the Santo Domingo. As for Celta, Paco Herrera came out this week saying that he expects Valladolid to fallar at some point before the end of the season giving his team a chance to slide back past the Pucelete. I have to say this Herrera has been more vocal this season and unafraid to say things like the aforementioned Valladolid. It almost seems a bit out of character but considering their late season slide last year, he probably feels compelled to look at things differently. Alcorcon plays well but Balaidos will pick up the home team. HOME WIN.

The other top two battle sees Hercules visiting Valladolid with two teams playing extraordinarily well right now. Both sides are coming off tough draws even though for Valladolid the last minute point at Riazor probably had more of a victorious feel to it. The last thing that Valladolid wants to do is for Paco Herreras words to come true but Hercules also have an eye on automatic promotion. Hercules player Carlos Calvo said it himself, only winning matters versus Valladolid. I believe him. ROAD WIN.

FINAL ALERT!! FINAL ALERT!!!! The Friday nighter sees Cordoba host Gimnastic in what is the start of stretch where each team is essentially playing a final the rest of the season. Gimnastic, rock bottom in the Segunda, can be thrown a lifeline in the form of a sunken submarino should Villarreal get relegated this weekend while Cordoba and Almeria appear to be the two teams battling out to get the final playoff spot. Cordoba have recuperated some of their ilusion that they had earlier but they can expect Nastic to be scratching and clawing for everything. Nastic let three points slip through their fingers last weekend against Recreativo. How will they react? Not so good Im afraid. HOME WIN.

Making our way down the table you have to offer up some cheers to the Cartagena fans who gathered outside the Cartagonova on Tuesday night to watch the completion of the suspended Celta game. I doubt youll see a tenth of them make the trip out to the islands though to watch their team take on Las Palmas. The Pio Pio are at home where they are difficult to beat. HOME WIN.

Deportivo have grown accustomed to winning so after drawing last week, they want to get back to their three-points collecting ways. With each game, ascenso grows closer. Six games left with seven points of difference between themselves and third place. It gets even closer in Soria on Saturday versus Numancia. ROAD WIN.

So Almerias Carlos Garcia decided to open his big mouth this week proclaiming that he doesnt think filiales should be allowed to play in the Segunda and that they should have their own league. While that makes tons of sense and is something that is done in all other countries around Europe, that kind of logic is just crazy talk in good ol Espana. The reason Garcia made the comments he made is because his team plays Barcelona B on Saturday. Almeria boss Esteban Vigo called Barcelona B one of the most difficult teams in the Segunda and hes right about that. These are the games that will make any fan of a team fighting for something cringe in fear. Expect anguish in Almeria. DRAW.

Huesca hosts Recreativo on Saturday. Its one of those A sellar la permanencia games where both teams will be going out to try to secure their safety for good. Which of course means theyll happily take a point each. DRAW.

Xerez-Villarreal B. See above. DRAW.

Quite possibly the biggest game of the weekend is up in northern Catalunya with Girona hosting Alcoyano. Girona are at 35 points while Alcoyano are at 34 with both teams in the drop. Ahead is Guadalajara in the safety zone with 39 points which aint that much ground to make up. And again, going back to the Villarreal situation, by the time its 10pm on Sunday night (9pm in Canarias), the winner of Girona-Alcoyano could very well be out of the relegation zone. Somehow Girona has battled their way up to the tip of the relegation zone and credit should go to manager Javi Salamero for the job he did taking over for Josu Uribe. The emphatic 1-4 win last weekend at Guadalajara will carry over. Im loco for Coco. HOME WIN.

A visit to Murcia is in store for Guadalajara who will either still be wobbling from the Girona loss or will be out to muster everything they have against their Saturday foes. Murcia are licking their wounds too after getting drilled by Alcorcon 3-0. At 42 points, Murcia might be content with just a point which isnt ideal for Guadalajara but itll have to do. DRAW.

Finally we conclude with a reborn Elche who gutted out a 0-1 win at Barcelona B last weekend. On Sunday they host Sabadell. Elche have shown glimpses of getting their act together but a win over Sabadell could show a late run at the playoffs can be considered seriously. Ive been deceived by Elche before in the last few months but Im like that girl that just cant shake the loser boyfriend who used to be the stud athlete and scholar but who is now some freeloader living in his moms basement. 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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