As you can tell if you listened to our podcast, between recent performances and the lack of television to see any silver linings in our recent losses, optimism is waning among the VUSA crew that the B team can remain in the Segunda. A point, or three(!) on Saturday would certainly help.
Our opponents: CD Guadalajara are enjoying their first season in the Segunda. The team was founded in 1947, and only made it to the Segunda B in 2007. The greatest moment in their history came last June, when they went to Anduva and did something three Primera sides couldn't this year--defeated Mirandés at their home ground.
That short history is part of the reason the club's home ground is as small as our Mini Estadi, with a capacity of 5000. The other is that Guadalajara is a smallish place, population 85,000 roughly, and while it's only 55km from Madrid, it's more of a place you pass through on the main road than anything else. The fellow who founded Guadalajara, Mexico came from here, and safe to say that city is the one you think of when you hear the name.
The name means "Stony River" in Arabic (the Moors having founded the city in the 8th century) and the knight pictured on the town coat of arms, and the team badge, is a nephew of El Cid who captured the town in 1085 at the head of a 'Christian army' loyal to Alfonso VI, King of Castile and Leon.
And what of the players wearing that badge? They have one win in their last eight, a 1-0 home win against Numancia, and this and their game following (at Cartagena) might be their best chances to pick up points for a while. If your memory is really good, you might remember Joseba Arriaga, an attacking midfielder who played for Athletic Bilbao off-and-on from 2002-2006. Jonathan Ñiguez (Jony) spent a year at Villarreal B in 2007-08.
He wasn't born in Guadalajara, Mexico, but this team does have a Mexican-Spanish striker, Aníbal Zurdo (great name!!) who has scored five goals for them so far. A lot of the squad are lifetime lower-division players, some of whom have played for Guadalajara since Tercera days, so full credit to them for getting here and surviving.
Villarreal B: After good performances against Hercules and Barcelona B, as well as a fine unrewarded effort against Depor, the last couple of Mini-Submarine outings have been disappointing.
We do get Lucas Porcar back (good) and Kiko Olivas back (maybe not) but lose Lejeune to yellow cards and Iriome and Bordas to injury. Pablo Iñiguez returns too--he looked good before he was injured. Here is the squad:
Keepers: Jorge and Mariño.
Defenders: Jaume Costa, Toño, Pablo Íñiguez, Kiko, Truyols, Pere.
Midfielders: Moi Gómez, Pedro Vázquez, Barrientos, Toribio, Edu Ramos, Llorente, Trigueros.
Strikers: Juanto, Joselu, Lucas Porcar.
Prediction: Much as i hate to say it, our opponents have won six times at home. We've won five, anywhere, all season. 2-1 Guadalajara. Prove me wrong, guys.