Villarreal B seem to be a popular choice for Friday night games in the Segunda this year, and here is another one. This time the Mini Submarine hosts the "Paprika Men", Real Murcia. Los Pimentoneros were promoted back to the Segunda this year after a year's absence, and they have generally bounced around the middle of the table. However, they are coming into this match only three points ahead of Villarreal B, in 15th place.
More crucially, perhaps, Real Murcia are struggling at the moment. Last week they went down at Xerez, 3-1, and have only won once in their last eight matches. They're still comfortably above the relegation zone, and strangely enough have home matches remaining against each of the seven clubs below them in the table, with only this one and a match against Alcorcon on the road. But, though the schedule seems to favor them staying up, there are no guarantees if the team doesn't turn their recent run of bad form around.
Iñaki Alonso led the team to the Segunda in his first job outside the Basque Country, and has done pretty well this year considering the team didn't add much upon moving up a level. Probably their best youngish talent is Argentinian midfielder Cristian Garcia, who joined from Banfield this year and has four goals in 19 appearances. Their leading scorers are midfielder Emilio Sanchez (6) and veteran defender Oscar Sanchez (5). Speaking of defenders, Murcia will be without one of their regular starters, Molinero, who is suspended. Probably veteran Ivan Amaya will take his place.
Villarreal B: Joselu is back with the B team on a regular basis, Jaume Costa has returned now that Joan Oriol is fit again, and Truyols are said to be fit again , only Iñiguez is still recuperating. Here's the team list:
Keepers: Diego Mariño, Jorge.
Defenders: Truyols, Pere, Kiko, Lejeune, Jaume Costa,Toño.
Midfielders: Toribio, Edu Ramos, Llorente, Iriome, Moi Gómez, Manu Trigueros y Lucas Porcar.
Strikers: Gerard Bordas, Juanto y Joselu.
Coach Velasquez has led his charges to 15 points in 11 games in charge, and in those 11 matches Villarreal B has conceded 14 goals, which isn't great, but the club has recorded 5 clean sheets in that time. Joselu leads the team with 10 goals, but hasn't scored since November; he looked a bit rusty last week but grew in confidence as the game progressed, and I think he may break that scoring duck in this one. Lucas Porcar has been playing very well of late, too.
Prediction: 2-1 to Villarreal B. Vamos mini-submarino!