The Segunda Division is always tight, and with the top two going up, the next four going into a playoff for the final promotion spot, and the bottom four dropping down to Segunda B, the margin between success and failure is always small. And so it is proving to be this season, even more than usual.
In 2011-12 the distance between sixth (last playoff position) and nineteenth (last relegation place) was 25 points. Last year, 19. So far, the difference is only 7 points.
Two teams have broken clear (to the extent possible) at the top--Eibar, with 54 points, and Deportivo La Coruña, on 53. The playoff places right now are held by Sporting Gijon (49), Las Palmas (48), Recreativo Huelva (47) and Tenerife (44), since Barcelona B can't be promoted.
It's an interesting group--Depor were of course relegated only last season, have a large fanbase and great history; Sporting and Las Palmas would have been two of the preseason favorites to contend for promotion, and Recre have a Primera pedigree as well. But Tenerife and Eibar were both promoted from Segunda B last year--Eibar has never played in the Primera, and since their home ground holds only 5250, I have no idea if they could host Primera games there.
Numancia, whose ground is somewhat larger (11000 I believe), Julio Velazquez's Real Murcia, Lugo, and newly-relegated Mallorca are just a point behind.
At the bottom, it's looking bad for Girona. They have 30 points, and have been stuck on that for over a month, with only one win (6-0 over Lugo!!) in their last 21 matches. From the playoff finals one year to relegation the next?
Other teams struggling are another playoff club from last year, Alcorcon; Ponferradina; and newly-promoted Alaves. As for Real Zaragoza, relegated last year, they are going the wrong way. Having been near the top of the table during the first part of the season, they haven't won in two months and have made a coaching change.
Villarreal's loanee, Gerard Moreno, has been a regular in the Real Mallorca starting lineup, but it's been awhile since he's been on the scoresheet (January 26 to be exact). He's still their leading goalscorer, with 11. Last week they were within 10 minutes of losing to 10-man Real Madrid Castilla before scoring twice to take the points and get within a point of the playoffs. By the way, keep an eye on Atletico Madrid loanee Tomás Partey, a 20-year old attacking midfielder of Ghanian descent. He scored the winner --his fifth goal of the season, and his third in the last three matches. Five goals, ten yellow cards, and two reds in 27 matches. The second coming of Wakaso Mubarak?