Villarreal-Levante on Sunday will be important, of course, as all La iga matches are, but Villarreal's second and third teams have key matches this weekend.
First up is Villarreal B versus Reus Deportiu, happening Saturday at 8AM Pacific time. This matches the top two teams in Segunda B,Group 3. Villarreal B lead on 53 points, Reus are next on 50, and the next best team is on 43. After this match there will be only 10 games remaining (both will get a free three points and a week off courtesy of Huracan Valencia's demise), so if the B-boys can win this one, that would be a big step forward.
Remember the way the Segunda B playoffs work is the winners of the groups are paired, and the two winners of those home-and-away ties are promoted to the Segunda.
The other 12 clubs in the playoffs, finishing second, third, and fourth in each of the groups, are drawn against one another; the 6 winners of those home and away ties, plus the two losers of the group winners' matches, now are paired up, and those eight are whittled down to two clubs, who are also promoted.
Last year, for example, the four group winners were Nastic Tarragona, Real Oviedo, Huesca, and Cadiz. Nastic and Oviedo won the ties with the other two, so were promoted; Huesca made it as well by defeating Racing Ferrol and Huracan Valencia; Cadiz lost out to Athletic Bilbao's B team, so are still in the Segunda B.
So finishing first in the group is a real advantage.
Now, there's also Villarreal C versus Castellón, on Sunday at 8AM Pacific. This is of course a local derby (the visitors were once the side in our area, always at least a Segunda team); in addition, these two clubs are both fighting for the Tercera Division playoffs. Villarreal C lie fifth in the table, on 44 points; Castellón are just ahead on 46.
The Tercera playoffs are similarly structured; there 18 group winners play off, with the nine victors going to the Segunda B; the other nine enter a group of 36 with the 27 winners from the first round of matches involving the second, third and fourth placed clubs, and then those 36 get whittled down to nine more winners, promoted to the Segunda B.
Last year Castellon won the Tercera Group 6, but lost first to Linares, then to Haro (on penalties) so failed to move up. (Levante's B team, who finished second in the group, did end up winning promotion).
Big games for both Villarreal clubs at the Mini-Estadi, good crowds expected. Endavant!!!