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Segunda Focus: Levante and Girona looking good for promotion

Girona continue to impress.

Levante UD v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

We’re now two-thirds of the way through the Segunda Divisíon season, and two of the three promotion places seem to be on their way to being claimed. Levante continue to dominate; they’re on 62 points and have only lost once in 2017. The granotas have won the Segunda championship once before, and they look likely to make a quick return to the Primera. Roger Marti’s 17 goals lead the league, and with only 20 goals allowed in 28 matches, it’s hard to see the Valencia side falling at this point.

The big surprise has to be Girona. After a slow start to the season (6 points from their first 6 matches) the Catalans have really put it together. Like Levante, they’ve only lost once in 2017. Pablo Machin’s side don’t have any particular stars, but they’re well coached and have a lot of Segunda veterans who have played together for awhile, with some loanees blended in. They’re ten points ahead of their closest pursuers, and if they keep playing like they did last week (a 5-1 thrashing of Getafe), it’s hard to see them being caught. For a club founded in 1930 that has NEVER made it to the Primera, this would be a huge accomplishment.

The next two clubs (45 points) have both been hot of late. Tenerife, who were a Primera club throughout the 1990s, have a strong defense—only 22 goals allowed so far—and are hoping that can carry them to the playoffs. Real Oviedo are less impressive defensively—33 goals allowed—but are playing well of late and are coming off a big 2-1 win over fellow challengers Cadiz. The south coast’s “yellow submarine” are on 44 points, but they, like Getafe on 43, have been struggling a bit of late.

However, the story of the division lately has been that apart from the top 4, everyone’s form has been dicey. Only Huesca and Nastic Tarragona have won three of their last five matches; in Huesca’s case, this has carried them to 39 points, good for seventh place but still four points off the playoff places, while Nastic has used that good form to escape the relegation zone.

Speaking of which, the relegation battle is as intense as ever. The bottom six clubs (Alcorcon, Cordoba, Rayo, Mallorca, Almería and Mirandés) are separated by four points, and between them have won only five times in the last five weeks, which suggests they may remain bracketed for awhile!