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The-match-to-watch: Yet another crazy final day

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A tradition is held up once again - for the third year in a row.

Valladolid v Osasuna X

A grand tradition is upheld once more.

Every year, the last game of the Segunda is set up perfectly for the unpredictable. Every year, teams that had hopes for a jackpot season were put in their place months ago, settling for the painfully consistency of their mid-table mediocrity. Teams that were always in the running for the playoffs are in the running again. Teams that had absolutely no hope of any success, and were just hoping for a forgettable season, ended up enduring, then embracing the chaos of the Segunda.

And, just like every year, I spend the last week crunching the numbers.

Yes, all 729 cases for the relegation places and all 81 cases for the promotion playoffs are scrutinized and presented here.

The drama of last year has not just been seen, it has been raised. Real Oviedo, who inexplicably lost out on promotion two years ago, and whose chances last year were slim, have their odds even slimmer for this year. Almería, who narrowly avoided the drop two years in the running, are the most likely to drop down. Lugo, who seem to perennially settle for mid table status, confirmed their Segunda status so long ago, they have picked up just 7 points in their last 10 games.

Obviously, we have the usual suspects. Once again, Gimnàstic has a chance, albeit slim, of going down. Once again, Cádiz could be promoted again. Last year, Mallorca gained American investors and went down at the end of May - this year, Lorca, who have had Chinese investors for two years, confirmed relegation more than a month ago. Newly relegated Levante went up last year, and newly relegated Sporting Gijón are already in the playoffs this year.

But I have never seen a tighter last day, with six teams avoiding the drop, and five teams fighting for two playoff spots. And it might even go down to goal difference in a not insignificant number of cases.

So attached below is a handy guide, team by team. And if you don’t want to look down - most interesting match is Valladolid vs Osasuna, who are in a direct promotion playoff battle.

Relegation Race

Here’s how the table looks at the moment. With three teams already relegated, six teams are hoping to avoid the last remaining relegation spot.

14 Alcorcón 41 −8 49

15 Gimnàstic 41 −8 49

16 Córdoba 41 −11 48

17 Cultural Leonesa 41 −12 48

18 Albacete 41 −11 48

19 Almería 41 −7 47

20 Barcelona B (R) 41 −6 44

21 Lorca FC (R) 42 −31 33

22 Sevilla Atlético (R) 42 −31 32

Alcorcón host mid-table Reus, Gimnàstic host already-promoted Rayo, and Córdoba host already-qualified Sporting, Albacete travel to mid-table Tenerife and Almería travel to mid-table Lugo.

Only Cultural are playing a team with something to play for - they travel to promotion playoff hopefuls Numancia.

Alcorcón

Alcorcón go down if they lose and:

  1. Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba draw, Cultural and Albacete don’t lose and Almería win, or
  2. Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba win, Cultural win, Albacete doesn’t lose and Almería win.

Goal difference if:

  1. Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba win, Cultural draw, Albacete and Almería win. (Cultural, at -12, will be judged against Alcorcón, at -8).

Gimnàstic

Gimnàstic go down if they draw and:

  1. Alcorcón don’t lose and Córdoba, Cultural, Albacete and Almería all win.

Gimnàstic go down if they lose and:

  1. Alcorcón lose, Córdoba and Cultural don’t lose, and Albacete and Almería win, or
  2. Córdoba, Cultural, Albacete and Almería all win

Goal difference if:

  1. Alcorcón don’t lose, Córdoba win, Cultural draw, and Albacete and Almería win. (Cultural, at -12, will be judged against Gimnàstic , at -8).

Córdoba

Córdoba go down if they draw and:

  1. Alcorcón and Cultural don’t lose, and Albacete and Almería win.

Córdoba go down if they lose and:

  1. Cultural lose, and Albacete and Almería don’t lose, or
  2. Cultural and Albacete don’t lose, and Almería win

Cultural

Cultural go down if they draw and:

  1. Alcorcón lose, Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba win, Albacete draws and Almería win, or
  2. Alcorcón don’t lose, Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba, Albacete and Almería all win

Goal difference if

  1. Alcorcón lose, Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba, Albacete and Almería all win, or
  2. Alcorcón don’t lose, Gimnàstic lose, Córdoba, Albacete and Almería all win, or
  3. Alcorcón don’t lose, Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba win, Albacete draws and Almería win (see above for 1 and 2, see below for 3)

Cultural go down if they lose and:

  1. Córdoba don’t lose, Albacete lose and Almería draw, or
  2. Córdoba, Albacete and Almería all don’t lose

Goal difference if

  1. Córdoba don’t lose, Albacete lose and Almería win. (Cultural, at -12, will be judged against Albacete, at -11).

Albacete

Albacete go down if they draw and:

  1. Gimnàstic lose, Córdoba don’t win, Cultural don’t win and Almería win, or
  2. Alcorcón don’t lose, Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba draw, Cultural don’t lose and Almería win, or
  3. Alcorcón don’t lose, Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba win, Cultural win and Almería win

Goal difference if

  1. Alcorcón don’t lose, Gimnàstic don’t lose, Córdoba win, Cultural draws and Almería win. (Cultural, at -12, will be judged against Albacete, at -11).

Albacete go down if they lose and:

  1. Córdoba lose, Cultural lose and Almería draw, or
  2. Córdoba lose and Almería win, or
  3. Córdoba don’t lose, Cultural don’t lose and Almería win

Goal difference if

  1. Córdoba don’t lose, Cultural lose and Almería win.

Almería

Almería go down if they win and:

  1. Alcorcón don’t lose, Gimnàstic win, Córdoba win, Cultural win and Albacete win

Almería stay up if they draw and:

  1. Cultural lose.

Almería go down if they lose.

Promotion Playoff Race

Here’s how the table looks at the moment. Rayo and Huesca have sealed automatic promotion, and Sporting and Zaragoza have qualified for the playoffs. Five teams will vie for the remaining two spots.

1 Rayo Vallecano (P) 41 +21 76

2 Huesca (P) 41 +22 75

3 Sporting Gijón (Q) 41 +23 71

4 Zaragoza (Q) 41 +11 68

5 Cádiz 41 +14 64

6 Valladolid 41 +12 64

7 Osasuna 41+12 64

8 Numancia 41 +10 62

9 Oviedo 41 +5 62

Cádiz travel to promotion-is-just-out-of-reach Granada, Valladolid go up directly against Osasuna at the Estadio José Zorrilla, Numancia host relegation-threatened Cultural, and Real Oviedo, whose chances are almost non-existent, host already promoted Huesca.

Cádiz

Cádiz go through if they win.

Cádiz go through if they draw and:

  1. Numancia don’t win and Oviedo don’t win

Goal difference if

  1. Osasuna don’t draw, Numancia don’t win and Oviedo win. (In these cases, Cádiz and Real Oviedo would be ranked by goal difference. But a +9 deficit would be hard to overcome.)

Cádiz go through if they lose and:

  1. Osasuna win, Numancia don’t win, Oviedo don’t win

Valladolid

Valladolid go through if they win.

Valladolid go through if they draw and:

  1. Cádiz lose and Numancia don’t win, or
  2. Cádiz don’t draw and Numancia and Oviedo win, or
  3. Cádiz draw, Numancia don’t win and Oviedo win

Valladolid don’t go through if they lose.

Osasuna

Osasuna go through if they win.

Osasuna go through if they draw, except in the case where all Cádiz, Numancia and Oviedo win, in which case Valladolid go through ahead of Osasuna on head-to-head (unusual, since in most cases Valladolid lose to Osasuna in every head-to-head matchup).

Osasuna go through if they lose and:

  1. Cádiz lose, Numancia don’t win, amd Oviedo don’t win.

Numancia

Numancia go through if they win and Cádiz don’t win, except in the case where Cádiz lose, Osasuna draws and Oviedo win, in which case Valladolid and Osasuna draw and both pull each other through in the ensuing head-to-head battle (and this isn’t the only time this happens, but it is the most interesting case).

Numancia don’t go through if they draw or lose.

Oviedo

Oviedo go through if they win and Cádiz lose, Osasuna don’t draw and Numancia don’t win. There are four other cases in which Oviedo could win and come into a goal difference with Cádiz (already mentioned, see above. But, once again, overcoming a +9 deficit would be some feat).

Oviedo don’t go through if they draw or lose.