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Segunda Focus: Only Four More Matches to Go!

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Such a long slog. I think when it began Game of Thrones was in Season Four or something.

CA Osasuna v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Well, not really, but Spain’s Segunda Division really does take the cake for an interminable season. With 22 teams, so 42 matches, and only playing once a week, the season runs from early August until June, and the playoffs add another couple of weeks.

it was all too much for Reus Deportiu, who threw in the towel in midseason, but 21 teams remain to battle it out. We do know that Cordoba and Gimnastic Tarragona are essentially relegated; the last relegation place is likely to be a dogfight between three or four clubs.

At the top, Osasuna are nearly home; they have a nine-point lead over Albacete in third with four matches remaining. The Pamplona side were in the Primera from 2000-2014 but with exception of one season (2016-17) have been in the Segunda of late. It will be good to have them back. They aren’t likely to be big spenders—they have a Basque coach, Jagoba Arrasate, a number of players who have come up in their system or those of other Basque clubs, and they understand the value of money, especially since they do not have a great deal of it. When they were last promoted, they spent just over €2m on signings. They may not stay up next year, but they’ll be true to themselves.

Granada are six points behind in second; like Osasuna, they were relegated in 2017. Their defense has been outstanding, with keeper Rui Silva conceding only 25 times in 38 matches so far. They have Chinese owners now and the Udinese/Watford tieup is a thing of the past.

The playoff spots currently belong to Albacete, Mallorca, Malaga and Cadiz, with Deportivo lurking and Real Oviedo just on the fringes. It would be great to see Cadiz get back to the Primera (last there in 2005-06, and then just for one season), especially since we’d get to wear our second kit when we played them away! Cadiz have an amazing record—12 seasons in the Primera, never higher than 12th.

Our loanee Leo Suárez is playing regularly with Mallorca and had a goal week before last; Malaga of course have Pau Torres and Alfred N’Diaye on loan from us; Cadiz have ex-Villarreal B midfielder Edu Ramos (he had a few minutes with our first team in 2013/14).

Big games this weekend:

Sunday: Mallorca—Almeria and Cadiz—Osasuna

Monday: Albacete—Granada.

Malaga pick up an automatic three points this weekend via forfeit as Reus are gone. They are the last of the promotion contenders to get that freebie.