An unexpected win, which made it two victories on the spin, against a more than useful Cadiz side last time out means that Barcelona B come into the last few match-days with renewed hope. Just a few weeks ago, it looked as though Jordi Vinyals’ men were down and out, though they’re now back on the up.
In contrast, Albacete are heading in the wrong direction. The hosts come here off the back of yet another defeat last time out, which means that they’re now just two points above the drop-zone. With just two games remaining, and with four teams between them and danger, José Manuel Aira’s men probably will stay up, though another loss here could leave them with a very nervy final fixture.
If we looked at the league table, then it would be easy to assume that the hosts ought to really fancy this against a Barcelona B side that are struggling below them. However, Aira’s men don’t exactly have the most flattering home record against the lesser teams this season, as they’ve won just 50% of their home matches against teams currently in the bottom eight, keeping just two clean sheets in the process. Having said that, they do come here with a respectable defensive record on home soil of late, conceding just three in their last six at home.
For all they are keeping teams out at home, Albacete are finding goals very, very hard to come by. Having scored just two goals in their last six on home soil, finding the net in just two of those fixtures, it’s fair to say that the hosts are struggling offensively. This is where they could falter at the weekend. Barca B are weak at the back, but they have indeed upped their productivity going forward of late.
Unlike the hosts, who’re struggling to stamp their mark offensively, Barca B come here having scored three goals last time out while they also scored freely during their last outing on the road, slotting three against a Gijon side who’re frankly far better than Albacete. What’s more, the visitors come here having lost just one of their six away matches against teams in the bottom eight.
It would be wrong to dress the away side up as something special because they certainly aren’t, though their extra attacking quality makes them stand out on this occasion. If they can remain tough to beat, as they have done against similar opposition this season, then what they have to offer offensively can drag them through. Frankly, given the fact that they’ve shown far more going forward than Albacete in recent weeks, it’s difficult to avoid siding with Barcelona B, especially at the prices.
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Albacete have bossed this fixture in recent times, winning each of the last three renewals. Barcelona B have won just one of the last five. Earlier in the season, Albacete came out on top by a goal to nil.
Jon Erice is out suspended, while both Pelayo and Esteban Saveljich are out injured. The hosts have an otherwise fully fit squad.
The visitors are expected to still be without Oriol Busquets, Joes Manuel Arnaiz, Able Ruiz and Marcus McGuane. Aside from that, they have few concerns.