Numancia’s bid for the top six is going to go right down to the wire. Given the tight nature of the battle for the play-offs, Saturday’s hosts find themselves in a position where even a win here may not be enough. As things stand, Jagoba Arrasate’s side are two points shy of the top six, so they need to win and hope that two of Cadiz, Osasuna and Valladolid avoid victory. Even if they are leading in this fixture, it’s going to be a nail biting evening for the home fans in attendance at Nuevo Estadio Los Pajaritos.
At the complete opposite end of the table, Leonesa are fighting for their lives. As things stand, Rubén De la Barrera Fernández’s men have their heads narrowly above water, though anything other than a win could send them down. A draw may be enough but even a point might not be enough depending on how Almeria and Cordoba get on. With the way things are, the visitors, who earned a morale-bosting win last time out must play to win.
Numancia would’ve ideally wanted to have a top six spot wrapped up by now, but they will also likely be pleased that, with a win required, they’ve been awarded a home fixture against a struggling Leonesa side. Not only are the hosts more than useful offensively, but they’ve been just about as strong as it gets in terms of defensive solidity at home this season.
Given their achievements this season, in comparison with the lowly visitors, it’s easy to conclude the hosts represent plenty of value at the prices. Not only do Numancia boast the leagues’ third best home record overall, but their record against bottom-half teams at home is near flawless. On their own patch this season, Numantinos are unbeaten against teams in the bottom half, while they’ve failed to win just one of those ten matches. More impressively, Saturday’s hosts have kept a clean sheet in six of those and have scored in all ten.
Not only have the hosts fared extremely well against lesser teams at home this season, but Leonesa have found life very testing when taking on top-half teams away from the comforts of home. Saturday’s visitors have won none of their ten away matches against top-half teams, while they’ve lost seven of those. What’s more, Barrera Fernández’s side have conceded a worrying total in such matches, shipping no less than 23 goals in their ten matches against the stronger sides in Segunda.
In all honesty, having seen the visitors concede goals for fun on the road against the stronger teams in this division, it’s impossible to agree with the prices ahead of this match. Numancia have bettered their opponents in every area this season, so punters are urged to take advantage of the current price available on the home win.
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The reverse fixture, which saw the pair draw 2-2 at Estadio Reino de León earlier in the season, is the only previous meeting between the pair.
Numancia will be without a couple of players on Saturday night. Luis Valcarce is out injured, while Munir is away on international duty.
The visitors, who will almost definitely field their strongest possible XI on Saturday evening, will be without the services of Victor Diaz, who is out injured.