Keeping an eye on the promotion places from LaLiga 123
Who is in with a shout in the Segunda playoff race and who is close to automatic promotion as LaLiga 123 draws to a close as Rayo, Sporting and Huesca duke it out.
At the same stage last year, Levante had separated themselves from the chasing pack and secured promotion to LaLiga. This year, however, Rayo Vallecano, Sporting Gijon and Huesca are the three teams vying for those two automatic promotion places. There are four games to play and while last weekend's results allowed a little Spanish sunlight between the teams, it's still very tight.
The contenders for the top two automatic promotion place
Rayo Vallecano beat Granada on Monday night in the rain and put themselves in pole position to take the very top spot and now sit five points clear of Sporting Gijon in third. With 12 points to play for, a loss at the weekend for Sporting would mean they are eight clear with nine in play. Rayo welcome their former manager, who spent two spells at the club, Jose Ramon Sandoval, to Vallecas on Sunday as he continues his impressive escape act to keep Cordoba in the league.
Rayo's remaining fixtures: Cordoba (H), Alcorcon (A), Lugo (H), Gimnastic (A).
Sporting Gijon lost to promotion place-hunting Real Zaragoza at the weekend. That the side currently managed by Ruben Baraja are even in contention is to be applauded - they were 10th when he took over in gameweek 18. Before their 2-1 defeat to Zaragoza on Sunday, they had not been beaten in 12 and were victorious over Huesca and Rayo on consecutive weekends during that spell. They won't be giving up yet on those two top spots but a place in third would see them in a strong position as they are potentially the strongest side in the promotion places.
Their remaining games: Barcelona B (H), Tenerife (A), Granada (H), Cordoba (A).
Huesca, who were top for 17 weeks during the middle of the season, looked like they might 'do a Levante' on it but have fallen off. They were winless in eight before a four-game winning streak has seen them jump back up to second. Their push has been driven by Gonzalo Melero, formerly of Real Madrid, and Cucho Hernandez, who is on loan from Watford. They have 15 and 16 goals respectively and eight in their last four between them.
Huesca's remaining games: Alcorcon (H), Lugo (A), Gimastíc (A), Real Oviedo (H).
The chasing pack in Segunda
Anyone down as far as Reus in 13th could potentially make the play-offs but that seems highly unlikely. Granada have been hit and miss all season and might not be far enough into their recovery from relegation to challenge this season. Tenerife, who were beaten by Getafe in last year's play-offs, have also fallen off and would need a lot of positive results for them and the opposite for their rivals.
So, you are really only looking at Sporting, as mentioned previously, Zaragoza, Numancia, Cadiz (they round out the top six) along with Real Oviedo, Real Valladolid and Osasuna.
Five points separate the sides from fourth to ninth.
Fixtures from May 11 2018
(Teams in the chase for promotion highlighted)
Friday May 11
Lorca 2-1 Numancia
Saturday May 12
Sunday May 13
Monday May 14
Cadiz vs Real Zaragoza