Castellon v Logrones | Sunday 2nd May 2021, 17:15
I’ve watched more on LaLiga2 this season that I have for a while. For me, it did develop a bit of a negative reputation, at least in my eyes, for being a bit of a boring league. I take that back, as I feel as though it deserves quite a bit more credit. I do still think it is a league which contains way too many draws, and punters hate nothing more than a draw! The league itself however is good quality.
Given how it remains quite a tight league, and always has been, then it takes only a few results to quickly transform your season. I think Castellon fit nicely into that category. It wasn’t so long ago that they were starting to become cut adrift at the bottom of the table.
Then, all of a sudden, something clicked. Losing only two of their last ten has shot them out of the drop zone, and whilst they’re still just two points above the bottom-four, they’re in a much better place. Having seen some of their games when they were bottom, I think they were unlucky to be where they were.
It was clearly more a defensive issue than anything as they’re a side which do and will create plenty of chances per game, especially at home. They do hold the unique rather of being the only side in the league yet to draw at home. Nine wins and nine defeats suggests something of an all-or-nothing approach, and whilst that may seem risky, it is likely to be enough to get them enough points as versus certain opponents that’ll work.
Logrones could be one of those certain opponents as they’re an outfit who have badly struggled for goals all season. They are in fact level on points with Castellon, making this quite a big game in the Spanish second-tier this weekend.
Only bottom side Albacete have scored fewer goals than Logrones, which is everything you need to know. Although having said that, they enter this game in quite good form. Despite the fact they lost last time out against Cartagena, who are below them in the table, they did go five unbeaten beforehand, including a rare back-to-back league wins combination.
If you are sad enough to remember any of my articles on this league from a season or two ago, you’ll know I touched upon how bad some teams are away from home. Even the best away record in the league won’t be much to shout home about.
Of course, in this time of no crowds, that is a less reliable opinion to have. They’ve drew five of their last nine away, and won at Mirandes in their last away contest. Can we expect them to win back-to-back away games? Unlikely. They’ve also only scored six goals in their last 13 on the road.
Castellon carry a much greater goal threat, and think that’ll carry them over the line. At 32/21 (SBK) for a home win, I think it is the right selection.
Slavia Prague v Plzen | Sunday 2nd May 2021, 18:30
You don’t need to be an ardent follower of football in Czech Republic to know that Slavia Prague against Plzen is a game which presents two of the stronger teams from this part of the world, certainly in more recent times. Only Sparta Prague have won more Czech First League titles than these two, although the last of those was in 2013/14. Since then, the league title has gone to either Slavia Prague or Plzen.
This season, it has already been decided that Slavia will be crowned champions for a seventh time. After 29 games played, they enjoy a cool 16 point lead at the top of proceedings.
Surprisingly, Plzen haven’t been the ones to try and challenge them this season. They endured a rather horrendous start to the campaign and have been playing catch-up ever since. To their credit, they’ve hit enough form to see them climb the table and get into contention for a European qualification place. Three points on Sunday would be massive for their hopes of achieving that.
However, Slavia Prague has not been a so good opponent for them to face for a little while now. Plzen haven’t actually won away from home in this H2H battle since April 2014, whilst they’ve failed to win any of the last four, including four defeats.
Slavia of course have been in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons in more recent times, and they did invest quite a lot into their Europa League campaign, which was ended by Arsenal in the last round. Now they’ve had some time to congest that, they can focus on league matters for now, even if the title is already secure.
This is still a big game for them knowing the natural rivalry, plus they are still in the domestic cup competition and will want to gather some momentum ahead of an upcoming semi-final.
The form guide over the last ten games would have this as first against second, so there isn’t so much between these two right now. Both are unbeaten in that run, and the only teams in the league to be so.
Slavia Prague set such high standards in this league that even a slender type of win doesn’t really cut it with them. Their recent league form hasn’t been so scintillating over the last few months, most likely because of juggling Europa League commitments. There’s no excuses now, and they’ll want to put on a show here.
For all that Plzen have improved in the second part of the season, their away record isn’t so impressive. They’ve won only four on the road all season in the league, although three of those did come within their previous five on the road.
I just feel they are a little vulnerable away to the bigger teams, and they will play to win here, and can just see that opening it up nicely for the home team. Slavia are so used to teams setting up defensively against them, so they may relish the chance to go toe-to-toe with an opponent and allow their superiority to shine through.
Slavia Prague are unbeaten all season in the league, and that too is another record they’ll wish to preserve. Taking everything I have mentioned into account, I can look no further than the 19/20 (William Hill) on offer for a home victory. Yes please!
Castellon v Logrones – Castellon to win (32/21 SKB)
Slavia Prague v Plzen – Slavia Prague to win (19/20 William Hill)