European Lower League Week In Football – The International Break Edition
Sassuolo continue to march on at the top of Serie B. The side from the Emilia Romagna region who play their home games in nearby Modena (due to ground grading issues) could well be playing Serie A football next season. With an average attendance so far of around the 2300 mark, it looks like an unlikely fairytale but with talent in abundance on the field, there is no reason why Sassuolo cannot achieve promotion this season. Varese were the latest team to suffer at the hands of the leaders, who handed out a 4-0 hammering & are currently six points clear. Varese, who have reached the play offs for the last two seasons, have went four games without victory and are sitting in sixth place.
Livorno & Hellas Verona both won to keep on Sassuolo’s coattails. Livorno won 3-1 at lowly Reggina whilst two more goals from Daniele Cacia, taking his season’s tally to seven, gave Hellas a 2-0 home win over bottom of the table Grosseto. Form team Ternana arrived in Spezia on the back of four straight wins & won’t be too disappointed with a 1-1 draw, Spezia had won their last two including a 5-1 success at second place Livorno. Spezia stay in fourth spot & Ternana remain in fifth.
Padova made it four wins in five to move up to seventh place on 13 points following a 2-0 success at Vicenza. They are joined on 13 points by a Modena side who won 3-0 at Cittadella & have lost just one of their last six games. In Atalanta loanee Matteo Ardemagni, they have the Serie B joint top scorer (along with Daniele Cacia) with seven goals. Ardemagni struck twice at Cittadella, a club he played for back in 2009 scoring 22 goals in 35 starts.
Having started the season on minus six points, Grosseto still find themselves at the foot of the table on one point after a poor start which has seen just one win in nine games. Empoli are second bottom & still looking for their first win of the season after a 3-0 home loss to Ascoli. Reggina’s defeat to high flying Livorno drops them back into the bottom three as Crotone climb out courtesy of a goal less draw at Cesena.
This weekend’s key fixture is without doubt second versus third as Livorno take on Hellas Verona.
Elche stay five points clear at the head of Liga Adelante with 25 points as their unbeaten start to the season continued with a comfortable 4-0 win over Numancia while Almeria stay in touch in second place as they beat Cordoba 3-0, with former Cordoba striker Charles hitting one of the goals. Villarreal remain in third place on 18 points despite losing their 100% home record following a 1-1 draw with Huesca. Marco Senna gave them an early lead but Lopez equalised to earn a great point for the visitors.
Girona sit in fourth place after their third five goal haul of the season, Recreativo Huelva the latest to succumb to Girona’s fantastic flowing football in a game that ended 5-2 to the Catalans. The two second string sides to Spanish giants Barcelona & Real Madrid have found form of late. Barcelona B sit in fifth place after crushing relegated Sporting Gijon 3-0 whilst Real Madrid Castilla went seventh after they won the Monday night fixture against lowly Las Palmas 3-2 with new striker Borja Garcia on target. Alcorcon are sandwiched between the two in sixth place after a 4-0 win over Mirandes.
Guadalajara finally got a win under their belt following a 2-0 home success over Ponferradina. They currently have five points, as do Mirandes who are finding life tough since their promotion from Segunda B. Las Palmas are surprisingly third bottom, the Islanders began the season with optimism after an opening day success at Racing Santander but have yet to taste a victory since. Hercules complete the relegation zone but they move up a couple of places after an excellent 2-1 win at high flying Sabadell, a win made more impressive as the side from Alicante had trouble fielding a team due to International call ups & injuries.
Key Fixtures: Leaders Elche visit local foes Real Murcia & at the bottom Hercules host Guadalajara.
There were no other games in the major Tier Two leagues due to the International break but they are all back this coming weekend.
In France there is a battle of the top two as Angers entertain leaders Monaco on Friday & on Monday two high fliers clash as Nantes host Dijon.
Some tough games for struggling teams in Germany, third bottom Aue visit 1860 Munich & fourth bottom Bochum welcome in form Hertha Berlin.
In Holland it is top two meets bottom two as MVV Maastricht welcome Almere City & second top Cambuur visit second bottom Den Bosch.