Preview: Leganes vs. Almeria - prediction, team news, lineups, 27 May 2022, 09:17
Almeria will aim to seal promotion to La Liga on the final day of the 2021-22 Segunda Division season, which sees them take on Leganes at the Estadio Municipal Butarque on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the 12th-placed hosts are only playing for pride at this stage of the season having tried and failed to end their two-year stint in the second tier.

Match preview

A third consecutive season of Segunda Division football beckons for this Leganes outfit, whose bountiful periods of inconsistency have prevented them from maintaining a charge for the top six throughout the campaign.

Mehdi Nafti's side were at least able to damage Ponferradina's promotion hopes with a highly impressive 3-0 success away from home on the penultimate matchday, which saw Borja Garces net a quickfire brace before substitute Naim Garcia also got in on the act.

Nevertheless, the 2021-22 season will ultimately go down as a disappointment for the hosts, who managed to reach the playoffs last term but now cannot finish any higher than 10th this time around, while Real Zaragoza and UD Ibiza could still usurp them.

Furthermore, Leganes may have only lost two second-tier matches at home since the turn of the year, but both of those defeats have come in their last three games at the Estadio Municipal Butarque, where they have also now gone five games without keeping a clean sheet - music to the ears of the title-chasing visitors.

Knowing that they simply have to match or better Real Valladolid's result to secure a return to the big time, Almeria have chosen an ideal time to string an unbeaten run together, but a huge opportunity was missed on the penultimate matchday.

Indeed, Rubi's side played host to already-relegated basement side Alcorcon and were on the verge of suffering a shock defeat following Giovanni Zarfino's opener, but Arnau Puigmal came off the bench to net a 93rd-minute equaliser and keep Almeria in the driving seat.

That vital point versus Alcorcon means that Almeria remain in the top two with one match still to play - level on points with Eibar, who possess a far worse goal difference but still find themselves ahead of the Rojiblancos on head-to-head points - so Rubi's men could either end the weekend as champions or forced to accept a playoff spot.

Eibar will expect to achieve what Almeria could not by beating Alcorcon on the final day, while Valladolid - who are only two points behind - face a more challenging test at home to Huesca, so the onus is on Almeria to get the job done and return to the top flight for the first time since 2015.

The last-gasp draw with Alcorcon means that Almeria are now unbeaten in eight second-tier matches since the start of April - including each of their last five away from home - and they managed to scrape a 1-0 success over Leganes during their October clash earlier this season.

Leganes Segunda Division form:

Almeria Segunda Division form:

Team News

With Leganes' game against Ponferradina producing no fewer than 10 yellow cards, Nafti will be forced into at least three alterations, as Allan Nyom, Yacine Qasmi and Seydouba Cisse have all incurred one-match bans.

Goalkeeper Asier Riesgo was knocked out clean by a shot from Jose Naranjo which hit him square in the face last time out; he was discharged from hospital that same evening following a careful assessment, but Dani Jimenez could deputise in a game with nothing on the line.

Nyom's suspension opens the door for goalscoring substitute Garcia to start on the right-hand side, while either Javier Rentero or Javi Eraso may deputise for Cisse in the middle, as Fede Vico continues to recover from his cruciate ligament rupture.

As for Almeria, Rubi continues to cope without long-term ACL victims Juanjo Nieto and Ivan Martos, but the visiting boss otherwise has everyone fit and available for the final day.

The Rojiblancos are also safe in the knowledge that star striker Umar Sadiq - who has scored 17 goals and set up 12 more in league action this term - will be available for the playoffs if necessary following his Nigeria call-up.

Puigmal was brought on at half time for Samu Costa in the draw with the basement side last weekend, and it would not be surprising to see that change made from the off here.

Leganes possible starting lineup:

Jimenez; Omeruo, B. Gonzalez, S. Gonzalez; Shibasaki; Garcia, Rentero, Munoz, Bustinza; Ibanez, Garces

Almeria possible starting lineup:

Martinez; Pozo, Ely, Babic, Akieme; Puigmal, De la Hoz; Appiah, Robertone, Ramazani; Sadiq

We say: Leganes 0-1 Almeria

A wave of suspension-related absentees and potential change in between the sticks could very well disrupt the harmony in the Leganes camp, and the hosts have very little need to over-exert themselves and risk injury.

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