Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Segunda Division clash between Tenerife and Las Palmas, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Tenerife and Las Palmas will lock horns in the Segunda Division playoff semi-finals on Wednesday evening, with the first leg of the contest set to take place at Estadio Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez.
The home side finished fifth in the Segunda Division table, while Las Palmas ended the season in fourth, one point above their opponents in the last four of the playoffs.
Tenerife have been present in the Segunda Division since earning promotion from the third tier in 2013, while they have been absent from the top flight of Spanish football since the 2009-10 campaign.
The Canary Islands outfit have not threatened to earn promotion back to the top flight over the last few seasons, finishing 11th, 16th, 12th and 14th in the second tier, but they managed to claim fifth this term, picking up 69 points from their 42 games.
Tenerife actually ended their league season with three straight defeats to Malaga, Eibar and FC Cartagena, but they had enough credit in the bank to secure a position in the playoffs.
Luis Miguel Ramis‘s side will be aware of the importance of claiming a first-leg advantage on home soil, but they actually had the best away record in the Segunda in 2021-22, picking up 37 points from 21 matches.
Las Palmas have also been strong on their travels this term, collecting 26 points, so it is set to be a fascinating two-legged affair between two sides that were only separated by a point in the table.
The visitors will enter this match off the back of a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon on Sunday, with Jonathan Viera scoring the only goal of the contest.
The victory allowed Las Palmas to secure fourth in the table, picking up 70 points from their 42 matches courtesy of a record of 19 wins, 13 draws and 10 defeats.
Garcia Pimienta‘s side have actually won each of their last five matches, while they are unbeaten in the league since March 12, so La Union Deportiva have momentum heading into the playoff semi-final.
Las Palmas spent three straight seasons in La Liga between 2015 and 2018 before dropping into the second tier, finishing 12th, ninth and ninth in their last three campaigns.
The second leg of this contest will take place on Saturday night, and the winner will face either Girona or Eibar in the final, with Almeria and Real Valladolid securing automatic promotion to the top flight.
Tenerife Segunda Division form:
Las Palmas Segunda Division form:
Tenerife will be missing Alex Munoz, Andres Martin and Pablo Larrea on Wednesday through injury, while Javi Alonso and Samuel Shashoua are fitness doubts.
Head coach Ramis is likely to make changes from the side that started against Cartagena on Sunday, with Carlos Ruiz, Enric Gallego and Alex Corredera all pushing for spots in the XI.
Ramis actually made four half-time changes at the weekend, while Englishman Samuel Shashoua also came off the bench in the second period, and former Tottenham Hotspur youngster will hope to be involved.
Elady Zorrilla is Tenerife’s leading goalscorer in the league this season with 11, while Gallego is second with 10, and the 35-year-old could be brought in for a start here.
As for Las Palmas, Saul Coco and Enzo Loiodice will all be missing through injury, but visitors do not have any fresh concerns from their success over Sporting Gijon.
Alvaro Lemos and Alberto Moleiro both came off just past the hour of Sunday’s affair but are expected to be available, while Viera, who has 14 league goals this season, will again feature in a midfield area for the hosts.
A 4-5-1 formation is set to include Rafa Mujica at center-forward, with Rober playing off the right and Fabio Gonzalez joining Viera in the middle of midfield.
Tenerife possible starting lineup:
Soriano; Moore, Sipcic, Ruiz, Jeremy; Michel, Corredera, Jamelli; Gonzalez, Gallego, Zorrilla
Las Palmas possible starting lineup:
Valles; Lemos, Suarez, Navas, Ramirez; Rober, Gonzalez, Mfulu, Viera, Moleiro; Mujica
We say: Tenerife 1-1 Las Palmas
Las Palmas will enter this match in much the better form, but we have a feeling that the first leg will be incredibly tight. Both managers would likely accept a draw if it were offered ahead of kickoff, and a stalemate would leave the tie delicately poised ahead of the reverse fixture.