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16.03.2008 11:15

Almost there

Jesús Carrillo

FC Barcelona’s rivals this Sunday, Almeria, are very close to ensuring they stay up in the First Division, which was their aim at the start of the campaign.

The Andalusians are on 37 points and just need two or three more victories to secure their place for next season.

Out of the three teams that came up last term Almeria are in much the best position and well ahead of Valladolid and Múrcia. In his second season as manager of the club, Basque Unai Emery has become one of the surprise coaches in this year’s campaign.

Good home record

IMG_0297.jpgAlmeria have a pretty good home record in the League, with seven victories and just four defeats. Two of those wins at the Juegos del Mediterráneo stadium were against Real Madrid and Seville. Their home defensive record is also excellent as they have conceded only eight goals, the same as FC Barcelona and Racing de Santander.

27 years later

The last time that FC Barcelona played an official game in Almeria was in 1981. Barça, then coached by Helenio Herrera, ran out winners on that occasion by 2-5 at the old Franco Navarro ground. The previous year, when Quimet Rifé was in charge, the Catalans drew 1-1.

Since then Almeria has basically hovered between the Second Division B and the Andalusian Third Division. The breakthrough came in 2004 when they got promoted to the Second Division and the Juegos del Mediterráneo ground was built. They finally made it into the top flight last season and nearly a year later the club is almost assured of staying up and is close to the European qualifying spots.
Almost there
Victory for Barça in the first round
Frank Rijkaard’s men won the first game between the two sides this season in the Camp Nou by 2-0. The goals were scored by Henry (min. 37) and Messi from the penalty spot (min. 79).

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