Preview: Levante vs. Albacete

Preview: Levante vs. Albacete

Levante will welcome Albacete to the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia for the second leg of the Segunda Liga semi-final playoffs.

The hosts, who are looking to return to La Liga at the first time of asking, take a crucial lead into Wednesday’s contest after claiming a 3-1 first-leg victory over Albacete.

After missing out on promotion on the final day of the season, Levante quickly picked themselves for the first leg where they came from behind to claim a significant away win.

Jorge de Frutos found the net on the half-hour mark to cancel out Mohamed Djetei’s opener, before the Albacete defender scored an own goal to give Levante a narrow lead at the interval.

De Frutos grabbed his second after the restart to give Levante a two-goal advantage, and they saw out the remainder of the contest to secure a third consecutive victory.

With the away goals rule in use, Levante are firmly in the driving seat and having avoided defeat in their last six competitive meetings with Albacete, the omens seem positive for Wednesday’s hosts.

Having lost just one of their last 16 home league matches, the Granotes will be confident of protecting their first-leg advantage to advance to the final where they will face either Deportivo Alaves and Eibar.

Meanwhile, Albacete’s hopes of returning to the top flight for the first time since 2005 are left hanging by a thread after their seven-game unbeaten run came to an end in the first leg.

The Queso Mecanico know that they need to record a 3-1 victory of their own to send the tie to extra time or win by three goals or more to progress to the final.

The odds may be stacked against them, but Albacete can draw inspiration from the fact that they ended the regular season with the joint third-best away record in the Segunda division.

Wednesday’s visitors collected 30 points from their 21 away matches and scored 28 league goals on their travels – more than any other side in the second tier.

However, since beating Levante 3-1 in January 1998, Albacete have gone 10 away meetings without picking up a victory against the Granotes.

Levante Segunda Division form:

Albacete Segunda Division form:

We say: Levante 2-1 Albacete (Levante to win 5-2 on aggregate)
After losing 3-1 in the first leg, Albacete will have to adopt a risky approach if they are to mount a comeback, and we think Levante could take advantage of any gaps left in behind to claim a narrow victory in Wednesday’s encounter.

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