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The day has come. The day that Barça B can be promoted to the Segunda División A. To do so, they will have to beat Sabadell in the last tie of the Express Play-offs at the Antonio Lorenzo Stadium in Marbella (8.00pm CEST on BarçaTV + (outside Spain)). Barça B have come this far after beating Valladolid Promesas (3-2) in the first tie, and Badajoz (1-1, 5-3), in an agonising match that was resolved via a penalty shootout at the New Mirador de Algeciras.
Should Barça B win this Sunday, it will be the seventh promotion in their history, but the Catalans are very aware of what it took to get to this point and how difficult this last step will be. “We know them because they are in our league, we know the type of players and coach they have and what they've done during the season, so it will be very difficult because they have a very complete squad,” said Barça B coach, Garcia Pimienta, after their win in the previous match.
"This generation deserves to play in Segunda A"
“Considering whom we have in the squad, many boys from the youth team, they've shown their level. In both games, these players have played perfectly," Pimienta added, whilst explaining the group's desire to get promoted. "Their morale is through the roof, they have demonstrated their quality and the level they have and what I can guarantee is that they will compete until the second. I hope we will get promoted. They are in this final deservedly and it would be very nice for this generation to play together in the Segunda División A. They deserve it."
The blaugranes come into the match after 120 minutes and penalties against Badajoz: “The desire to get promoted is worth more than any type of fatigue. Those of us who have been at home for a long time (because of lockdown) know what it is to wear this badge every day and in every game,” Jandro Orellana said, while Sergio Akieme noted that the team “has the responsibility to give everything and get the promotion that was desired at the start of season.”
For this match Garcia Pimienta will continue without being able to count on the injured Álex Collado, Sarsanedas, Hiroki Abe, Labinot and Rosanas, and will also be without Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati. Therefore, the coach will have the same 22 players - 13 from the Barça B squad and nine from U19A - at his disposal : Iñaki Peña, Morer, J. Cuenca, O. Mingueza, Monchu, Carevic, Araujo, Jandro, Ramos Mingo, Akieme, Matheus, Reis, R. Manaj, Álvaro Sanz, Konrad, Nico, Nils, Ilaix Moriba, Arnau Tenas, Mika, Jaume Jardí and Gerard.
A well-known rival
Sabadell, meanwhile, have reached this final round after overcoming the previous two teams via a penalty shootout. First, against Atlético Madrid, whom they defeated after the game ended 1-1, and then Cultural Leonesa, after drawing 2-2 at the end of 120 minutes.
The team led by Antonio Hidalgo are compact and defensively strong, conceding just 25 goals in total in the league, or 0.69 goals per game. The Catalans will have to keep an eye on players like Boris, Edgar and Querol up front for Sabadell, since they have accounted for more than 50% of their goals scored. For this match, Sabadell won't be able to count on their captain, Ángel Martínez, who is suspended.
Barça B and Sabadell have already met this season in a regular Segunda B Group III league match. On that occasion, the Catalans won 1-0 at the Johan Cruyff Stadium with a goal from Monchu.
The other tie
This Sunday, Castellón v Cornellà will be played at La Rosaleda, and the winners will also join Logroñés and Cartagena who have already been promoted. The two finals are between the four teams in the same Segunda B Group III, evidencing the level of the teams in this group.
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