A good part of Almería’s success lies in its defensive improvement, something that Rubi has placed a lot of emphasis on since preseason. The fruits of that harvest have arrived and Almería He now links four wins without conceding a single goal in any of them. In total, Fernando Martínez has gone 402 minutes without picking up a ball from his goal, with Toni Villa being the last to beat the Almería goalkeeper. In fact, Valladolid itself is the only team that has managed to score a goal against Rubi’s team in the last six games. At the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos, Aleix García, from Girona, was the last to beat the goalkeeper born in Murcia. It has already rained almost two months since that.

Fernando seeks to be the first Zamora in the history of the Indálica entity. You’ll make it if you don’t zero your door on the last two remaining dates. The Almería captain has received 30 goals in the 39 games he has played, while Juan Soriano has conceded 31; yes, Tenerife is the team with the fewest goals in the category as Makaridze received two in Lezama in the only league match that Fernando missed. Thus, Zamora is another of the challenges within the Indalic dressing room that did enjoy two Pichichis (Ulloa and Charles in 2012 and 2013, respectively). It is possible that Almería will be promoted next Saturday and Rubi will rotate in Butarque, but the presence of the Murcian would be necessary in Leganés if he wants to opt for Zamora and Juan Soriano does not fit in neither tonight against Málaga nor next Saturday in Ipurúa, as in that hypothetical possibility the Almería goalkeeper has a coefficient of 0.75 and the Tenerife goalkeeper 0.73 (in the scenario that none of the two receive more and Fernando only plays against Alcorcón).

Photo by Fernando Martinez

Rodrigo Ely lands on his feet

The figure of Rodrigo Ely has become fundamental in Almería’s defensive improvement. The Italian-Brazilian has landed on his feet in the Almeria team, something that is not usually easy for a starring incorporation once the winter transfer window has expired. The casualties of Chumi and Carriço forced the club from Indálico to go to the market, hitting full Joao Gonçalves. Even Ely, who has forgotten a pillar in the case of the Galician defender, has scored two decisive goals, in the case of the one achieved ‘in extremis’ at the José Zorrilla, which meant the tie, and the one that opened the can on Friday night at Anoeta .

After that last match, Rubi positively valued those 402 minutes without conceding for his team, but he also highlighted the offensive potential of his team. “I defend both clean sheets and scoring two goals. Everything is key. If you score two goals, it’s difficult to lose. We are a team in which we can all score, both the starters and those who come in after”, affirmed the coach of an Almería that has in its squad up to 16 different scorers, by eleven from Eibar and 20 from Valladolid, the highest scoring team in the championship. The people from Valladolid have scored 66 goals, compared to 65 for the Almerian team, although the balance between goals for and against is much more positive for Rubi’s men: 33 to 24.