LIVESTREAM Spain: L’Hospitalet Pioners @ Badalona Dracs, March 11, 16:00 CET (4 pm, 10 am ET)

The Badalona Dracs host cross-town rivals L’Hospitalet Pioners this weekend. However, the game won’t be played in Badalona, but instead at the Complex Esportiu Municipal L’Hospitalet Nord at 16:00 on Saturday.

A lack of facilities and politics play a role, but nonetheless the setting presents the Dracs with a little adversity to surpass. No matter where the game takes place, Badalona’s only desire is to impose its game plan as it pursues a 6-0 start and second win against the Pioners.

“We need to be humble and play the game to really win,” offensive lineman Wayne Callwood said. “We need to play a game that would beat any team, not just beat the Pioners.”

The Dracs beat the Pioners 27-7 back on February 4, but started slow as both teams entered halftime tied at seven points a piece. Afterward, the defense took over, allowing the Dracs’ offense to generate enough firepower to pull away. Since that afternoon, Badalona has gone 3-0 while L’Hospitalet has yet to win another game.

Following a tight 27-21 win against the Zaragoza Hurricanes last Sunday, the Dracs shifted their focus at practice to tightening up the offense and eliminating careless mistakes. Badalona has made a habit of getting off to slow starts this season, something the coaching staff wants to eliminate as the playoffs near.

“The slow starts have had to do with the execution of plays,” Callwood said. “Maybe it’s because of being on the road, the bus ride or whatever the case may be, but there’s not much we can do about it.”

It also helps that the team is getting healthier. American import Isaiah Woods is set to receive a few snaps as he works his way back from a leg injury suffered earlier this season. His presence alone will give quarterback Kevin Doyle another weapon in attack that will keep the Pioners defense honest.

“We want to be careful with Zay (Woods) a little, too,” coach Roman Villamonte said. “We don’t only need him for this game, but we want him for the playoffs. He will play limited reps, but we want to ease him back.”

Several academy players have swung up to practice with the Dracs’ senior team this week due to injuries and absences at several positions. Some might even receive minutes against L’Hospitalet this weekend as Villamonte says the hope is this week could help build confidence among his players ahead of the season’s final stretch.

“We have players with injuries that need to recover,” Villamonte said. “However, we want to show that we’re the superior team, which is why we’re working a lot on different running and passing plays ahead of the weekend.”

While the Pioners haven’t won since week one, they have played every opponent close since that 20-point defeat against the Dracs. They have plenty of talent with Peter Vincent and Vladimir Yartsev Burdyn on the defensive line. Their last two defeats each came by only a touchdown and, as they proved in the first half against Badalona a month ago, they will keep a game competitive if allowed.

But the Dracs, who have already qualified for the playoffs, are hungry to continue their perfect season, and have the weapons to do so. Whether home and away, the Dracs look poised for another postseason run; the hope is that a win against their rivals will provide a good kick start heading into another bye.

L’Hospitalet Pioners @ Badalona Dracs, March 11, 16:00 CET (4 pm, 10 am ET)