Competition news

PREVIEW: ATHLETIC BILBAO - DEPORTIVO (LIGA 21h00)

06 Jan 2006
Caparr??s will present two changes to the lineup that defeated Osasuna for the copa del rey, Coloccini will play in the position of Manuel Pablo and V?­ctor will replace Arizmendi; also, Juanma returns to the formation. Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao will face the match with the absences of Yeste and Gurpegi.

DEPORTIVO: COLOCCINI ON THE RIGHT AND VICTOR RETURNS
Coach Joaqu?­n Caparr??s will base his lineup on the formation used against Osasuna at Riazor, Molina will play his 19th consecutive game as starter and the defensive line will experience some modifications. Manuel Pablo will rest and his position in the right side will be covered by Coloccini, in this sense Juanma will return into action in the center positions as the partner of Jorge Andrade, Capdevila will continue to perform on the left.

In midfield the duo Sergio-Duscher will continue to control the traffic of the ball; meanwhile, V?­ctor will return to the right wing sending Arizmendi to the bench, Pedro Munitis will continue to lead the offensive efforts on the left wing. Juan Carlos Valer??n is living a sweet moment with two goals scored in the last three games. The Canarian playmaker will try to continue with his recent performance in this game and Diego Trist??n will try to take advantage of his assistances. Arizmendi, Manuel Pablo, Romero, De Guzm??n, Rub?©n Castro, and Dani Mallo will be the other players waiting for an opportunity on the bench.

Molina said before the match that the visit to San Mam?©s will be difficult, but he trust in the chances of his squad: "It will be a tough game, Athletic is in a difficult position and they will try to take advantage of their home matches. But we are having good results in the away games and let's see if we can continue with our good run."

The good run of Deportivo in the away games is represented in three consecutive victories that includes three clean sheets, Molina has a mark of 309 minutes without allowing goals when Depor plays away from Riazor. The Galicians have the third best record as visitants in la liga (15 points) just behind Barcelona (17), Villarreal (16) and Real Madrid (16).

ATHLETIC: YESTE OUT OF THE GAME
Coach Javier Clemente will have to face this match without Francisco Yeste who is injured (hip problem), but he will be replaced by Julen Guerrero who is passing trough one of the best moments in his career as he demonstrate it in the last copa defeat against Real Madrid (0-1). It will be the second consecutive game of Guerrero as starter, a fact unseen since the year 2002.

Another modification will be the exit of Carlos Gurpegui who is suspended, his place will be taken by Ander Murillo. It has been speculated that the coach is thinking of the return of Ismael Urzaiz to the lineup, but apparently Clemente will continue to trust in Aritz Aduriz. Urzaiz has only scored one goal in la liga and Aduriz is an ex-Valladolid striker that hasn't played in la liga yet.

Athletic Bilbao is living one of the worst seasons in their history. They occupied the last place of the table for several weeks, but it seems that the arrival of Clement is calming down the situation and the team started to climb positions. The Basques are out of the relegation zone only by goal difference and they accumulated only two draws in the last four liga matches.

Clemente commented before the game that he's optimistic about the possible result of this confrontation: "It will be complicated since Deportivo has learned Caparr??s philosophy, they defend pretty well and Valer??n is playing in a good level. But our latest performance invites optimistimism. Athletic is playing an acceptable football and with the help of the public we can be a complicated rival."

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Athletic Bilbao: Aranzubia - Iraola, Lacruz, Murillo, Casas - Orbaiz, Tiko - Etxeberria, Guerrero, Da?±obeitia - Aduriz
Deportivo: Molina - Coloccini, Juanma, Andrade, Capdevila - V?­ctor, Sergio, Duscher, Munitis - Valer??n, Trist??n.
Referee: Ayza G??mez.
Kickoff: 21h00 (San Mam?©s)

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