Competition news


08 Nov 2008
Deportivo is looking for back to back victories for the first time this season as it hosts RCD Espanyol at the Riazor. Manager Lotina is making a couple of changes for the clash: Colotto and Sergio entering for Z? Castro and De Guzm??n, although Z? Castro has a chance to keep his place if he passes a late fitness test. Meanwhile, the Catalans are looking to improve their poor scoring record with the deadly duo of Tamudo-Luis Garc?a up front leading the frontline.

Deportivo and Espanyol are suffering from the same problem during the present season: a lack of goals. The Galicians have only scored eight goals in la liga while the Catalans have scored seven. These two figures are among the worst ones at Primera Divisi??n. At the same time, Depor and Espanyol head into the match tied in the table with twelve points, meaning that a victory will be an important step forward for any side.

But the big difference appears when these two teams play at the Riazor, because Espanyol has only won three Primera matches in La Coru?a after thirty five visits, while Depor has won twenty two. Furthermore, of the ten last confrontations at the Riazor, Deportivo has won eight, including last season’s 2-0 victory with goals from Coloccini and Lafita. Curiously, the last victory Espanyol achieved at the Riazor was in the season 2005/2006 (2-1), when Lotina was the coach of the Catalans.

Depor returns to the Riazor after the catastrophic 0-3 defeat against Sporting Gij??n. A defeat that meant the first setback at home for Deportivo in the last five months. Meanwhile, this is the fifth visit made by Espanyol during the liga season, so far they have only won one match as visitors: 1-0 at Recreativo (matchday 01). Their other results were: 0-2 at Sevilla (matchday 04), 2-2 at Real Madrid (matchday 06) and 0-3 at Mallorca (matchday 08).

Portuguese central defender Z? Castro was included in the list for the game, however he will have to pass a late fitness test on Sunday in order to know if he’s fit to play. He suffered an ankle sprain during the week and it was expected that he'll be out of action for two weeks. But the evolution of the injury has been very positive and the ex-Academica players has a chance to keep his place at the centre of the defence. Actually Lotina announced that the defender will be a starter if he’s fit to play.

However, is expected Lotina will not risk the defender and that Diego Colotto will return to the starting eleven in order to perform alongside Albert Lopo at the centre of the defence. The Argentinean was sent off during the last home match of Depor against Sporting Gij??n and this could be his first game since the expulsion and after been rested in Copa del Rey. Since Lotina is not sure about the condition of Z? Castro, he decided to include young Adri??n  L??pez ?Piscu’ on the list, that’s why he has called 19 players and not the usual 18 each time Depor plays at the Riazor.

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina was hoping to repeat the same lineup that defeated Betis during last weekend, but the problem of Z? Castro is forcing him to change the plans. There’s another modification that the Basque coach must complete, because Julian De Guzm??n had to be replaced at the Luis de Lopera after just seven minutes due to a thigh injury, therefore his place in midfield will be taken by Sergio. His partner in the zone will be Juan Rodr?guez. The Catalan player, like the case of Lopo, is facing the club where he debuted at Primera Divisi??n.

The rest should be the same squad that defeated Betis during the last matchday in liga: Daniel Aranzubia on the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Filipe Luis on the left side, Angel Lafita on the right wing, Andr?s Guardado on the left and Joan Verd?? performing as the playmaker of the squad. Riki will complete the formation as the lonely striker. It’s the third straight appearance of the Madrilenian after scoring a goal in both Copa (Elche) and liga (Real Betis).

Goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia, who’s searching for his fifth clean sheet in the competition, said before the match that Espanyol is a similar squad compared to Deportivo, reason why the match will be complicated ?They look like us, for the points added so far and also for the characteristics of the players. A victory will be good because we would put some distance with them, and later when things were more tighten, then we will have a margin.?

Sergio also talked before the game, he said that he hopes the squad won’t be  too anxious on this occasion ?We hope to see a good Deportivo, a team wit enough patience to play at the Riazor. Sometimes we want to win a game before it is expected, we are precipitated as we want to give a good impression to the people. If we score first, we are reinforced, we know how to handle the game. But if they score first, we face more difficulties and let’s hope it won’t be the case.?

The Catalan is facing his former club, though he doesn’t thing is a special game for him ?From my times there, there’s no one remaining at the team. It is true they still have a reference up front as Tamudo. But he hasn’t been fine lately. Besides, Iv??n de la Pe?a is a good partner for him though it seems he isn’t coming. They are strong at the back and they will go out locked at their zone and leaving just a few spaces, speculating with the counterattacks.?

Together with Z? Castro, Antonio Tom??s is also returning after surpassing an ankle sprain, therefore only Julian De Guzm??n and Pablo Amo remain in the injury room. Pablo Alvarez and Omar Bravo weren’t called for the game and their places have been taken by Cristian and Rodolfo Bodipo. It’s the third straight official game in which Omar Bravo is not included on the list. Finally, Dudu Aouate and Gustavo Mun??a still sidelined, while Sebasti??n Taborda and Antonio Barrag??n, this last one already recovered from his knee injury, aren’t inscribed in la liga.

Called players (19): Aranzubia, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Z? Castro, Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Filipe (defenders); Antonio Tom??s, Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez, Lafita, Guardado, Cristian, Valer??n, Verd?? (midfielders); Bodipo, Mista and Riki (strikers).

The drought lived by Espanyol with the goals is raising all the alarms at the club, even captain Ra??l Tamudo has been involved in the polemic after he missed a penalty in the last game against Osasuna, his second missed penalty of the season. Some journalists already started to question if the Catalan marksman should allow another player to take the penalties, tough in the end Tamudo was the one that scored the winning goal over the Navarrans. But after all, Espanyol is not having too many chances to score during the games.

But coach Bartolom? ?Tintin’ M??rquez already said that he still trusting in his captain and that the decision of who should take the penalties corresponds to Tamudo himself. The Catalan attacker is the best scorer for Espanyol at Primera Divisi??n as he already took his tally to 125 goals, including four against Depor. On this liga campaign, Tamudo has conquered two goals.

The other striker in the formation, Luis Garc?a, is the current Pichichi at the squad with 3 goals in 9 matches. The Asturian player already accumulates 58 in his Primera career. Therefore the combination Tamudo-Luis Garc?a is extremely important for the squad as, together, they have conquered the 71% of Espanyol’s goals on this liga season (5 of 7).

For the game at the Riazor, Bartolom? M??rquez is missing two key players: Iv??n De la Pe?a and Daniel Jarque. De la Pe?a suffered a groin strain during the past game with Osasuna and he will be out of action for five weeks, while Jarque picked his fifth yellow card of the season in the same game against the Navarrans. The Catalan defender is the only player at the squad that has disputed all the minutes in liga.

Therefore M??rquez is forced to make two modifications at the Riazor compared to the squad that defeated Osasuna. The absence of De La Pe?a will be probably covered by ?ngel Mart?nez, international player with Spain’s U-21 squad that has only appeared once as starter on this season. Same is the case of Jes??s Mari Lacruz, Navarran veteran defender that has only played as starter during the first matchday of the season (1-0 victory Vs Valladolid). He will play alongside Argentinean international Nicolas Pareja at the centre of the defence.

In this way, the lineup of Espanyol at the Riazor will be conformed by Cameroonian Idriss Kameni at the goal, Sergio S??nchez at the right-back position, French Gregory Beranger on the left side, the couple Pareja-De La Cruz in the centre, Mois?s Hurtado alongside ?ngel in midfield, while Anderson Luis Carvallo ?Nene’ and Ferr??n Corominas will join Tamudo and Luis Garc?a in attack.

These last two players were linked with Depor in the past, Brazilian Nene ended in Celta while Corominas signed a new contract with Espanyol during this summer. Other players that will miss the clash at the Riazor are defenders Francisco Javier Chica (groin), Steve Finnan (muscular problem) and Marc Torrej??n (ankle sprain).

Jes??s Mari Lacruz, who will replace Jarque in the formation, appointed before the match that Espanyol must continue adding positive results in la liga ?Last weekend’s result was important because we returned to the path of the victory after spending several weeks without adding the three points. No matter we were making pretty games, we didn’t win and that leaves a sensation of been left behind. Now we know that on Sunday we must confirm, in La Coru?a, the good result achieved against Osasuna.?

For Argentinean Nicolas Pareja, the key is to avoid the same errors committed in the last visit of Espanyol, occasion in which the team was trashed by Mallorca (0-3) ?Two weeks ago we lost there. Two days later I said we should not repeat that. Now imagine the issue. We must work hard each day with our strategy. It’s something that must be done in a daily basis, during all the weeks of the year and not only because one day everything went badly during a game.?

Called players (18): Kameni, Cristian (goalkeepers); Sergio S??nchez, La Cruz, Pareja, David Garc?a, Berenguer (defenders); Rom??n, Mois?s, ?Lola’ Smiljanic, Valdo, ?ngel, Nen? (midfielders); Corominas, Luis Garc?a, Tamudo, Callej??n and Jonathan Soriano (strikers..

Deportivo: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto or Z? Castro, Lopo, Filipe – Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez – Lafita, Verd??, Guardado  - Rki.
Espanyol: Kameni - Sergio S??nchez, De La Cruz, Pareja, Berenger - Mois?s, ?ngel - Corominas, Luis Garc?a, Nen? - Tamudo,
Referee: Ram?rez Dom?nguez
Kick-off: 17h00 (Riazor).
Record Vs Espanyol: 29 wins for Depor, 16 draws, 25 wins for Espanyol (Primera)
Record at the Riazor: 22 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 3 wins for Espanyol (Primera)


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