Competition news


26 Nov 2008
Feyenoord plays one of its two last cards in order to pass the UEFA Cup group stage as it visits the Riazor. And the Dutch side is coming with Roy Makaay as the main reference up front. At Deportivo, Lotina’s is using once again his policy of rotations, while Valer??n returns to the starting squad.

Deportivo is living a positive moment on the season, but so it does Feyenoord Rotterdam. The Dutch side has added ten of the last twelve points in dispute at the Eredivisie and now they are 11th after been in the drop zone just one month ago.  Meanwhile Depor has won five of its last six official games and is currently 7th at the Liga BBVA and is already qualified to the round of 16 in Copa del Rey.

This is the second time in which Deportivo hosts a Dutch club playing for European competitions, the previous occasion was on the UEFA Champions League 2003/2004 as Irureta’s Deportivo defeated PSV Eindhoven with two goals scored by Sergio and Pandiani (2-0). The game represents a final for Feyenoord after losing at Nancy (0-3) and especially after the 1-3 home defeat against CSKA Moscow.  The team from Rotterdam will be eliminated if they lose the game against Depor. The Galicians still have to play two more matches: on the next week at Lech Poznan and at the middle of December against French side AS Nancy Lorraine.

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina will return to use the rotations in order to handle the tightening calendar of Deportivo. The Basque is planning to fulfill five changes compared to the team that defeated Athletic Bilbao on the last weekend (3-1). The first one is an obligated modification since striker Rodolfo Bodipo didn’t end the game with the Basques due to a knee injury. With Riki out too due to a tendonitis, Mista will be the starting choice and Omar Bravo the alternative on the bench.

In defence, Lotina is keeping Manuel Pablo at the right-back position  and Filipe Luis on the left, but the duo on the centre will be different, because Albert Lopo is returning after suspension in order to play alongside Argentinean Diego Colotto. It will be the first game for Colotto after the expulsion against Sporting Gij??n.

Julian De Guzm??n is not ready yet after surpassing a thigh injury, therefore Juan Rodr?­guez will play alongside Sergio in midfield. The Catalan was rested in the game against Athletic and now he will replace Antonio Tom??s in the formation. Another novelty is that Cristian Hidalgo will replace Angel Lafita on the right wing. The ex-Zaragoza man is reserved in this way for the liga visit to Almeria.

Who will continue in the starting eleven is Andr?©s Guardado, the Mexican has been a starter in seven of the last eight officials game of Deportivo, period in which he has scored two goals. Finally Juan Carlos Valer??n will be the playmaker in the 4-2-3-1 formation. El Flaco has just completed 124 minutes on this liga season, but he has been the starting choice for Lotina in the two games disputed in Intertoto plus the five matches played so far in UEFA.

Andr?©s Guardado was commenting the goal of Deportivo for this game â€?If we want to still alive in the competition, we have to defeat Feyenoord. We are conscious of that and we don’t want to lose the chance, because we suffered a lot in order to be here. We know that Feyenoord won on the past weekend, also that they are leaving that hole in the local competition and that they are fully motivated. It will be complicated, but they should be more worried about keeping the line of the past Sunday.â€?

Valer??n was emphasising the presence of Makaay in La Coru?±a â€?We know how Roy is, a goal-scorer, I’m sure the game at the Riazor will be special for him. He will try to make a pretty game. He’s a player that you should always count. For me and for the whole Riazor, it’s pretty when a former player returns, especially a man like him, someone who has gave us a lot of joy. It’s going to be pretty.â€?

Together with Riki, Bodipo and De Guzm??n, the other two players at the injury room are Pablo Alvarez and Pablo Amo, though this last one wasn’t inscribed on this competition. Antonio Barrag??n is also ineligible to play while Dudu Aouate and Gustavo Mun??a still sidelined from the plans of the coach. A novelty on Wednesday’s training was to see Fabril’s Lassad Nouioui training with the first squad. However he’s ineligible to play the competition since he has only spent one year at the club (UEFA’s rules establish that any B player needs at least two years in order to be able to play a game).

Called players (19): Aranzub?­a, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Filipe, Lopo, Manuel Pablo, Adri??n L??pez â€?Piscu’, Ze Castro, Colotto (defenders); Antonio Tom??s, Cristian, Guardado, Juan Rodr?­guez, Lafita, Sergio, Valer??n, Verd?? (midfielders); Mista and Omar Bravo (strikers).

All eyes will be over Roy Makaay, striker that’s returning to La Coru?±a after spending four years at Bayern Munich and one more at Feyenoord Rotterdam. The Dutch man is Depor’s second historic goal-scorer in la liga as he conquered 79 goals in 133 matches. In the current season of the Eredivisie, Makaay has scored five times, including one in last weekend’s win over Ado Den Haag (3-1)

It’s a final for the Dutch side since the visitors already lost their first two games in the competition (0-3 at Nancy and 1-3 Vs CSKA Moscow). A new setback will probably mean the elimination for them. A lot has been talked about the recuperation of Feyenoord at the Eredivisie, this after �The people's club’ has added ten of the last twelve points in dispute, it must be appointed, however, that three of the four rivals faced by Feyenoord in that period of time were teams at the bottom of the table.

But what really marks the game is the long list of casualties at the squad. And it’s that six men are out due to injury reasons: Denny Landzaat (hamstring), Jon Dahl Tomasson (ankle), Michael Mols (hamstring), Ron Vlaar (foot), Serginho Greene (knee ligament) and Tim Vincken (shoulder).

Jonathan de Guzman, the brother of Julian, is part of the squad traveling to La Coru?±a, but he will be on the bench since he still struggling from a groin injury. Of the previous list of nine men affected by the injuries, only central defender Kevin Hofland (ankle) has completely surpassed his injury case, actually the ex- Wolfsburg is the only novelty in the lineup compared to the team that defeated Ado Den Haag on the past Sunday. Other player coming back is striker Andw?©l?© Slory (hamstring), but he won’t be a starter.

Coach Gerrit Jan Alfons Verbeek will sent a 4-1-4-1 formation with Henk Timmer at the goal, Surinamese Dwight Tiendalli at the right-back position, ex-Ajax Tim de Cler on the left side and Brazilian Andr?© Bahia playing alongside Hofland at the centre of the defence. Moroccan Karim El Ahmadi will be the main in contention in midfield.

Verbeek will use a system with two playmakers, and the couple for the job will be a young duo that’s appointed as the future of the club: 18-year-old Georginio Wijnaldum and 21-year-old Luigi Bruins. Wijnaldum has been compared with Clarence Seedorf and is one of the most promising talents to come out of the Feyenoord youth system in modern times, while Bruins is of Italian descent and has been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur FC. Bruins was also part of the Jong Oranje (Netherlands’s U-21 squad)  that conquered the 2007 UEFA U-21 tournament.

Meanwhile, another youngster will cover the right wing: 18-year-old Leroy Fer. Player that just made his professional debut on December 2, 2007. The other wing will be covered by a veteran: Ex-Barcelona and current captain of the squad Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Finally, Makaay will be the lonely man in attack.   

Called players (21): Henk Timmer, Rob van Dijk (goalkeepers); Theo Lucius, Kevin Hofland, Andr?© Bahia, Tim de Cler, Dwight Tiendalli, Timothy Derijck, Kevin Wattamaleo (defenders); Karim El Ahmadi, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Luigi Bruins, Georginio Wijnaldum, Michal Janota, Leroy Fer, Kelvin Leerdam, Jonathan de Guzman (midfielders); Roy Makaay, Kermit Erasmus, Andw?©l?© Slory and Luis Pedro (strikers).

Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Filipe Luis - Sergio, Juan Rodr?­guez - Cristian, Valer??n, Guardado - Mista.
Feyenoord: Timmer – Tiendalli, Bahia, Hofland, DeCler - El Ahmadi - Fer, Wijnaldum, Bruins, van Bronckhorst – Makaay.
Referee: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)
Kick-off: 21h00 (Riazor)


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