Squad news


16 Feb 2009
Depor travels on this day to Denmark and is fulfilling the trip with several casualties, including Riki and Manuel Pablo. Besides, Lopo, Verd?? and Lafita are doubtful. Lotina will decide the final lineup until today’s training at the Energi Nord Arena.

The squad travels this day to Denmark in order to face the first-leg in UEFA against Aalborg (Wednesday, 21h00 CET), coach Lotina is practically taken the same squad picked for the liga encounter with Osasuna. The only differences are Laure and Lassad. Laure was removed from the UEFA list in order to make room for Mun??a, while Lassad can’t take part of the team since he doesn’t qualify as a ?B player’ due the criteria of UEFA (he’s 23 and only has one year at the club).

Antonio Tom??s, who was suspended in liga, and Cristian Hidalgo are taking their places and represent the only two novelties at the list. Besides, Riki (thigh) and Manuel Pablo (knee) are out again for injury reasons. To make things worse, Lopo, Verd?? and Lafita are not at 100% after suffering muscular problems during the game against Osasuna.

Lotina didn’t test any specific lineup during Monday’s training, and he will wait until Tuesday’s session in Denmark (19h00 CET) in order to take a final decision about the squad that will be used in the confrontation. Something that he explained on Monday to reporters, ?It’s a very complicated week in terms of injuries. We didn’t recover Riki or Manuel Pablo and there are more people with blows and problems, like Lopo, Verd?? and Lafita. We will wait until the training in Denmark, all of them could be recovered, but they are with problems.?

About the possible lineup, the only thing that seems a fact, besides to the presence of Aranzubia at the goal and Filipe at the left-back position, is Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu? covering the right spot in defence, this because Manuel Pablo and Laure are out. The rest of the starting eleven is a mystery.  Colotto, the Pichichi in UEFA, could return to the centre of the defence, while Z? Castro, who is suspended for Sunday’s clash against Valencia, could replace Lopo.

Coach Lotina still has to decide if he will keep playing with a 4-3-2-1 formation, or if he will return to the 4-2-3-1 figure, meaning that nobody in midfield has a secure place, including Juan Carlos Valer??n, who could be reserved for la liga. Besides, the physical problems of Lafita could mean an opportunity for Pablo ?lvarez or even for Cristian.

In attack, with Riki out, the only options left are Omar Bravo and Mista, this last one seems to have the advantage judging by the words of Lotina on Monday, ?Omar Bravo is sad because he doesn’t have continuity, and because the other day he wasn’t happy with his national team. I must valorise all those things. Its logical, a player that isn’t playing, who hasn’t had continuity partially due to my decisions and also because when he had chances he never demonstrated what he was thinking, that’s something going directly into your head and I need to valorise it.?

No matter the doubts and problems, the players are hopeful about the UEFA Cup, as Valer??n said: ?It’s a pretty tournament for us and especially when you are passing the rounds.? Meanwhile, Colotto was warning it will be a tough match, ?If they played the Champions League, is because they have a pretty group of players.?

Depor squad is traveling on this morning to Denmark (09h30 CET), then the players will rest for a couple of hours and will train during the afternoon (19h00 CET). Fifteen minutes before the session, Lotina will give a press conference. The list of players picked by the Basque coach is:

Goalkeepers: Aranzubia and Mun??a
Defenders: Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Lopo, Filipe Luis, Colotto and Z? Castro
Midfielders: Antonio Tom??s, Verd??, Lafita, Sergio, Cristian, Valer??n, De Guzm??n, Juan Rodr?guez and Pablo ?lvarez
Strikers: Omar Bravo and Mista.

The Danish League is not resuming the competition until March, this means the last official game of Aalborg was the Champions League match against Manchester United that was disputed in December. In the winter window, AaB has signed three reinforcements: Kjetil W?hler, Luton Shelton and Marcus Tracy.

W?hler was signed because defender Steve Olfers has to undergo surgery on a stomach injury and will miss both legs. He’s a 32-year-old player that has been capped five times by Norway. Shelton is a Jamaican forward coming on loan from Valerenga, he has played 42 times with his national team and has scored 27 goals.  Tracy is a 22-year-old United States-born striker signed from Wake Forest University and represents a gamble, because he has not played yet any official game in Europe. The three of them were inscribed for the UEFA Cup. Also new is Swedish coach Magnus Pehrsson, who officially took charge on January 1st 2009.

Meanwhile, Midfielder Kasper Risg??rd is hoping to overcome the knee problems that have disrupted his winter training, he is the second best scorer at the squad with seven goals on the season (3 in Champions League and 4 in the local league). But all eyes must be upon Lucas de Deus Santos ?Cac??’, a Brazilian midfielder that has scored eight times on the campaign (3 in CL and 5 in the Danish Superliga).



Back to Squad news