Competition news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – VILLARREAL (LIGA, 21h00)

27 Sep 2009
Deportivo tries to confirm its recovery against a Villarreal that arrives to the Riazor with the necessity of adding the points. Juca is doubtful for the game and it seems that Antonio Tomas could be a starter. Also Riki is a novelty.

STATISTICS: ANOTHER RIVAL IN TROUBLES
For the third straight time, Deportivo is facing a rival that’s having a poor start of season. And it’s that Villarreal is one of the three clubs at Primera División that haven’t added yet a victory, reason why they occupy one of the three relegation spots (18th, 2 points in 4 games). The latest defeat with Real Madrid (0-2) wasn’t so surprising, but to just have added two points against mid-level rivals like Osasuna, Mallorca and Athletic is something worrying.

This is the third time that Villarreal starts a liga season with only two points added after four matchdays, the previous two occasions were on the season 2002/2003 -with Víctor Muñoz as the coach- and the other one was on the 2005/2006 campaign -with Manuel Pellegrini-

Meanwhile, Depor is having a calmed start of season, with six of twelve possible points at its side. But what’s calling the attention is the number of goals scored so far: 8. Mark that’s the fourth best scoring record at Primera División, only surpassed by Barcelona (14), Real Madrid (13) and Valencia (9). Besides, it’s the fourth time in the history of the club that Depor conquers eight goals after just four liga matchdays (the previous occasions were on the seasons 1944/45, 1954/55, and 1992/93). The record at the club is nine goals after the first four liga matches (2001/2002).

Despite the numbers, Villarreal is not a rival that should be despised, actually it still appointed as one of the six candidates to fight for the European places. Besides, the yellow submarine has added three wins within its last six visits to the Riazor: 1-0, 2003/2004, 2-0, 2005/2006 and 2-0, 2007/2008.

DEPORTIVO: MORE ROTATIONS
Coach Miguel Angel Lotina is ready to introduce two changes in his lineup, at the same time he is keeping some of the modifications that he made for the past game with Xérez CD. The main novelty is that Juca could miss the clash due to a knee problem, that’s why the Basque manager picked 20 players for the game and the reason why Antonio Tomás could start a liga match for the first time in five months.

The Cantabrian is returning from a thigh injury sustained on the past season and he played a few minutes against Xérez. The other novelty is the presence of Riki in the formation taking the place of Pablo Alvarez at the right wing. Riki has been on the spotlight within the last days, Despite he was a substitute on Wednesday, the ex-Getafe has been the striker with more minutes in this start of season (220), but he seemed upset at Chapín after he celebrated the third goal of Depor striking his chest and keeping his sight on Depor’s bench.

Some reporters believe he was upset for have started on the bench. On Friday he didn’t want to talk to reporters, and it seems it isn’t a new situation since the Madrilenian have kept silence with reporters since some weeks ago, apparently he is tired of been denying a possible move to England. Who talked about the issue was Lotina, the Basque coach defended the attitude of the player, “He is a great kid, but sometimes a little hot… He is important for us and as long as he scores a goal, he has permission to do whatever he wants. The problem is when a player talks and isn’t performing as he should.”

At the same time that Lotina is completing two changes in the starting squad, he is also keeping the modifications made for the previous game, and it’s that Diego Colotto, Manuel Pablo and Sergio will stay in the starting eleven, while Zé Castro, Laure and Juan Rodriguez will be sited on the bench.

In resume, the lineup is a 4-2-3-1 figure, with Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo occupying the right-back spot, Filipe Luis on the left side, Colotto and Lopo at the centre of the defense, Antonio Tomás taking the place of Juca -if the Brazilian is not fit enough- playing alongside Sergio in midfield, Riki on the right wing, Guardado on the left, and Lassad playing once again behind Adrian, this last one will be the lonely attacker. Once again, Angulo, Piscu and Bodipo are the discards of Lotina, while Juan Rodriguez (Gastroenteritis) and Mista (illness) are returning into the list.

Manuel Pablo was saying before the game that he’s convinced that no matter its position in the table, Villarreal will always be a difficult rival, “Surely that Villarreal wasn’t expecting this start of season, but they are a team that practices a good football and that should end up there. They have started slowly and besides they have a new coach. It will be a difficult rival. They have a certain style of playing and despite their position, it will be the same every Sunday. They are a tough team to defend, and we will have to work hard in order to stop them.”

The Canarian is also convinced that Depor must be strong when it plays at home, “We all know that on the past year we converted the Riazor into a though field for the rivals, and now we all want to leave the clear message that it’s difficult to pick up the points from here. We aren’t a team on the spotlight due to our offensive line, neither for our defence, though maybe a little bit in this last sector. We have youth and quality up front, let’s see if, combined, we can be effective.”

Meanwhile, Colotto was warning that this will be a different game compared to the previous one against Xérez CD, “I think I did a pretty job in the past game, therefore I expect to have continuity, to keep taking part of the starting eleven. But we must assume this game is different, because the quality of the rivals is different, we are talking of a team with a different vocation. They have just added two points, but we can’t despise them.”

List of picked players (20): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Lopo, Colotto, Zé Castro, Filipe (defenders); Antonio Tomás, Sergio, Juca, Juan Rodríguez, Guardado, Pablo Álvarez, Valerón, Iván Pérez (midfielders); Lassad, Riki, Adrián and Mista (strikers).

VILLARREAL: PROBLEMS IN DEFENCE
It’s the worst start in liga for Villarreal and the main explanation is the poor job done so far at the back zone, and it’s that the yellow submarine has allowed seven goals in the first four matches. A situation that it isn’t new, because on the past season the squad from Vila-real ended the liga competition allowing twelve goals in the last seven games. All of this is just putting more pressure to new coach Ernesto Valverde, who is pushed to repeat the previous results of Manuel Pellegrini.

Besides to the poor job in defence, there are also some problems in attack, because neither Nilmar Da Silva nor Giussepe Rossi nor Joseba Llorente have found yet the path to the goals. And it’s that this trio has only conquered one goal in four matches, actually the current top-scorer in the squad is a midfielder: Santi Cazorla (2). A worrying situation taking in mind the 24 liga goals scored between Rossi and Llorente on the past campaign, plus the €14 million that Villarreal paid for Nilmar (a record for the club). Jonathan Pereira, who impressed with Racing at the Riazor during the past season, was also picked for the clash.

For the game at the Riazor Valverde is recovering Marcos Senna after surpassing an injury suffered with the national team of Spain, while Robert Pires is now fit to play after starting the game against Real Madrid sited on the bench. Nilmar (thigh) and David Fuster (ribs) also missed the game against the white team, but only the Brazilian striker was picked for this match. At the same time, Villarreal is losing Ariel Ibagaza, who will be out for a month after sustaining a hamstring problem, while Argentine central defender Gonzalo Rodriguez will miss the clash at the Riazor for suspension.

Despite the problems, it seems that Valverde will only make two changes to the lineup, the first is the presence of ex-Racing central defender Iván Marcano replacing suspended Gonzalo. The other is the appearance of Nilmar up front, which means that Llorente will stay on the bench.

It’s a 4-2-3-1 figure, with Galician Diego López at the goal, ex Celta Ángel at the right-back position, Uruguayan Diego Godín will join Marcano at the centre of the defence, and ex-Depor Joan Capdevila performing on the left side. In midfield, Senna and Uruguayan Sebastián Eguren will perform in the pivote functions, ex-Zaragoza Rubén Gracia ‘Cani’ will play on the right wing, Cazorla will be the link with attack and the duo up front will be composed by Nilmar and Rossi.

Captain Marcos Senna was appointing that his team is searching for the three points in La Coruña, “We are a pretty strong squad and anybody has the chance to play on here. Riazor is not an easy task for Villarreal, but on these moments we aren’t worried about that stuff and are going there for the victory. Surely that at the end we will be fighting for the European spots. We are not used to be at the bottom of the standings, and we need personality in order to leave the hole, above all we need tranquility.

Similar are the thoughts of Robert Pires, ”We have football, we just miss some confidence. Nobody thought that we will be at the bottom after four matchdays, but now is when we have to demonstrate our value and raise the head. We just need a victory in order to gain confidence in la liga. We are united in order to raise the head.”

List of picked players (18): Diego López, Oliva (goalkeepers); Javi Venta, Ángel, Marcano, Godin, Capdevila (defenders); Escudero, Bruno, Senna, Pires, Cazorla, Eguren, Cani (midfielders); Jonathan Pereira, Llorente, Nilmar and Rossi (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Filipe - Antonio Tomás or Juca, Sergio – Riki, Lassad, Guardado - Adrián.
Villarreal: Diego López - Ángel, Godín, Iván Marcano, Joan Capdevila - Eguren, Senna - Cani, Cazorla, Nilmar - Rossi.
Referee: Rafael Rodríguez Domínguez.
Kick-off: 21h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs Villarreal: 10 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 7 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 6 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 3 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS SEPT/09

ZAPPING

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