Competition news


25 Oct 2009
Depor will try to stay in Champions League positions as it visits the José Zorrilla, one of the toughest stadiums in the history of Deportivo. For the match Lotina plans to keep the 4-3-3 system, with the only novelty of Pablo Alvarez.

Depor has only been able to achieve five victories after 38 visits to the Nuevo José Zorrilla stadium, this playing for Primera & Segunda División. The last win there was on the season 2002/2003 with a goal scored by Roy Makaay (0-1). The José Zorrilla has been known as “pneumonia stadium“, this due to the cold weather felt by the players when they are on the pitch.

However, Valladolid is passing through a terrible moment playing at home, because Mendilibar’s side hasn’t won yet at the Zorrilla during the present season, this after three home matches: 2-4 Vs Valencia (matchday 02), 1-2 Vs Osasuna (matchday 04) and 2-2 Vs Athletic Bilbao (matchday 06) –Valladolid, Villarreal and Racing are the only three sides in la liga that haven’t won yet at home-

Worse than that, the Violet team hasn’t won a liga home match since March 14, day in which they defeated Getafe (1-0). Since that day they have played eight times at the José Zorrilla and haven’t been able to pick up the three points. This poor behaviour at home explains why Valladolid suffered on the past season in order to achieve the permanence, and also why they are now separated from the relegation zone just by the goal difference with Xérez CD.

Meanwhile, Depor is the second best visiting team in la liga with six of nine possible points added. Besides Deportivo is the third best defensive line with only six goals allowed –Barca is first with three and Sevilla second with five- Finally, Lotina’s Deportivo comes to this game after adding fourth straight victories, which means its third best liga start after seven matchdays: 15 of 21 possible points added.

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina admitted that the starting eleven for the game will be very similar to the squad that defeated Sevilla FC at the Riazor, he said that only one or two changes will be made. And the expected modification for the match is the return of Pablo Alvarez, the right winger was replaced by youngster Iván Pérez for the confrontation against the Andalusians, but the performance of the ex-Fabril was disappointing. “The Shark” has played in the seven games disputed so far and has only missed as a starter the matches against Sevilla and RCD Espanyol.

The rest will be the same 4-3-3 figure that played at the Riazor on the past Saturday. Daniel Aranzubia will be at the goal and will try to increase the number of minutes without allowing a goal. If he keeps the clean sheet for 56 minutes at the José Zorrilla, then he will reach the historic mark of 453 minutes without receiving a goal, which will be the fourth best record in the history of the club.

In defence Manuel Pablo will keep playing at the right-back position, while Filipe Luis will be the wing-back on the left, Diego Colotto will keep playing at the centre as Zé Castro still out with a muscular problem. Albert Lopo will be the partner of the Argentine player.

Once again Lotina is using a triple pivote figure in midfield: Antonio Tomás, Juan Rodriguez and Sergio. Andrés Guardado will play towards the left wing although he will also join the attacks by the centre, same thing that Pablo Alvarez will do on the right side. Finally, Riki will be the central attacker. The Madrilenian and Juca are the two best scorers at the team with two goals for each player, but the Brazilian is still out due to an intramuscular edema.

Mista is joining Zé Castro and Juca at the injury room, the Murcian attacker is once again feeling pain in the pubis region, same problem that sidelined him during big part of the past campaign: Due to the absence of the ex-Valencia striker Lotina has decided to pick Rodolfo Bodipo for the trip to Valladolid, while ‘Chico’ Angulo is the only casualty for technical reasons.

Iván Pérez, who is losing his place in the starting squad, was giving his opinion about the game, “You can’t trust of Valladolid. They alternate great presentations with big disappointments in the sense that they complicate themselves after have secured a game. We are going out for the victory or even for a point. As long as we add, is positive.”

He also said that the key for a good result is to continue with the solid work in defence, "We are aware that in order to win a game, the first thing is to defend and to achieve a clean sheet, because in the attempt to win a battle you first need to save your flag. The first thing is to save Dani (Aranzubia), later if we have occasions, to kill the game. That's what the coach wants."

List of picked players (19): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Adrián López ‘Piscu’, Filipe (defenders); Sergio, Juan Rodríguez, Antonio Tomás, Pablo Álvarez, Guardado, Iván Pérez, Valerón (midfielders); Lassad, Adrián López, Riki and Bodipo (strikers).

If Deportivo is living one of its best starts of season, the opposite is occurring with Real Valladolid, because the Violet team has just added five points within the first seven matchdays and suffering a goal difference of -7, which means the worst start since the season 1997/1998, at the time the situation cost the job to coach Vicente Cantatore. At least in this occasion the poor start is not affecting coach José Luis Mendilibar, who continues to enjoy the confidence of, in large measure, the fans and the club’s officials

The main problem is that Valladolid hasn’t won a match at the Zorrilla within the last seven months, and to achieve the points at home is considered as a basic thing in order to achieve the permanence. At least the team has started to show signs of life, the last game at Real Madrid (2-4) meant the fourth loss of the season, but the team gave a serious impression with a solid performance made by its players that included six shots on goal throughout the match.

That’s why Mendilibar has decided to keep the same starting lineup to face Deportivo, with the only modification of Alberto Marcos Rey, who is returning from an injury in order to replace ex-Villarreal César Arzo at the left-back position. Arzo was left out of the list of picked players due to an injury, while keeper Fabricio Augusto and right-back Antonio Barragán are also out for technical reasons, they won’t have the chance to face their former club.

It’s a 4-2-3-1 figure, with Jacobo Sanz at the goal, ex-Valencia Pedro López Muñoz at the right-back position, Marcos on the left side and the couple Luis Prieto-Nivaldo at the centre. In midfield the couple of pivotes will be composed by ex-Real Madrid Borja Fernández and Álvaro Rubio.

The attacks will be commanded by ex-Las Palmas Nauzet Alemán and ex-Atletico Madrid Diego Costa, both have been appointed as the best players for Valladolid in this start of season. Actually Atletico’s officials already said they will fulfill the buyout option over Costa at the end of the season. This duo, together with Marquitos, have scored six of the nine goal conquered by the Violet team in this start of season. Nauzet will cover the right wing, while Marcos García Barreno ‘Marquitos’ will be the playmaker and Diego Costa will be the central attacker. The formation is completed with Héctor Font on the left, though Fabian Cannobbio could also appear in this function.

The ex-Celta is returning after missing the game against Real Madrid due to an ankle sprain. But Mendilibar is losing winger Sisinio González 'Sisi' (left fibula), midfielder Jonathan Sesma (costal cartilage - ribs) and ex-Villarreal defender César Arzo (Triceps surae) due to injury reasons.

During the week, captain Alberto Marcos Rey was analysing the performance of the team on the present season, “It’s true that we deserve to be down there due to our own errors, but I also think that we have paid a high price for it. We are going up, but still have to improve. The team has always been characterized by its defensive secureness and the rivals were in trouble trying to reach our goal. The key is to not give any option in defence, because up front we now have more resources.”

Meanwhile, ex-Celta Cannobio was talking about the necessity of picking the three points in this game, “It’s vital to win, because the team notices when you spend a lot of time without achieving a victory. We need these points, especially because we’re playing at home, place where we should be strong. It’s true that we are worried, but that’s fine, because now we face the game with tension and knowing what the team needs.”

List of picked players (18): Justo Villar, Jacobo (goalkeepers); Pedro López, Baraja, Luis Prieto, Nivaldo, Marcos (defenders); Borja, Pelé, Álvaro Rubio, Medunjanin, Nauzet, Marquitos, Canobbio, Font (midfielders) Alberto Bueno, Diego Costa and Manucho (strikers)

Real Valladolid: Jacobo - Pedro López, Luis Prieto, Nivaldo, Marcos - Borja, Rubio - Nauzet, Marquitos, Héctor Font or Canobbio - Diego Costa
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe - Sergio, Juan Rodríguez, Antonio Tomás - Pablo Álvarez, Riki, Guardado
Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro.
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (José Zorrilla stadium)
Head-to-head Vs Valladolid: 30 wins for Depor, 17 draws, 29 wins for Valladolid (Primera & Segunda).
Record at the José Zorrilla: 5 wins for Depor, 9 draws, 24 wins for Valladolid (Primera & Segunda).



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