Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – ALMERIA (LIGA)

18 Apr 2010
Depor will try to break its negative streak of seven straight games without a win, but it will have to do it with nine casualties at the squad, while Almeria arrives to the Riazor with coach Lillo menacing to present an offensive lineup.

STATISTICS: THE WORST TEAM IN THE SECOND ROUND
Deportivo is now the worst Primera team in the second round; the Galicians have only added nine points during the thirteen matches played in the period. Even Xérez CD, club that’s currently at the bottom of the table, is presenting better numbers as the Andalusians added eighteen points, exactly the double of the Galicians. 

In that virtual table of the second round Depor is the second worst scorer with just ten goals within the last thirteen matches; it shouldn’t be a surprise, but the shocking fact is that the Galicians are also the second worst defence in the period with twenty-three goals allowed, just two more than CD Tenerife, which is the worst defence at Primera.

Also, Depor has spent the previous seven liga matchdays without achieving a victory, which is the worst streak since the season 2006/07, moment when Caparrós’ Deportivo spent nine straight games without a win (between matchdays 11 & 16). But Almeria is also living a low point on the season as the Andalusian have missed to achieve a victory within the last four liga encounters: 0-1 at Osasuna (matchday 29), 1-1 Vs Mallorca (matchday 30), 1-4 at Athletic Bilbao (matchday 31) and 1-2 Vs Real Madrid (matchday 31).

DEPORTIVO: MORE CASUALTIES
Coach Miguel Angel Lotina confessed on the past week that he was hoping to have a full squad available for the last part of la liga, but the reality has been very different, because the team continues to be struck by the injuries. For the game against Almeria the Basque manager is missing eight players due to injury cases plus one suspended man, this mean nine casualties, which together with the casualties had for the past visit to Villarreal FC (Feb 28) represents the highest number had on the season for a single game. 

Manuel Pablo is the one suspended after picking a fifth yellow card on the season against Barcelona FC, meanwhile Filipe Luis, Angulo and Juca are the long-term cases at the injury room, and on Saturday five new cases were known: Lassad (muscular), Lopo (thigh & Peroneal), Mista (knee sprain), Bodipo (muscular) and Juan Dominguez (ankle sprain).

Of these nine men, Lopo and Manuel Pablo are usual starters at the defensive sector, and in order to fill the gaps Lotina has been forced to pick three youngsters from Fabril: right-back Diego Seoane, left-back Raúl García and central defender David Rochela. But only Raúl is going to be a starter in the game as he will perform on the left sector.

For the match Lotina is planning to return to the 4-4-2 scheme used in the previous home game with Racing Santander. Actually, the casualties are only affecting the defensive sector, because the intention of Lotina is to repeat the same midfield and the same attacking line that played against the Cantabrians. Dani Aranzubia will be the goalkeeper; Laure is switching back to the right-back position in order to cover the casualty of Manuel Pablo, while Raúl Garcia will be on the left. Colotto returns after resting against Barca and should be joined by Ze Castro at the centre, although Lotina said that Adrián López ‘Piscu’ also has the chance to replace Lopo.

At midfield, Sergio and Antonio Tomas are going to play in the pivote functions, while Andrés Guardado will perform on the left wing. The big doubt is who will play on the right, Lotina has the alternatives of Juan Rodriguez and Pablo Alvarez and hasn’t decided yet which option will be the chosen one.

In attack, Riki and Adrián are going to start; lately both men have been important as they have scored the four goals conquered by Depor within the last six liga encounters (two goals for each striker). Currently the Madrilenian player is the Pichichi at the squad with six goals scored, while the Asturian has added four to his tally.

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Colotto, Adrián López ‘Piscu’, Raúl, Zé Castro, Seoane, Rochela (defenders); Antonio Tomás, Sergio, Juan Rodríguez, Pablo Álvarez, Guardado, Valerón, Iván Pérez (midfielders); Adrián and Riki (strikers).

ALMERIA: THE MIRACLE OF LILLO
The Andalusian club had a complicate start in la liga, Mexican coach Hugo Sánchez was fired after his team lost at RCD Espanyol (0-2, matchday 15) and as the team was at the border of the abysm (one point above relegation). The authorities of the club seemed confused about the path to follow, several names were linked as their next coach and in the end the chosen one was Juan Manuel Lillo, an unknown coach that failed in the past working with UD Salamanca (1995/96), Real Oviedo (1996/97), CD Tenerife (1998) and Real Zaragoza (2000) at Primera División.

Almeria’s fans feared the worst, but the true is that it was the right call, because Lillo has not even cleared the ghost of relegation, but also gave some hopes to reach the European positions, though this dream is already vanished as Almeria has missed the victory within the last four liga encounters. However this black spot isn’t hiding the good things did so far, because since the arrival of Lillo the team has added 24 points in 17 matches, which means the seventh best record since matchday 16, only Barcelona (44), Real Madrid (43), Valencia (30), Atletico Madrid (26), Mallorca (25) and Villarreal (25) present a better mark.

The secret is that Lillo is not afraid to play with offensive schemes, as example the 3-4-3 formation used against Real Madrid on the past Thursday. For this reason the Andalusian team has only ended scoreless in three of seventeen liga matches played with Lillo on the bench: 0-1 at Sevilla (matchday 19), 0-2 at Valencia (matchday 27) and 0-1 at Osasuna (matchday 29).

But at the opposite side, Lillo has had problems in defence and his team has only achieved four clean sheets since his arrival: 1-0 Vs Xérez (matchday 16), 1-0 Vs Atletico (matchday 23), 1-0 Vs Malaga (matchday 269 and 1-0 Vs Zaragoza (matchday 28); all of those four games were narrow wins and were played at home.

For the visit to the Riazor Lillo already had the casualty of defender José Manuel Flores Moreno ‘Chico’, and on Saturday it was also confirmed that Swedish striker Henok Goitom is going to miss the clash due to a hamstring problem, he was replaced in the list for the game by ex-Celta attacker David Rodríguez.

 In the end Lillo is switching back to a 4-3-3 figure after using a 3-4-3 scheme against Real Madrid; still is an offensive draw. Diego Alves will be the keeper, Brazilian Michel Macedo will cover the right-back position, Domingo Cisma will be at the left sector, while the central positions in defence will be for Peruvian Wilmer Santiago Acasiete and Argentine Hernán Darío Pellerano.

Another Argentine player, Hernán Bernardello, will try to control midfield sector, he will be joined by Fernando Soriano and Cameroonian Modeste M'bami. The line of attackers will have Argentine Pablo Daniel Piatti at the right, Albert Crusat on the left and Nigerian Kalu Uche at the centre. It’s a dangerous attacking line as combined the three attackers have scored seventeen goals (the 50% of the goals scored by Almeria on the liga season).

List of picked players (19): Diego Alves, Esteban (goalkeepers); Michel, Pellerano, Acasiete, Domingo Cisma, Guilherme (defenders); Bernardello, M'bami, Fabián Vargas, Soriano, Corona, Ortiz, Bernal, Nieto, Crusat (midfielders); Kalu Uche, Piatti and David Rodríguez (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Zé Castro, Raúl – Pablo Álvarez or Juan Rodríguez, Sergio, Antonio Tomás, Guardado – Adrián, Riki.
Almería: (4-3-3) Diego Alves - Michel, Pellerano, Acasiete, Cisma - M'Bami, Bernardello, Soriano - Piatti, Kalu Uche, Crusat
Referee: Eduardo Iturralde González (17 games on the season, 6 wins for the locals)
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs Almeria: 2 wins for Depor, 0 draws, 2 wins for Almeria (Primera)
Record at the Riazor: 1 win for Depor, 0 draws, 1 wins for Almeria (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/10

ZAPPING

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