Squad news

THINKING OF SPORTING

16 Dec 2010
Lotina talked of changes for Saturday and the Basque man could end up making four modifications to the starting team; meanwhile the rival arrives in the middle of a complicate situation.

For the first time since the switch to the system with five defenders coach Miguel Angel Lotina is preparing several changes to the starting lineup, something that he admitted on Tuesday So far the Basque man has only made one or two changes per game, mainly in attack, but now the situation is changing; more specifically four modifications are expected in the team that will face Sporting Gijón at the Riazor (Saturday, 17h00 CET).

And the changes are possible as the injury room is getting empty; Guardado and Riki are now fit to play and both men will probably play on Saturday, at least for a couple of minutes. Juca is also working with the group, but the Brazilian needs match fitness and Lotina will reserve him for January, therefore the only man that will stay at the injury room for the new year will be playmaker Michel, who will join the normal trainings at the end of January.

Another good news is that Rubén Pérez is returning; the Andalusian midfielder missed the last match against Atletico Madrid as it was facing his parent club, and now is expected that he will take the spot of Antonio Tomás performing alongside Juan Rodriguez at midfield territory.

The other modification that seems evident is the entry of Adrian to the starting eleven, the Asturian is one of the three players at the squad that have scored two goals on the liga season –the others are Colotto and Guardado- and it’s expected that he will claim the spot of Lassad as the starting striker in the formation.

There are other two changes that might happen, but that are more unclear at this point of the week; Guardado is ready to play and might appear as the playmaker performing towards the left wing or even as a left-back, but Lotina has said that he isn’t sure if the Mexican is fit to play for the whole match, while other choice is to play with Knut Rindarøy at the left-back position, the coach admitted this last possibility, but also said that he still needs to think of it.

What seems clear is that Riki won’t be a starter against Sporting Gijón; the Madrilenian was operated from appendicitis a month ago and will probably be on the bench. The ex-Getafe man was saying on Tuesday that this is the most important match on the first round for Depor, “I believe this is the most important game on the first round, because we are four points above the pit, and losing we will end up there again. And if we win then we will leave a rival nine points under us, that’s why we must win, yes or yes.”

At Sporting Gijón things are getting complicated; the Asturians haven’t achieved a victory within the last eight matchdays and for that reason they are penultimate at the standings, though just two points away from the safety, which means that a victory at the Riazor plus a loss of UD Almeria against Getafe and Malaga against Atletico Madrid will leave them outside of relegation for the Christmas break.

Coach Manuel Preciado has always been respected, but the results of the team in 2010 –only six liga victories in the year- are ending with his popularity and some fans are already asking for his exit, according to some journalists Preciado could be fired if he loses at the Riazor, but it isn’t so clear, because president Manuel Vega-Arango is a copycat of Lendoiro; he has been the chairman at Sporting in two opportunities and has an experience of eighteen years, and so far he has only fired a coach in one opportunity, and that case occurred in the 1980’s 

About the team that could play at the Riazor, Preciado only has one casualty: winger Carmelo González, who is suspended after picking the fifth yellow card of the season in the previous match against Levante. Besides, starting goalkeeper Juan Pablo is doubtful after ending Sunday’s game with a leg contusion.

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/10

ZAPPING


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