Squad news


17 Feb 2011
Guardado and Javito are the main doubts ahead of the visit to UD Almeria; the first is passing tests in Barcelona and might be available for this game, while the second still waiting for his transfer. Their availability will define the final scheme for the game.

Coach Miguel Ángel Lotina is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel regarding the multiple injury cases that have been striking his team throughout the season. And it’s that Andrés Guardado and Saul Fernandez were the only two players remaining at the injury room and their return is close to happen.

Mexican Guardado has been out since the home match against Sporting Gijón (December 18); his grade one muscular injury was a complicate case as it was sustained close to the sciatic nerve of his right leg, for that reason the player was feeling a strong pain and has been in treatment in Barcelona. He is currently passing a final test and will return on Friday, then Lotina will know if the doctors are approving his return and the winger could be available for the game against UD Almeria (Sunday, 17h00).

But it isn’t expected, and the most probable thing is that Guardado will have the okay from the doctors for the home match against Real Madrid. Before going to Barcelona, the Mexican was talking to reporters about his status, “Any injury always delays your progress. It also stops your dreams and your goals, but you need to raise the head, because better times are coming. There’s no new Guardado, it is the same, but stronger. The Guardado you already saw, the player giving everything on the pitch. If I can improve, the better, but I will be more than content if I return to be the same player of the past.”

Meanwhile, Saúl is also close to return, his strange knee injury is already healed and it’s expected that the player will join the trainings on next week, meaning that he will also be available for the clash against the Madrilenians. The former Elche winger has been of the pitch since the home match against Barcelona FC (January 8).

However, on Wednesday there was a last-minute case: Aythami Artiles. The Canarian defender suffered a back contracture and for that reason he didn’t play in the friendly match against Beijing Gouan F.C Therefore, he is now doubtful for Sunday’s match in Andalusia.

In the case of Javito, the club is still trying to solve the issue with FIFA; the problem is that the information provided by Greek club Aris Thessaloniki FC was sent late and it didn’t match the information gave by Deportivo, so there’s an incongruity in the transfer. Deportivo has been told that FIFA still analyzing the problem and that it could take some time. Some journalists are pessimistic and are even starting to believe that the winger won’t be able to play for Deportivo. For the moment he is training with the team.

Lotina said on Tuesday that the availability of both Guardado and Javito will mean to switch the system to a 4-4-2 figure, with both men performing as real wingers, but since it isn’t clear if both men will be available for the visit to Almeria, the coach might be tempted to keep the same 4-3-1-2 figure used in the past game against Villarreal CF.

It seems clear that Juan Rodriguez, Antonio Tomás, Rubén Pérez and Juan Dominguez will keep a spot at midfield, and now there’s a doubt at defense as Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ is returning from suspension. The Madrilenian was performing at the right-back position and Manuel Pablo was covering the left, but the decent performance of Claudio Morel on Sunday is bringing the doubt of who should perform at the sides from now own.

At UD Almeria, coach José Luis Oltra is having a big problem at the right-back position, because he doesn’t have an available player to cover that position. Juanma Ortiz is out as he suffered a tibia injury during the returning leg in Copa against Deportivo, while Michel is suspended after picking the fifth yellow card of the season. The options are to move central defender Wilmer Acasiete to the right side or to use Almeria B player Manuel Castellano Castro ‘Lillo’ ; the 21-year-old right-back already played two times at Primera during this season.

Meanwhile, Argentine playmaker Pablo Piatti (muscular) and midfielder Miguel Ángel Corona (flu) haven’t trained during the week, though it’s expected that both players will be available for Sunday’s game against Deportivo.

On the past Sunday, Almeria lost a crucial battle against UD Levante (0-1), and now is three points below the safety; therefore they are seeing this match as a final. Depor is five points above the Andalusians and a positive result at Estadio De Los Juegos Mediterráneos will mean an important step forward towards the permanence.



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