Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – NUMANCIA (LIGA)

10 Dec 2011
Depor returns to the Riazor searching for three new points and relying on its magic quartet, while Numancia is undefeated within the last seven games, but drags a drought of two and a half matches without scoring a goal.

STATISTICS: OPPOSITE RUNS
Deportivo and CD Numancia are living opposite moments in terms of their conditions for this game; the Galicians represent the best local team at Liga Adelante with nineteen points added after eight matches at the Riazor plus a goal difference of +9; meanwhile Los Sorianos are the fifth worst visitor in the league with only seven points added in eight visits and a goal difference of -2.

But Numancia can’t be despised just for this statistic, because Los Rojillos are arriving to this meeting living a good moment and after spending the last seven matchdays without been defeated; their last loss was in October at Real Valladolid (1-2, matchday 10); actually they have only lost four games on the season, while Deportivo was already defeated in five opportunities. Numancia has also a problem: it has been unable to score a goal within the last two and a half matches.

This is the ninth official meeting between Depor and Numancia, the previous eight confrontations took place at Primera División and the Galicians won half of those meetings; the only victory for Numancia at the Riazor occurred on the season 1999/2000 (2-0).

DEPORTIVO: THE MAGIC QUARTET
On the past Sunday, Deportivo ended scoreless for the fifth time on the season, but the goalless game with Valladolid can’t hide the fact that the Galicians have finally found the so-wished goals. Depor has scored twenty-five goals on the Segunda competition and is now the third best scorer in the league behind RC Celta (29) and Elche CF (26). It’s the main factor that explains why Oltra’s side is currently fighting for the top positions.

Another thing to have in mind is that, at the Riazor, Depor has only ended scoreless in one opportunity during this season (0-1 Vs. Hércules), and later the Galicians chained six straight games at home scoring at least one goal, which is the biggest streak since 2009, time when Deportivo had an impressive run of fifteen straight clashes at the Riazor scoring at least once (between February 22 and December 5).

And for the game with Numancia coach Oltra is recovering Riki, who’s back after surpassing his latest muscular injury, which means that, for the first time in a month, the Valencian trainer is counting with his magic quartet: Guardado, Valerón, Riki and Lassad. An elitist group that has been involved –as the scorer or the assistor- in 21 of the 25 goals on the season; it means the 84% of the total.

Lassad has scored six times at Segunda, Guardado has five goals added to his tally, Riki has four and Valerón one, it means the 64% of the total; meanwhile El Flaco has gave four assists, same number than the Mexican winger, the Tunisian attacker has gave three and the Madrilenian still searching for his first assist, so the quartet has given 11 of the 21 assists of the season (52% of the total).

And there are more players wishing to join the magic quartet, because Diogo Salomão, who has been a substitute in recent games, has scored three times plus giving an assist, while Juan Dominguez has scored once and already gave two assists after joining the starting information in the derby with RC Celta, Bruno Gama is also wishing to score or give his first assist after returning from a groin injury.

For the meeting with Numancia, only Morel and Xisco are staying at the injury room; the Paraguayan joined the trainings on this week but he didn’t receive the medical okay, while the Majorcan still working apart. The big surprise is to see Jesús Vázquez out of the list for the first time since his arrival to Depor; in the past two games Oltra picked the four centre midfielders at the team, but now he is only picking three, which opened the window to witness the return of Pablo Álvarez, who doesn’t play in liga since the Galician derby. The other players discarded for tactical reasons are Rochela, Seoane, Bodipo and Saul.

In the end it’s expected that Oltra will repeat the lineup for the third straight time; in this sense Dani Aranzubia will be at the goal; Laure will perform at the right-back position, Ayoze will do it on the left, Colotto and Ze Castro are covering the centre of the defense, Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez will play at midfield, Bruno Gama will attack from the right wing, Guardado will do it from the left flank, Valerón will be the playmaker in the scheme and Lassad will be the central attacker.

Riki, who will be sat on the bench, was giving his impression on the current situation of Deportivo, “We are above the rest of teams in terms of the quality at the squad, but is useless if we don’t compete with the same intensity. I believe that if we achieve two straight wins then we are going to change the current mentality. They have spent seven matchdays without losing and it’s a rival that outside home it only losses a few points, but we must focus in ourselves; we must play like the day of Almeria.”

Aranzubia was warning that Deportivo can’t despise Numancia, “Clearly the team is better at home than away, but neither can we distract ourselves thinking that we are going to win just because we won the previous home meetings; we are facing a tough game and must be ready; keeping the level at home and later trying to improve away from home. The best Depor is about to come.”

Finally, Ayoze, who has been questioned for the latest allowed goals by Depor, was defending himself, “We must respect the people’s criticism, from that point we must try to avoid to allow more goals. I’m playing and am trying to do the right things, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We can’t blame someone for the goals; if we win then we all win, and if we lose then we all lose.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Ze Castro, Aythami, Ayoze (defenders); Juan Dominguez, Álex Bergantiños, Borja, Pablo Álvarez, Bruno Gama, Salomão, Guardado, Valerón (midfielders); Riki and Lassad (strikers)

NUMANCIA: SCORELESS AFTER 221 MINUTES
It has been a complicate season for Numancia in terms of the goals in favour, the team from Soria has only scored 18 goals, which is the sixth worst mark in the league and currently faces a drought of 221 minutes without scoring, which is a worrying fact, especially taking in mind that in the latest meetings they were facing relegated-troubled Villarreal B, SD Huesca and FC Cartagena. Their last goal was scored by A Coruña-born midfielder Fernando Macedo ‘Nano’, the Pichichi at the team with four goals added to his tally, during the home clash with SD Huesca.

The main cause of this problem has been the injury cases hitting the striking line; Natalio (knee ligaments) Javier Del Pino (groin) and ex-Real Sociedad Íñigo Díaz de Cerio (adductor) have been out of action for the past weeks, while Ivorian Lago Junior has been out in international action, so coach Pablo Machín has been forced to rely in youngsters like Rubén Blanco Rodríguez ‘Rubo’, who debuted with the first team on the past game with Cartagena.

For the meeting with Depor Diaz de Cerio and Lago Junior are back into contention as both were included in the list for the clash, though it isn’t expected that any of them will be starters, at least winger Julio Álvarez was cleared to play despite the fracture on his nose sustained on the past weekend.

However, coach Pablo Machín is more worried in his defense as he has been busy trying to find the way to stop Depor’s offense by the wings –the most feared characteristic of the Galicians- in this sense he is prepared to put Aragonian Adrian Ripa at the left-back position, this in order to cover the moves of both Guardado and Bruno Gama.

The rest of the defensive line will be the same of the clash with FC Cartagena, former Huesca Edu Navarro will play at the goal, veteran Basque man Unai Expósito will cover the right side at defense, while the central positions will be for ex-Racing Ferrol Egoitz Jaio and Manuel Pavón.

At midfield, Machín is putting a line of two defensive pivotes considered to be tough players: ex-Real Sociedad Gorka Larrea and former Osasuna man Domingo Nagore. The goal is simple: to mark Valerón and obstruct the output of the ball gave by Juan Dominguez.

Up front, A Coruña-born Julio Álvarez will attack from the right wing, while Nano, who performed as a left-back against Cartagena, is now advancing his positions in order to cover the wing, then the former captain of Getafe B, Miguel Bedoya, will be the playmaker in the formation and finally Juan José Expósito ´Juanjo´ will be the central attacker, he is the second best scorer at the team with seven goals in favour.

Julio Álvarez, the other A Coruña-born player at the team, was giving his opinion on Deportivo, ”Depor is suffering for been the favourite to the promotion, and who doesn’t see it in that way it is because they aren’t conscious of reality. It’s a team marked by the social pressure, beyond the one felt by any other team at Segunda. Because people will always ask to have a team superior to the rest, and then it’s when the internal problems flow out, but I see it as a solid team that’s following the footsteps of a regular line, which is the key at Segunda, and then to have a final push in the second round.”

Nano was also talking of Deportivo, ”I’ve seen them playing on this season and I liked what I saw, because they play good football. They have a coach that likes to have the ball possession and Deportivo will be at the top in the end, but you can’t get asleep. A lot of games still ahead and in this league there’s a strong equality and only a few points are separating the clubs.”

List of picked players (18): Eduardo, Nacho Zabal (goalkeepers); Unai Expósito, Jaio, Culebras, Manuel Pavón, Ripa (defenders); Nano, Nagore, Sunny, Gorka Larrea, Nieto, Cedric, Julio Álvarez (midfielders); Lago Junior, Díaz de Cerio, Bedoya and Juanjo (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Juan Domínguez, Álex Bergantiños – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Guardado – Lassad.
Numancia: (4-2-3-1) Edu Navarro - Unai, Jaio, Pavón, Ripa -  Larrea, Nagore - Julio Álvarez, Bedoya, Nano - Juanjo.
Referee: David Miranda Torres (39, 6th year at Segunda División).
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Numancia: 4 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 2 wins for Numancia (Primera)
Record at the Riazor: 2 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 1 win for Numancia (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/11

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