Squad news

THINKING OF BARCELONA

18 Oct 2012
Oltra is only having the casualty of Manuel Pablo for the home match against FC Barcelona; meanwhile the Catalans are just reassembling the team after the international matches; up to 18 men were out of the squad until Tuesday.

Coach José Luis Oltra is almost having a full squad available for the home game against FC Barcelona (Saturday, 22h00 CET). There was some concern on Tuesday after centre midfielder Abel Aguilar picked an ankle sprain on his right leg during the training session, but one day later the Colombian player was training without any problem and is fit to play.

On the past week centre backs Carlos Marchena (conjunctivitis) and Ze Castro (adductor) were out of the trainings, but they joined the group on this week and are available for the coach. Meanwhile, striker Nélson Oliveira and left winger Pizzi joined the daily work on Wednesday, and they already trained with their team mates after not playing any minute with Portugal during the games against Russia and Northern Ireland.

Therefore the only player out of Saturday’s game is right-back Manuel Pablo (hamstring strain); the Canarian is in the last stage of his recovery process and could join the group on next week. Striker Rodolfo Bodipo was having a back problem during this week, it isn’t know if he’ll be fine for the weekend, but he isn’t part of the coach’s plans and will surely stay out of the game.



Abel Aguilar training at Abegondo on Wednesday

At Barcelona, it is a complicate week as coach Tito Vilanova is more concern of assembling his team than of analyzing the rival. And it’s that until Tuesday he only had two players at the training camp: keeper José Manuel Pinto and midfielder Jonathan dos Santos; centre back Andreu Fontás was part of the group, but by Monday he was surprisingly loaned out to RCD Mallorca. Everybody else is injured or was playing with their national teams.

The players out injured are left-back Eric Abidal (liver transplant), centre back Gerard Piqué (ankle sprain), right-back Dani Alves (muscular), centre back Carles Puyol (shoulder), centre midfielder Thiago Alcantara and centre back Marc Muniesa (both knee). Of this list only Piqué has options of playing at the Riazor, though it’s rumoured that he will be rested.

Then there’s a long list of 18 men that were playing with their national teams; eight of them were part of Spain’s senior squad facing France as part of the World Cup qualifiers: keeper Víctor Váldes, left-back Jordi Alba, attackers Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa, plus midfielders Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fábregas and Sergi Busquets. Villa and Váldez didn’t play in the 1-1 draw against France.

Midfielder Alex Song was playing for Cameroon ahead of the African Cup and left-back/midfielder Adriano Correia was performing for Brazil in a friendly match against Japan. The first man will join the team on Thursday and the second will do it today. The trident Lionel Messi-Javier Mascherano-Alexis Sánchez will arrive to Catalonia until Thursday after taking part of the match Chile Vs. Argentina (1-2). The three of them played the full ninety minutes and should be exhausted, so once again there’s the debate if Messi should be rested, especially since in midweek the Catalan outfit is hosting Celtic FC as part of the UEFA Champions League.

Finally, there was another group of six youngsters playing for Spain’s U-21 squad facing Denmark as part of play-off for the Euro final tournament: defenders Martin Montoya, Sergi Roberto, Carles Planas and Marc Bartra, plus playmaker Gerard Deulofeu and striker Cristian Tello. They are available for the coach –and also for Barcelona B- though Bartra is dragging a knock.

But at Deportivo the players don’t believe that Barcelona is going to be affected by this situation; something that was explained by veteran Carlos Marchena, “They shouldn’t be affected after the international week, believe me, this affects any normal tem, but they aren’t normal.”

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/12

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