Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO - MALAGA (LIGA)

05 Jan 2013
First liga game of 2013 with Domingos Paciência debuting at Deportivo. The lineup will be pretty similar to the last one of Oltra. The rival arrives living a sweet moment on the pitch, but carrying a lot of financial troubles.

STATISTICS: ZERO WINS AT THE RIAZOR
The Riazor is the nightmare of Malaga FC as the Andalusian outfit has never won there after ten visits to La Coruña; the city of Malaga has had a professional football club since the year 1904, but this new ‘version’ of the club only exists since the year 1992, and Los Boquerones have only managed to clinch a draw at the Riazor playing for la liga (2-2, season 2001/02), since then the Andalusians have suffered nine straight defeats,. The last one a 0-3 on the season 2010/11 with goals scored by Adrián, Colotto and Pablo Álvarez.

But the current situation of both teams invites to think that things could be different now; and it’s that Malaga is the fifth best visitor in la liga, with 12 points added playing on this condition, only behind FC Barcelona (27), Real Betis (16), Atletico Madrid (13) and Real Madrid (13). The Andalusians already clinched three victories playing away from home: 0-1 at RC Celta (matchday 01), 0-1 at Real Zaragoza (matchday 03) and 0-2 at Sevilla CF (matchday 16).

Deportivo, meanwhile, are suffering a drastic change: from been a solid team that barely lost points at the Riazor on the past Segunda season (only 7 of 63 disputed at home) to now lie as the second worst local team at Primera during the present campaign. And it’s that the Galician outfit had only added eight points after eight matches at home, only Granada CF (7) have added lesser points playing on this condition.

An interesting stat is that Deportivo is arriving to the meeting as the worst defense in la liga (39 goals allowed in 17 matches). Meanwhile, Malaga CF is the best defense in la liga with only 12 goals allowed so far. A positive stat for Depor is that the Galicians have only lost one of the last ten year’s openers in liga; the mark within the last decade was seven victories, two draws and only one defeat. The last time Deportivo lost a year’s opening game was the 0-3 at the Riazor hosting Atletico Madrid (Jan 06, 2008).

DEPORTIVO: A NEW BEGINNING
New year and new coach for Deportivo; the end of 2012 was terrible and now the Galicians are trying to change the course under the command of Domingos Paciência. It’s the 12th change of coach in Lendoiro’s era and the past changes have been positive. And it’s that only 2 of those 12 previous coaches lost in their official debut with the team.

Marco Antonio Boronat debuted with a 1-2 loss visiting Valencia CF back on the season 1991/92 and later Miguel Ángel Lotina had a terrible ‘baptism’ as his Depor was trashed 0-3 at the Riazor by the newly promoted Almeria UD (season 2007/08).

Beyond a change in the lineup, Domingos is trying to change the mood, the spirit and especially the so criticized defensive scheme of Deportivo. For this his players have faced long and intensive training session trying to get back a defensive solidity that was the trademark of past coaches like Caparrós and Lotina.

Therefore it is expected a more focused team in defense, more paused, but also more vertical. But the lineup won’t experience too many changes, actually it should be the same one that lost in the last game of 2012 against RCD Espanyol, with the only novelty of Ze Castro, who’s returning from the muscular problem that sidelined him of the past five liga meetings.

German Lux stays at the goal; the Argentine man has been the starting option within the last two liga encounters. Captain Manuel Pablo performs at the right back position, Evaldo Fabiano plays at the left, while Carlos Marchena joins Ze Castro at the centre of the defense.

At midfield, Álex Bergantiños and Abel Aguilar remain at the central positions, Bruno Gama attacks form the right wing, Diogo Salomão does it from the left, Pizzi is the playmaker and Riki is the central attacker. The quartet up front is trying to break the negative streak of 300 minutes without scoring a goal, the longest drought since April of 2011 (383 minutes scoreless with Lotina)

Centre midfielder Juan Dominguez is back into contention after been sidelined by Oltra in the last two liga meetings. The only players at the injury room are side defenders Laure and Ayoze. The players out for tactical reasons are centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez, right-back Diego Seoane, left-back Tiago Pinto, right winger Saul Fernandez and striker Rodolfo Bodipo. Finally, the paperwork of Sílvio wasn’t completed yet, so he remained out of the game.

Juan Carlos Valerón will be on the bench for the game; he commented during the week that, ”It is a tough meeting, but the coach is trying to make us believe that we can win. One of the things that we all think is that we mustn’t allow so many goals. We must try to do our best in order to improve and see our team winning. We need much more order and work with the pressure in all the zones. Right now we’re facing a situation in which the important thing is the group; we cannot think in an individual level. No matter who plays we all must be united.”

Pizzi is the one that’s going to perform on the playmaker’s role; he commented that, ”I already know the position and I like to play there. Beyond that, you are going to watch an ordered Deportivo and the first thing is to not allow goals.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Aythami, Ze Castro, Evaldo (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, André Santos, Juan Dominguez, Abel Aguilar, Bruno Gama, Salomão, Pizzi, Camuñas, Valerón (midfielders); Riki & Nélson Oliveira (strikers)

MALAGA: BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL
This is a dreamed season for Malaga CF; Los Boquerones are a contender for the Champions League spots and also were the sensation in the current edition of the highest tournament in the continent, ending at the top of their group above AC Milan and FC Zenit. But throughout the season the dream has been menacing to end up in a nightmare situation and all caused by the strange financial problems of the club.

The financial problems are a constant in today’s football, but it is weird to suffer these problems when the owner of the club is a rich person: Abdullah ben Nasser Al Thani. The Andalusian club owes money to their players and some creditors, including other clubs that sold their players to Malaga in past seasons. As result of this situation Malaga CF turned to be one of the first victims of the new UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

The club is excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next four seasons (i.e. 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17). In addition, Malaga will be excluded from a subsequent UEFA competition for which it would otherwise qualify (in the next four seasons) if it does not prove, by 31 March 2013, that it has no overdue payables towards football clubs or towards employees and/or social/tax authorities

It is a hard hit for a club that was hoping to extend their participation in the Champions League, though its authorities are trying to appeal the UEFA’s decision. In the meantime coach Manuel Pellegrini is trying to keep his team aside of the problems. He gave more vacations to the players and the performance of the team remained solid.

For the past victory against Real Madrid the Chilean coach used a 4-1-4-1 scheme, now he’s returning into the classical 4-2-3-1 ahead of the visit to the Riazor. Argentine Willy Caballero remains at the goal, Jesús Gámez performs at the right-back position, Brazilian Weligton de Oliveira returns from suspension and joins Argentine Martín Demichelis at the centre of the defense, while ex-Osasuna Nacho Monreal plays at the left.

Ex-Atletico Ignacio Camacho and Chilean Manuel Iturra cover midfield territory, ex-Betis man Joaquín Sánchez attacks from the right wing, Portuguese Eliseu Pereira does it from the left, Francisco Román Alarcón Ísco´ is the playmaker in the formation and ex-Barca Javier Saviola the central attacker.

20-year-old Isco is one of the diamonds in la liga and he earned the prestigious Tuttosport's 2012 Golden Boy award; he has scored four goals in the league tournament. It’s the same number of goal scored by Joaquin, who´s the best assistor at the team with four assists. The best scorers at the Andalusian outfit are Saviola and Paraguayan Roque Santa Cruz, both with five goals added to their tally.

The list of picked players include the presence of Fabrice Olinga, the 16-year-old striker that made history in matchday 01 becoming into the youngest player to score in la liga. However, it is probable that he won’t be on the bench at the Riazor as only 18 men can be part of the game and Pellegrini called 19. Argentine Diego Buonanotte is also part of the trip despite he was supposedly on his way to USC Palermo. It was rumoured that Depor attempted his singing during the summer.

Demichelis was talking of the fact that Depor have a new trainer, ”To change the year means that you want to start in the best possible way, and the same happens when you have a new coach, if they’re at the last place it is for something. It doesn’t mean that you will easily beat the rival, because you show an extra motivation compared to be living a more comfortable situation. Deportivo play for a lot and it was demonstrated that if we lower our level, as it happened in Copa against Cacereño, or against Rayo and Real Sociedad, then they could beat you. Nobody can guarantee that we’re going to win.”

Midfielder Ignacio Camacho also talked of the subject, ”It’s an important game in all aspects. Since they ended with Oltra and are beginning with Domingos it means a complicate match due to the motivation of having a new coach, people turn to be plugged in, especially the ones fighting to get a spot…
But we must follow our path, to keep practicing our game. It will be pretty important to get the three points there.”

List of picked players (19): Kameni, Caballero (goalkeepers); Gámez, Weligton, Demichelis, Monreal, Sergio Sánchez (defenders); Camacho, Joaquín, Iturra, Duda, Eliseu, Portillo, Isco, Buonanotte (midfielders); Saviola, ‘Seba’ Fernández, Santa Cruz & Fabrice (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux - Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Ze Castro, Evaldo – Álex Bergantiños, Abel Aguilar - Bruno Gama, Pizzi, Salomão – Riki.
Malaga: (4-2-3-1) Caballero – Gámez, Weligton, Demichelis, Monreal – Iturra, Camacho – Joaquín, Isco, Eliseu - Saviola
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Malaga: 11 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 1 win for Malaga (Primera)
Record at the Riazor: 9 wins for Depor, 1 draws, 0 win for Malaga (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/13

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