Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – VALENCIA (LIGA)

26 Jan 2013
Domingos calls all his offensive power for the game, including Riki and Pizzi, players that were doubtful until the end. Valencia arrive trying to bounce back after the last hit in la liga, with Guardado in, but missing Roberto Soldado.

STATISTICS: 8 YEARS WITHOUT A LIGA WIN OVER VALENCIA
Deportivo has been unable to defeat Valencia CF within the last thirteen meetings playing for la liga, in the period the Blanquiazul outfit lost eight times only adding five draws; the last time the Galicians were able to defeat Los Ches was back on the Primera season 2004/05: 2-1 win at Mestalla with goals scored by Scaloni and Víctor.

Curiously, the situation has been different playing for Copa Del Rey, because Depor has eliminated Valencia twice within the same period clinching two wins and two draws in four matches. Still, the Valencians represent the team that has achieved more wins at the Riazor playing for Primera División: 16. Mark above FC Barcelona (13), Real Madrid (11) and Atlético Madrid (10). This is the first visit of Valencia to the Riazor after the 0-2 game that marked the relegation two seasons ago.

Another interesting stat is that Deportivo is the second worst local team with only eleven points added after nine matches at the Riazor, mark only above the one of Granada CF (10). At the same time Valencia CF is the eighth worst visiting team in the league with only 8 points added after nine visits, they are only above Sevilla CF (7), Athletic Bilbao (7), RCD Mallorca (6), RCD Espanyol (6), CA Osasuna (5), Deportivo (5) and RC Celta (4). Their only two wins on the road were against CA Osasuna (0-1, matchday 05) & Granada CF (1-2, matchday 18).

DEPORTIVO: THE INVINCIBLE RIKI
Striker Iván Sánchez-Rico Soto ‘Riki’ has been synonymous of fragility in recent years; his constant muscle injuries always caused problems to him and for this reason he always missed several matches, but this season things are different. The Madrilenian attacker still dragging issues, but the point is that he has been a starter in the 20 liga matches played so far –only Bruno Gama has the same mark at the Galician team-

He was even doubtful for this match after picking an ankle sprain on the past weekend, injury that normally sideline any player for at least two weeks, but the injury didn’t stop the new “invincible” player of Deportivo and now he’s ready to be a starter. This is the first time in the career of the Aranjurez-born man in which he plays 21 straight matches as a starter, his previous record was less than the half of that number (9 games on the season 2006/07).

The main issue right now for Riki is that he has remained scoreless within the last seven liga matches; his last goals were in the 2-3 loss at home against Real Betis (Dec 02). He commented the issue during the week, ”I still working as I always did. Truly I haven’t scored lately, but I am not obsessed. You want to bring goals and hard work. The important thing is to create scoring opportunities. I am not obsessed, because if I am then it’s worse.”

Left winger Pizzi was also doubtful with a back problem, but he entered into the list of picked players despite only completing the first part of Friday’s training session. Who is out one more week is centre midfielder Abel Aguilar; coach Domingos Paciência already warned that the Colombian wasn’t ready yet. The other players are the injury room are Laure, Marchena and Evaldo.

Left-back Ayoze Diaz and right winger Saul Fernandez are back after surpassing an adductor injury, but both men weren’t included in the list for the game. Neither right-back Diego Seoane, who’s close to be loaned to Córdoba CF, nor striker Rodolfo Bodipo. Who's back is Juan Dominguez, the centre midfielder was off for the past two clashes. It calls the attention that there are only four defenders in the list for the game, meaning that there are no alternatives for the bench. And it’s that Domingos is picking all the offensive power at his team.

Aranzubia will be at the goal, Manuel Pablo will keep playing at the right side of the defense, Sílvio Azevedo performs at the left and the central spots are for Aythami Artiles and Ze Castro.

The triple figure at midfield is composed by Álex Bergantiños, Paulo Assunção and André Santos. The right wing is territory of Bruno Gama, the left is for Pizzi and Riki stays at the centre of the attack.

Nélson Oliveira will be one of the alternatives on the bench; he admitted during the week that he isn’t totally fit to play after been out recently due to a muscle problem, ”I just returned three or four games ago and truly I am not in shape. I work hard, but hadn’t been a starter, besides I was injured for a month and a half. I hope to be totally fit soon and I’m convinced that I’ll do it.

Manuel Pablo talked before the meeting, ”We know we have to get the three points before a complicate rival; it was always complicated, but we have that need: the need to win. Clearly all the teams need to be strong at home and we’ve a lot of games at home during the second round. If we are able to get positive results then we will be saved, we must base our efforts there, though surely we will also need to get some points playing on the road.”

Finally,  Asked if the current financial crisis is affecting the performance of the team, Depor’s captain was pretty clear, ”We aren’t down there just for not been cashing off, but because we are doing the wrong things. Simple as that. We always talked to the club and the AFE [Players´ association] and they always supported us..”

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

VALENCIA: GUARDADO RETURNS
Andrés Guardado returns to the Riazor, stadium where he played 71 official matches scoring 18 goals throughout the five seasons that h spent at Deportivo. At Valencia he had a hard time trying to get a spot at the starting eleven, but finally did it, though it was in a different position as he’s currently performing as the left-back defender of new boss Ernesto Valverde.

During the week the Mexican winger was remembering his stage at Depor, ”I will always be a Deportivista. I spent five wonderful years there and it was the club that gave me the chance to play in Europe. I am grateful. I don’t know how the fans will welcome me, I don’t expect for a lot of cheers, but neither to heard whistles. I won’t celebrate if I score the goal. It isn’t passing through my head.”

The true is that Valencia CF in not in the right mood for celebrations; there’s a huge scandal in the city as it was known that the local government will probably have to assume big part of the debt of three clubs in the region, Valencia, Elche CF & Hércules CF, an indebtedness estimated in €118 million.

Neither the sporting situation is fine, the poor results lead to the destitution of Manuel Pellegrino, the arrival of Valverde improved the results, but the elimination in Copa del Rey against Real Madrid and, especially, the devastating 0-5 loss on the past Sunday facing the same rival has, once again, lowered the expectations. The last defeat in liga is even damaging the relation between the players as it is commented a conflict between Argentine players Éver Banega and Fernando Gago.

Gago has been hardly criticized and was even left out of the list for the second-leg in Copa against Madrid, neither he was included in the list for the clash at the Riazor; actually it seems that he can leave the club during the winter window. To make things worse Los Ches are losing Roberto Soldado due to a muscle contracture injury. The ex-Real Madrid is the top-scorer at the team with eleven goals in favour, two of them in the clash of the first round against Depor. He already scored four goals against the Galicians in the past, including the last-minute goal in the match that sentenced Deportivo’s relegation to Segunda two years ago.

Since Valverde rotated almost the entire squad for the Copa he will use several of the starters that played one week ago in the infamous game in liga. Brazilian Diego Alvés defends the goal, Portuguese João Pereira performs at the right-back position, Guardado does it at the left, while Ricardo Costa and French Adil Rami cover the central spots at defense.

At midfield, Victor Ruiz and Argentine Alberto ‘Tino’ Costa perform on the pivote positions, former Almeria man Pablo Piatti attacks from the right wing, Brazilian Jonas Gonçalves, who has scored three goals in liga, attacks from the right-flank. Banega is the playmaker and Nelson Antonio Haedo is the central attacker. The Paraguayan has only scored three times and has been also criticized for his performance.

List of picked players (18): Guaita, Alves (goalkeepers); Barragán, João Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Rami, Cissokho (defenders); Albelda, Tino Costa, Éver Banega, Piatti, Viera, Bernat, Guardado, Canales (midfielders); Jonas and Valdez (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-3-3) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Aythami, Ze Castro, Sílvio – Álex Bergantiños, André Santos, Assunção – Bruno Gama, Riki, Pizzi.
Valencia: (4-2-3-1) Diego Alvés – João Pereira, Rami, Ricardo Costa, Guardado – Victor Ruiz, Tino Costa – Piatti, Banega, Jonas – Valdez
Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez
Kick-off: 22h00 (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Valencia:  26 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 45 wins for Valencia (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 17 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 17 wins for Valencia (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/13

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