Squad news

PREVIEW: SEVILLA VS DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

05 Oct 2014
Deportivo visit a rival that, despite the more recent results, is among the first places. Víctor Fernández returns to the scheme with three midfielders while Uani Emery is making rotations after an exhausting week.

STATISTICS: FOUR YEARS WITHOUT DEFEATING SEVILLA
In the recent past, Deportivo was considered as the “dark beast” of Sevilla CF, because the Andalusians spent 33 years without defeating Depor, but now the picture is totally different. Now the Galicians have spent four years without clinching a win over Los Nervionenses. Their last win took place in Copa Del Rey with a goal scored by Bodipo (0-1, January 27, 2010).

Since that day both teams have faced each other in five opportunities playing for la liga and Deportivo clinched three draws and suffered two defeats.  Los Blanquiazules have won eight of the league meetings played in Nervión, the last one took place during the season 2007/08: 0-1 with a goal scored by Riki.

Depor is coming to this game with a losing streak of three straight setbacks; it’s the worst streak since the season 2012/13, time when the team lost six times in a row within matchdays 20 & 25, a negative period that provoked the exit of Domingos Paciência and the arrival of Fernando Vázquez.

Sevilla CF, meanwhile, is arriving to the meeting after a debacle visiting Atlético Madrid (0-4) and after an uncertain 2-2 draw in the Europa League, however these results cannot hide the solid start of the Andalusians. After all the 13 points added so far represent their best start at Primera since the campaign 2009/10, at the time they have added 15 points after the first six matchdays.

DEPORTIVO: TRIDENT AT MIDFIELD
After flirting with the 4-3-3 at the beginning of the season, coach Víctor Fernández opted in the classical 4-2-3-1 during the last four meetings, normally with Luis Fariña performing as the playmaker and in one opportunity (against SD Eibar) even with Juan Dominguez on that function, now the coach wants to recall the trident figure at midfield.

And for this he’s sending José Rodriguez into the pitch; after been ineligible to play against Real Madrid the Valencian man only performed for 13 minutes within the last two games. Now, and despite the flu, he’s stepping in as Deportivo search for balance before a team that will surely have the ball possession during the game.

The loanee from Real Madrid will be joined by Bosnian Haris Medunjanin and Galician Álex Bergantiños. It’s the first time in which the trio plays together since the beginning of a game, though in two of the previous six matches the three of them played together at midfield after the coach made his substitutions.

The other big change in the formation is the presence of José Verdú ‘Toché’ performing at the centre of the attack. The Murcian was the starting choice in the first two league games, but later was sidelined by the arrival of Postiga.

The defensive line should be the same one of the last game with Almeria, with German Lux covering the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ covers the right side, Luisinho does the same on the left, while the central positions are for Albert Lopo and Sidnei Rechel.

José Fariña will start on the bench, instead Juanfran Moreno will continue attacking from the right wing, while Iván Cavaleiro plays on the left. The Portuguese, who on Friday was picked by the U-21 team of his country, is making his third appearance as a starter on this season –the previous two were also in away matches: Granada CF and SD Eibar-

Winger/playmaker Lucas Pérez was included in the list for the game; he faced two injuries that sidelined him from the previous two games and could have minutes in the second half. Polish centre midfielder Cezary Wilk was picked for the first time since the closure of the summer transfer window and also searches for his first minutes.

Pablo Insua received the medical okay to play during the week, but he wasn’t picked for the match, though he was called by Albert Celades for the important games of U-21 Spain against U-21 Serbia. The four players staying at the injury room are centre midfielder Juan Dominguez, wingers Isaac Cuenca and Diogo Salomão plus striker Hélder Postiga.

Juanfran talked before the game; he didn’t give importance to the fact of have played at Real Betis and focused in the need to win the game, "My past stage at Betis, for me, is forgotten, so there's no eagerness to play against Sevilla for that. My desire is for been facing a great team, an in-form outfit that was the champion of the Europa League on last year. You feel attracted to play against teams like these, because it's a showcase. For us it is fundamental, because the previous week was horrendous and there is no excuse. We must stand up and start adding the points. We want to beat Sevilla, because it is a great team and also because we are coming after three straight losses.”

Lopo is keen to transform the recent bad results into something positive, “All the games are difficult taking in mind our situation and cannot give anything as already lost. We must go there and do our best, also to wait that the bad luck suffered until now can be transformed into something positive.”

Finally, Toché wants to reverse the latest negative results starting on this game, ”We are eager to play this game, because the victory is resisting to us and want to pick up the three points against Sevilla. It has been a hard week and I believe that we deserved more than three defeats. But we are recovered as we are professionals. The game at Sevilla is a good chance to turn back the situation.”

List of picked players: (18) Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Juanfran, Lopo, Sidnei, Diakité, Luisinho, Canella (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Wilk, Fariña, Lucas Pérez (midfielders); Cavaleiro & Toché (attackers).

SEVILLA: REBORN OF THE GOLDEN YEARS
It seems that the good years are back at Sevilla CF; after clinching two straight UEFA Cup titles (2005/06 & 2006/07) plus the Copa Del Rey in 2010, the Andalusians spent a couple of years in which they didn’t match the expectations. During the season 2012/13 they only ended 9th, and only the financial problems of the upper clubs allowed then to enter into the European competitions.

But last year famous sporting director Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo ‘Monchi’ reconstructed the team again and it managed to end fifth, beyond that they conquered the fourth European trophy after beating SL Benfica in a dramatic final of the UEFA Europa League.  Monchi’s winning formula has changed little since the old days.

He always sought for good, but unknown players. Before the moves were zero-cost transfers or low-cost incorporations, now the tactic is to search for “middle transfers”, which are players that don’t cost too much and that perform at “mid-class” clubs in Europe. Thus Los Rojiblancos signed Colombian Carlos Bacca paying €7 million to club Brugge KV. The attacker was the sensation on last season scoring 14 goals in 37 Primera appearances plus 7 goals in 16 European games.

For this season the idea was to only make four signings and reinforce a team that was already looking promising, however the club had to deal with the exits of three pillars: midfielder Ivan Rakitić, plus defenders Federico Fazio and Alberto Moreno, the last two were unexpected and were only completed in the last days of the transfer window.

It was feared the team was going to suffer for it, but it was then that Monchi showed up to restore the balance. Sevilla CF have to deal with a debt of €101.2 million with the Treasury and therefore it had to move carefully with the salary cap rule and wisely used the €48.8 million that were obtained with the sales. In the end the club made eleven signings, two were free agents, three arrived loaned, while €21.45 million were invested in the other six plus completing the purchase options over defenders Daniel Carriço and Daniel Parejo.

And it was a new example of how it works the formula of Monchi. Sevilla CF paid €5.5 million to Stade de Reims for Polish wingerGrzegorz Krychowiak and €3.5 million to UD Almeria for Aleix Vidal, the duo who reinforced the attacking efforts. Then they paid €3.5 million to OGC Niza for full-back/centre-back Timothée Kolodziejczak and  €2.5 million to FC Dynamo Kyiv for left-back Benoît Trémoulinas, the latter two were the response to the exits of Fazio and Moreno.

These moves were complemented with the loans of ex-Celta attacker Iago Aspas, plus two quality players coming from Barca’s youth teams: Denis Suárez and Gerard Deulofeu, arrival that increased the depth in attack. The result was to keep the competitiveness and the balance in the accountings, now the team is third at the standings and lives a comfortable situation in the group stage of the Europa League. Still, there have been some criticism during the week after the disastrous 0-4 loss visiting Atlético Madrid.

But the feeling inside the team is of calm. The depth at the squad has allowed the rotations in these busy days, so coach Unai Emery is ready to present a fresh squad after playing at HNK Rijeka on Thursday (2-2 draw). Only five of the expected starters are repeating the role from the last game.

It’s a  4-2-3-1 draw, with Beto covering the goal, Portuguese Jorge Andújar ‘Coke’ performs at the right side of the defense, French Trémoulinas plays at the left, while the centre-backs are Portuguese Carriço and Dani Pareja.

Cameroonian Stéphane M'Bia joins Krychowiak at midfield. In attack, former Las Palmas Víctor Machín ‘Vítolo attacks from the left flank, Aleix Vidal does it from the right, Galician Denis Suárez is the playmaker and Bacca is the centre forward. The Colombian is the top-scorer at the team with four goals scored in liga.

List of picked players: (18) Beto, Rico (goalkeepers), Coke, Diogo, Navarro, Tremoulinas, Carriço, Pareja (defenders); Krychowiak, Mbia, Reyes, Vitolo, Vidal, Deulofeu, Denis, Banega (midfielders) Aspas & Bacca (attackers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Sevilla: (4-2-3-1) Beto – Coke, Pareja, Carriço, Trémoulinas – Mbia, Krychowiak – Vidal, Denis Suárez, Vitolo – Bacca.
Deportivo: (4-3-3) Lux – Laure, Sidnei, Lopo, Luisinho – José Rodríguez, Álex Bergantiños, Medunjanin – Juanfran, Toché, Cavaleiro.
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Sánchez Pizjuán)
Head-to-head vs. Sevilla CF: 35 wins for Depor, 22 draws, 31 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Seville: 8 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 25 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/14

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