Competition news


17 May 2015
The game is here; Depor need the victory and need to avoid ghosts from the recent past. Víctor is ready to repeat the lineup, while Levante face problems in attack due to the casualties of Uche and Barral.

Deportivo are living their worst streak at Primera División after spending 14 straight matchdays without winning. There’s only one worst streak in the centenary history of the club: the 17 straight league games without a victory from the Segunda season 1987/88 (between November 1987 and March 1988).Now the Galicians need that win to give a huge step towards salvation.

Levante UD, meanwhile, are arriving to the game practically saved after winning six games in the second round, just when they only won twice in the first part of the league tournament. The Valencians are the 11th best team in the league within the last six matchdays adding the half of the eighteen points disputed in the period.

Deportivo have only lost three of the fourteen home liga games hosting Levante UD, but to have in mind that two of those three losses took place in their last two meetings in A Coruña. The last home success over the Valencians is from the season 2007/08: 1-0 (May 06, 2008, Riki).

The Deportivismo recalls the ghosts from the recent past as the last home game of the season is marking the permanence, contrary to what happened in its previous two seasons at the elite the victory isn’t definitive, because the final game is taking place at the Camp Nou, but a new loss will surely pave the way back to Segunda. So, the game is a big final.

Just like the “finals” faced against Valencia CF ((May 25, 2011) and Real Sociedad (June 1, 2013) at the Riazor and that ended in the drama of demotion. In this sense coach Víctor Sánchez tried to have a more relaxed environment during the trainings, mixing the needed tests to break the rival’s defence with games to cheer up the morale of the players. He was also trying to convince his men that the rewards are bigger than the menaces surrounding the club. All of this to avoid the paralysis suffered in the previous finals that cost the relegation.

The best attendance of the season is expected at the Riazor and the coach seems eager to repeat the lineup from the past two games. It’s predicted a 4-2-3-1 draw, with Fabricio Agosto defending the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ covers the right side in defense, Manuel Pablo performs on the left, while the central positions are for Albert Lopo and Sidnei Rechel.

Álex Bergantiños and Celso Borges are the centre midfielders, Juanfran Moreno attacks from the right wing, Luisinho does it from the left, Lucas Pérez is the playmaker and Oriol Riera is the centre forward.

Pablo Insua is out of the game due to an Achilles injury. He and Cezary Wilk are the two players at the injury room. Juan Dominguez returns into the roster after surpassing a Soleus injury, while the men out for tactical reasons are Borja López, Luis Fariña, Isaac Cuenca, Hélder Costa and Roberto Canella.

Lopo said during the week that this game is so important that it should mark the career of the players, ”We all are conscious of what’s at stake. There are no more turning points and surely this is the game, the one that will mark our careers.”

List of picked players (18): Fabricio, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Juanfran, Lopo, Sidnei, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Medunjanin, Borges, Lucas, Juan Dominguez, Salomão (midfielders); Cavaleiro, Toché, Postiga & Oriol Riera (attackers).

Levante UD was the bottom team back on matchday 21, now they are five points above the pit, and big part of that reaction is related to the unexpected good form of veteran David Barral. The 32-year-old striker had never scored more than nine goals in a Primera season, now he has netted eleven goals, and ten of those goals came after matchday 21, including hat-tricks against Málaga CF (Feb 7) and UD Almeria (April 4).

The Valencian team hasn’t lost any game in which Barral has scored, while his goals meant 22 points for them, a huge reward for a team that’s virtually saved. But the Andalusian man won’t be available for the game at the Riazor, encounter that could seal the permanence, this for been suspended with ten yellow cards on this season.

To make things worse Kalu Uche is a last-minute casualty due to an adductor injury. The Nigerian, who joined the club during the winter window, had a deep impact at the team after conquering a mark of five goals and two assists in only nine presentations. It means that combined Uche and Barral have netted the 47% of the goals and both won’t play at the Riazor.

Coach Lucas Álcaraz will modify the scheme used in recent games, though it will continue to be based in a defence of five men. It’s expected a 5-4-1 draw, with Galician Diego Mariño protecting the goal. Iván López performs at the right side of the defence, Antonio García ‘Toño’ covers the left, while the central positons are for Iván Ramis, veteran Juanfran García and Greek Loukas Vyntra.

The quartet at midfield is composed by Mozambican Simão Mate Junior, ex-Eibar José Luis Morales, Malian Mohamed Sissoko and José María Martín-Bejarano. Then the attacker is former Mallorca man Víctor Casadesús.

Casadesús has had a solid year with Levante; he has scored eight goals and provided two assists to be the second best scorer at the team. Precisely he was talking of the game during the week, ”For Deportivo it is their game, then they face the Camp Nou in a very difficult game. They play for a lot more, so it’s going to be a pretty match. The stadium will be full and we have to match their intensity and work and then the better side should win, but we cannot miss those characteristics.”

List of picked players (19): Jesús Fernández, Mariño (goalkeepers); Iván López, Toño, Navarro, Vyntra, Juanfran, Ramis, Pedro López (defenders); El Zhar, Rubén García, Morales, Ivanschitz, Sissoko,
Simão, José Mari, Camarasa (midfielders); Rafael Martins & Casadesús (attackers)

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Laure, Lopo, Sidnei, Manuel Pablo – Álex Bergantiños, Borges – Juanfran, Lucas, Luisinho – Oriol Riera.
Levante: (5-4-1) Mariño – Iván López, Vyntra, Ramis, Juanfran, Toño – Simão, Sissoko, Jose Mari, Morales – Víctor Casadesús.
Referee: José Luis González González
Kick-off: 19h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Levante: 15 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 12 wins for Levante (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 10 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 3 wins for Levante (Primera & Segunda)



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