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PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – MALAGA (LIGA)

05 Mar 2016
Depor want to avoid bigger problems and search for the first victory in 2016 against a Málaga CF that’s improving and keeping a solid defence.

STATISTICS: THE FOURTH BEST DEFENCE IN LA LIGA
Málaga have improved in 2016 and big part of it is related to their solid defence. Since the new year started only three times they allowed two goals in a single game (Valencia CF, FC Barcelona and Sevilla CF), while they clinched 3 clean sheets in 10 games. For this reason they are now the fourth best defence in Spain with 25 goals allowed in 27 matches, only behind the mark of Atlético Madrid (11), Villarreal CF (14) and FC Barcelona (21).

Meanwhile the defensive line of Deportivo has been deteriorating, truly the 36 goals allowed are far from the worst defence in the league (Rayo Vallecano with 53), but the point is that they have allowed goals (20) in all the ten games played in 2016, main reason why they remain winless in the new year.

Depor were unable to beat Málaga CF in the four games played on last season (Liga and Copa) and lost the first round game of the present tournament, but the point is that the 0-1 loss at the Riazor of the past campaign was only the first victory or the Andalusians in A Coruña. Before they have only clinched three draws in ten visits and had lost the previous eight in a row.

DEPORTIVO: GONE WITH THE WIND
Just one week ago Deportivo had an 11-point mattress with the relegation zone, but now the distance was cut to the half after the latest results at the bottom and the last two defeats of the team. With eleven games remaining in the schedule the distance with the drop zone is only of six points, and with the recent level of Los Blanquiazules, the nerves are showing up in a city that wants to avoid past ghosts.

Also to say that currently there are eight teams above Depor and the situations remains favourable as the team  still needs two or three more wins to secure the promotion. In this sense this is a very important game, not only to recover the sensation that seems to be gone with the wind, but to secure three vital points that will approach the salvation.

But the players want to keep the same speech of tranquility, as example what Lucas Pérez said on Friday after been asked if this game was a final, ”Final? Are we ending the liga? Final was last year at the Camp Nou. After the visit of Málaga a lot of liga will still ahead. We must remain calm and without exaltation, because the victories will surely arrive. This is only a streak and nothing more, there’s no reason to panic”

It’s expected that coach Víctor Sánchez will keep the 4-4-2, but will make changes to the names on the lineup. German Lux returns from suspension and covers the goal, Juanfran Moreno also returns and performs at the right side of the defence, Fernando Navarro stays on the left with Alejandro Arribas and Albert Lopo covering the central positions.

Pedro Mosquera and Celso Borges are the centre midfielders, Fayçal Fajr is moved to the right wing, Luisinho attacks from the left, while Luis Alberto, who was benched against Athletic Club, now joins Lucas in attack.

The roster for the game is practically the same than the one for the game with Athletic Club, the only difference is the return of Lux. Fabricio, Sidnei, Cani and Juan Dominguez remain at the injury room, while striker Jonathan Rodríguez was left out again due to tactical reasons.

List of picked players (19): Lux, Manu, Pletikosa (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Lopo, Arribas, Juanfran, Navarro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Celso Borges, Mosquera, Cartabia, Luisinho, Jonás Gutiérrez, Fayçal Fajr (midfielders); Oriol Riera, Lucas Pérez & Luis Alberto (attackers)

MALAGA: IMPROVING
Málaga CF have been slightly improving after the terrible start to the season; the Andalusians were in relegation by matchday 13, but since then they have won 6 of the following 13 matches and already passed Depor. The key was to improve in offense and to keep the defensive effectiveness, because this team was among the worst scorers in Europe and now have balanced the situation with 13 goals in 2016.

A key for this has been Brazilian striker Charles, who had an explosive start to 2016 scoring three goals and providing two assists in the first six matches, though in the last four he was silenced. The point is that this is a team that’s competing and that’s about to make a bigger jump, just to realize that in the previous games they made solid games against big teams, losing at Villarreal by only one goal and later rescuing a valuable point hosting Real Madrid.

They are coming from a defeat before Valencia CF and coach Javi Gracia is having problems as three of his normal starters are out. Fullback Juanpi and winger Duda are out suspended, while striker Duje Cop (muscle) is injured. At least he managed to recover centre-back Weligton Robson (knee) and midfielder Ignacio Camacho (neck sprain).

It’s predicted a 4-4-2 formation, with Cameroonian Carlos Kameni covering the goal, Venezuelan Roberto Rosales performs at the right side of the defence, Miguel Torres does it at the left, while the central positions are for Raúl Albentosa and Weligton.

José Luis García ‘Recio’ and Camacho are the centre midfielders, Ghanaian Christian Atsu attacks from the right wing, ex-Real Sociedad Gonzalo ‘Chory’ Castro is the left winger, then Paraguayan Roque Santa Cruz joins Charles in attack.

List of picked players (18): Kameni, Ochoa (goalkeepers); Albentosa, Weligton, Federico Ricca, Rosales, Boka, Filipenko, Miguel Torres (defenders); Camacho, Horta, Atsu, Recio, Chory Castro, Pablo Fornals (midfielers); Ikechukwu Uche, Charles & Santa Cruz.

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Lux – Juanfran, Lopo, Arribas, Navarro – Fajr, Borges, Mosquera, Luisinho – Lucas, Luis Alberto.
Málaga: (4-4-2) Kameni – Rosales, Albentosa, Weligton, Miguel Torres – Atsu, Recio, Camacho, Chory Castro – Santa Cruz, Charles
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
Kick-off: 22h05 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Malaga: 11 wins for Depor, 9 draws, 4 wins for Malaga (Primera)
Record at the Riazor: 10 wins for Depor, 1 draws, 1 win for Malaga (Primera & Copa)

ARCHIVE NEWS MAR/16

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