Squad news


14 Jan 2017
Garitano has to improvise as he has problems on the right side, while Villarreal CF arrive making a strong season, but dealing with important casualties.

Referee: Daniel Ocón Arráiz
Kick-off: 20h45 CET (Riazor)

Villarreal CF have only allowed 12 goals after 17 matchdays in la liga, it’s the best record in the competition and the main explanation why they are fifth at the standings. However, the Valencians have been unable to clinch a clean sheet within their last five official matches.

Meanwhile, Deportivo have been working with their scoring record after been among the worst scorers in Europe during the first matchdays of the season. The Galicians are now 11th in terms of goals scored in la liga (23), and within the last six matchdays they netted 15 goals, mark that’s only below the ones of Real Madrid and Sevilla CF (both 17).

This is the 14th visit of Villarreal CF to the Riazor playing in a league competition, the yellow submarine has only won twice in A Coruña, first during the season 2003/04 (0-1) and the last time during the campaign 2007/08 (0-2). Last season’s 1-1 draw cut a streak of three straight home victories over Villarreal CF with the Valencians unable to score a goal.

The casualties hitting Deportivo are moving coach Gaizka Garitano to improvise ahead of the game against Villarreal CF. With Juanfran out the coach admitted that Laure is set to start despite his last appearance was in October, just when he was sent off at FC Barcelona. The Basque man also has the option to switch Fernando Navarro from the left sector.

Meanwhile the lack of a right winger is forcing the coach to keep Borja Valle despite the club already has a loan deal agreement with Elche CF. The ex-Elche lad is now the main alternative to attack by the right flank as Bruno Gama and Carles Gil are injured.

Team news: The competition committee rejected the appeal of Depor regarding the red card of Juanfran Moreno, so he is missing the game. Faycal Fajr is concentrated with Morocco, while the players at the injury room are Carles Gil and Bruno Gama. Fabril´s winger Óscar is on the roster together with Álex Bergantiños. Keeper Rubén Martinez is out for tactical reasons. New signings Ola John joined the trainings on Friday, but it’s too soon for his debut.

Man to watch: Striker Florin Andone. The Romanian was named as the player of December in la liga and Deportivo need his sacrifice and goals in order to beat a solid defensive line affected by key casualties.

Picked players: (18) Tytoń, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Arribas, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Borges, Pedro Mosquera, Çolak, Guilherme (midfielders); Joselu, Marlos Moreno, Borja Valle, Óscar García & Florin Andone (attackers)

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Tytoń – Laure, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro –Borja Valle, Borges, Guilherme, Çolak – Joselu, Andone.

The Valencians are making a great season and are in a much better situation than Deportivo, but their current situation is very similar to one of the Galicians: they arrive to the game after been eliminated in Copa Del Rey and are facing important casualties in attack.

For the game, coach Fran Escribá is missing three strikers; Roberto Soldado, who is out with a knee injury, then Cedric Bakambu is concentrated with Congo for the African Cup, while Nicola Sansone is suspended after picking a fifth yellow card on the season. So, Colombian Rafael Santos Borre is set to have a new chance, he has only played 190 minutes in liga and he should be the one joining Pato in a 4-4-2 formation.

Team news: Apart from the casualties in attack, there are more problems in other positions: centre-back Mateo Musacchio is injured after breaking his wrist, while left-back Jaume Costa is also suspended. Playmaker Denis Chéryshev is also missing the clash as he suffered an adductor muscle injury. In the end, Escribá had to pick striker Mario González from Villarreal B in order to complete the roster.

Man to watch: Brazilian Alexandre Pato, with all the casualties in attack for the game at the Riazor, this 27-year-old striker will be the main hope for the goals. Sansone is the top-scorer and the one gathering the attention, but Pato has been also important and already scored twice and provided an assist after twelve presentations in liga.

Picked players: (18) Asenjo, Andrés (goalkeepers); Mario, Rukavina, José Ángel, Bonera, Víctor Ruiz, Álvaro (defenders); Bruno, Rodrigo, Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos, N'Diaye, Soriano, Samu Castillejo (midfielders); Pato, Santos Borré & Mario González (attackers)

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Asenjo – Mario, Víctor Ruíz, Álvaro, Ángel – Jonathan Dos Santos, Trigueros, Bruno, Soriano – Pato, Borré.



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