Squad news


23 Dec 2017
Deportivo want to close the year with a victory and then avoid the relegation zone. Neither Celta are living a good moment as coach Unzue is still trying to convince the fans.

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Kick-off: 18h30 CET (Riazor)

This is the 116th edition of the Galician derby playing for a league competition; the series is very equal with Depor conquering 42 victories, while RC Celta have 46. Deportivo have only won four of the last ten derbies; also, RC Celta have won four of the last seven derbies played at the Riazor.

But the derby arrives when both Galician teams are living a bad moment. Deportivo is the second club in la liga with the worst form. The Galicians have only added four points within the last six games in the competition, only CD Leganés present a worst mark (3).

Neither RC Celta can presume of better times, Los Celestes have only added seven points in the period and arrive after two straight losses. They are currently at the same distance from the European zone than from the drop zone (6 points). Actually, they will be tied in points with Deportivo if they lose this match.

Last game in 2017 and Deportivo still dealing with the ghosts of 2016. Los Blanquiazules didn’t have a good start of season and will end the year in relegation if they don’t pick up points in this game (Alavés won and is currently tied in points with Depor having a better goal-average).

And with a tough calendar ahead with games against Villarreal CF, Valencia CF and Real Madrid, a victory in this match is crucial, not only to bring a morale boost to the depressed fans, but also to not lose ground in the race for the permanence.

Despite the poor impression left at the Camp Nou, coach Cristóbal Parralo will keep playing with a 4-2-3-1 figure based in the presence of Emre Çolak as the playmaker in the formation. The only expected change is the return of Luisinho to the left-back position. 

Man to watch: Striker Lucas Pérez. It isn’t a good moment for the Galician attacker, who has just completed two shots in his last six liga appearances. Now Depor needs a reference on the field for the biggest game in Galicia. Lucas had played three times against Celta wearing Deportivo’s shirt and scored once during their last win in the derby (2-0; November 21, 2015)

Team news: Florin Andone and Gerard Valentín are recovered from their injuries, but only the first was included in the roster for the game. Fede Cartabia is the only player staying at the injury room. Valentín, Bakkali, Pantilimon, Saúl and Bruno Gama are the men out for tactical reasons.

Picked players: (18) Rubén Martínez, Tytoń (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Albentosa, Sidnei, Schär, Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Fede Valverde, Borges, Guilherme, Pedro Mosquera, Çolak, Carles Gil (midfielders); Adrián, Lucas Pérez, Andone & Borja Valle (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Rubén Martínez – Juanfran, Schär, Sidnei, Luisinho– Guilherme, Borges – Carles Gil, Çolak, Adrián – Lucas Pérez.

Coach Juan Carlos Unzué arrived this season after the departure of Eduardo Berizzo, the fans didn’t like this move and blamed president Carlos Mouriño for not making the economic effort of keeping a loved coach that put Celta back in Europe. Now, the new boss has been facing a tough time trying to meet the expectations.

And he didn’t land well in Vigo after losing three of the first four games in liga. Later the team improved the results, but the coach reminded under the shadow of his predecessor and there were even bets on who was going to be sacked before, him or Depor’s Pepe Mel. Recently the team clinched a meritorious 2-2 draw visiting FC Barcelona, but later lost before Valencia CF and Villarreal CF. Thus, Unzué is still trying to gain the respect of the public.

Team news: Unzué picked the full squad for the derby as there are no casualties for injury reasons. Hugo Mallo and Iago Aspas are back after completing a one-game suspension.

Man to watch: Striker Iago Aspas. The Moaña-born attacker is the best Spanish scorer in la liga (9 goals in favour) and is currently on fire, His nine goals so far have arrived in his last eight liga appearances and it was him who scored the winning goals in last season’s derby played at the Riazor (0-1). 

Picked players: (21) Sergio, Rubén Blanco, Iván Villar (goalkeepers); Hugo Mallo, Jonny, Roncaglia, Sergi Gómez, Fontàs, Cabral (defenders); Radoja, Lobotka, Pablo Hernández, Brais Méndez, Wass, Jozabed, Hjulsager, Sisto (midfielers); Guidetti, Iago Aspas, Emre Mor & Maxi Gómez (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Rubén Blanco – Hugo Mallo, Sergi Gómez, Cabral, Jonny – Wass, Pablo Hernández, Lobotka, Pione Sisto -  Maxi Gómez, Iago Aspas.



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