Squad news


23 Feb 2018
Muntari is set to start just hours after been inscribed, Seedorf recovers Adrián and Sidnei. The rival arrives in a bad moment, but with the permanence almost secured.

Referee: David Fernández Borbalán
Kick-off: 21h00 CET (Riazor)

Deportivo have spent nine straight games without victories and also chained three straight losses, the last time this happened at the club was one year ago with the team chaining ten straight matches (two in Copa and eight in liga) without wins and also four straight losses (all in liga), this streak that cost the job to Gaizka Garitano.

The Galicians remain as the worst team in 2018 with only two points added and a goal difference of -14. Neither RCD Espanyol is having a god start to the year. The Catalans only won once in the period and only added seven points in the seven games played in 2018. They aren’t closer to relegation just because the last places are also failing.

Depor have remained scoreless within the last three liga games and accumulates 315 minutes without goals, it’s the worst drought at the club since 2014 (November-December). At the time the Blanquiazul outfit spent 392 minutes without scoring a goal in liga.

At least the recent visits of RCD Espanyol to the Riazor have been positive for Depor, the Galicians won in five of the last eight visits of the Catalans and only lost twice. In those eight encounters Los Periquitos ended scoreless in six opportunities.

Coach Clarence Seedorf said that, despite been dragging two straight defeats, not too many changes should be expected at the starting eleven. But the point is that at least three modifications will take place, two of them due to the casualties of Raúl Albentosa and Zakaria Bakkali.  Thus Fabian Schär and Fede Cartabia are expected to claim their spots.

The other big novelty is that Sulleyman Ali Muntari, who was inscribed just hours before the last training session, is expected to start at midfield alongside Guilherme. The rest is expected to be the same 4-2-3-1 of the past two games.

Team news: Striker Adrián López surprisingly surpassed a muscle injury and will be a starter, while centre-back Sidnei Rechel returns after a month out. Centre-back Raúl Albentosa joins Maksím Kóval and Fede Valverde at the injury room. Bakkali is suspended, while the players out for tactical reasons are Gerard Valentín and Carles Gil.

Man to watch: Midfielder Sulleyman Ali Muntari. Busy day for Muntari, he was signed early in the morning and hours later was included in the roster and is expected to start. Seedorf said before the game that the Ghanaian won’t be the savior of Deportivo, but he’s the expected defensive midfielder that should bring the so-wished balance. His last official game was with Pescara Calcio: 0-1 loss at Cagliari (April 30, 2017). 

Picked players: (19) Rubén Martínez, Tytoń (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Bóveda, Sidnei, Schär, Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Mosquera, Guilherme, Borges, Muntari, Krohn-Dehli, Çolak, Cartabia (midfielders); Adrián, Lucas Pérez, Andone & Borja Valle (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Rubén Martínez - Juanfran, Schär, Bóveda, Luisinho - Guilherme, Muntari - Cartabia, Adrián, Lucas - Andone.

Bittersweet taste in Barcelona with the performance of RCD Espanyol, the Catalans have kept their distance with relegation, currently at nine points, but they neither have lived a positive rally strong enough to approach to Europe.  Currently they are eleven points under the sixth place and the feeling is that Los Periquitos are living a campaign in nowhere’s land.

Coach Quique Sánchez Flores is aware that overconfidence is usually a feeling that comes together with this situation, and wants to avoid it, because despite the teams at the bottom are not adding, any reaction combined with a bad streak could put them in the eye of the storm. That’s why he has been keeping a speech calling to be ambitious and clinch more victories.

Team news: Right-back Javi López is a last-minute casualty due to illness, but he has only played 423 minutes on the season. So, there are no important casualties at the first team coached by Quique Sánchez Flores. He traveled to A Coruña with nineteen men as he picked Espanyol B keeper Edu Frias.

Man to watch: Striker Gerard Moreno. Despite the irregular year of RC Espanyol, the Catalan attacker has been consistent all season long and is the top scorer at the team with ten goals scored so far. Within his last nine presentations he scored four goals and provided an assist, and Depor seem to be the right victim for its softness in defence. Gerard scored a brace in the 4-1 win of the first round (September 2).

Picked players: (19) Pau López, Diego López, Edu Frias (goalkeepers); Marc Navarro, Aarón Martin, Naldo Gómez, David López, Óscar Duarte, Didac Vilà, Mario Hermoso (defenders); Víctor Sánchez, Carlos Sánchez, Jurado, Pablo Piatti, Esteban Granero, Sergi Darder (midfielders) Gerard Moreno, Sergio García & Léo Baptistão (attackers)

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Diego López – Víctor Sánchez, Naldo, David López, Aarón – Carlos Sánchez, Granero – Baptistão, Darder, Piatti – Gerard Moreno.



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