Competition news


09 Mar 2018
The agony of Depor continues, the Galicians visit the only Primera side that hasn’t conceded goals at home in 2018, and Seedorf does it having six casualties at his squad.

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Kick-off: 21h00 CET (Montilivi)

Girona FC are enjoying their first season at the elite. Los Albirrojos have already added 40 points, the highest number for a debutant at Primera after the first 27 matchdays. They are a strong candidate to qualify for the Europa League, something without precedents as never before a new face in la liga as qualified for this competition.

The key for this performance is the results at Montilivi, the Catalans are only the seventh best home team in the competition (23 points in 13 home games), but they have improved a lot lately and have chained five straight victories at home; and they are the only team at Primera that hasn’t allowed a goal at home in 2018. 

Meanwhile, Deportivo still struggling to survive in la liga, the Galicians are one of the three teams that haven’t won yet in 2018 (the others are Málaga and Levante), and also represent the second worst visiting team in the competition adding 6 points in 13 visits, only Málaga have added lesser points playing in this condition (4).

A final stat to have in mind is the corner-kicks. Girona FC is the best defender of corners in la liga as they allow a goal every 129 corners. Meanwhile, Depor is the worst team in this department. The Galicians allow a goal every 19 corners.

Despite the problems and errors in the last game, coach Clarence Seedorf will keep using the diamond figure implemented against SD Eibar. After testing changes at the beginning of the week, the coach returned to the same scheme on Thursday and it’s the expected lineup for this game. Neither he can do too much as he only has 19 men available for the game.

The only two novelties are caused by the suspensions. Maksím Kóval is out after been sent off on Saturday and Rubén Martinez will cover the goal, while Pedro Mosquera returns from suspension and claims the spot of Çolak at midfield.

Team news: Seedorf only had 19 men available for the game as Michael Krohn-Dehli and Luisinho are last-minute casualties joining Fede Valverde, Fede Cartabia and Guilherme at the injury room. So, there are six men out as keeper Kóval is suspended. The Dutch coach decided to pick all the men for the game, including Gerard Valentín and Carles Gil, duo that doesn’t count for him.

Man to watch: Midfielder Pedro Mosquera. The Galician had problems to adapt to the playmaking function in the meeting at Getafe CF, but previously had his best game of the season hosting RCD Espanyol, and now Seedorf, who trusts a lot in him, is giving him a similar role. A new good game from him could be vital for a Depor that’s coming after breaking their longest scoreless streak.

Picked players: (19) Rubén Martínez, Tytoń (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Bóveda, Gerard Valentín, Sidnei, Schär, Albentosa, Navarro (defenders); Borges, Muntari, Mosquera, Çolak, Carles Gil, Bakkali (midfielders); Adrián, Lucas Pérez, Andone & Borja Valle (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-1-4-1) Rubén Martínez - Bóveda, Sidnei, Albentosa, Navarro - Muntari - Adrián, Borges, Mosquera, Lucas - Andone.

The success of Girona CF and coach Pablo Machín is no other than the triumph of balance, this Catalan team doesn’t shine for it attractive football (Depor have completed more shot than them as example), but for its seriousness working in every game. They don’t commit defensive errors and found the way to seize the combination between Stuani and Portu in attack. So, they have a source for the goals and later don’t concede too much.

Thus, Girona FC have only lost nine games on the season, and only in three of them by a goal difference of three or more goals. Their worst game of the liga campaign was the last one in 2017 as they lost 4-1 at SD Eibar. Their other two big losses took place facing overpowered FC Barcelona (0-3 and 6-1).

Team news: Left-back Carles Planas is out of the game due to a muscle problem, Johan Mojica is expected to replace him in the only change that Machín will make at the starting lineup. Keeper Gorka Iraizoz is also out due to a muscle injury.

Man to watch: Playmaker Cristian Portugués ‘Portu’. Deportivo followed this former Valencia player, but in the end the Murcian ended at Girona FC after passing through a short stage at Albacete. And he is one of the sensations in la liga thanks to his current good form, within his last ten presentations he has scored six goals and provided two assists. He and Stuani have scored 25 goals on this campaign, the third best combination at Primera only behind the ones at FC Barcelona (Messi & Suárez, 44) and RC Celta (Aspas & Maxi Gómez, 29).

Picked players: Roster to be released until Friday.

Predicted lineup: (3-4-3) Bono – Espinosa, Juanpe, Ramalho – Maffeo, Pons, Granell, Mojica – Portu, Stuani, Borja García.



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