Competition news


15 Feb 2008
A deciding game at the Nuevo Colombino. Deportivo and Recreativo are trying to leave behind the relegation zone, for this both teams need to add the three points. Lotina isn't giving any club about who will be the starting striker, the main candidates are Bodipo and Xisco. Meanwhile, coach Zambrano is trusting in the duo Sinama-Pongolle - Marco Rub?姊.

The Nuevo Colombino is a damned stadium for Deportivo, after fifteen visits between Primera and Segunda Divisi??n, Depor has only achieved five draws while the other ten matches ended in a defeat for the Galicians. The only two confrontations in Primera Divisi??n occurred on the seasons 2002/2003 and 2006/2007, both games ended in a 1-1 draw.

This game is crucial in the fight for the permanence, Recreativo and Deportivo exchanged places in the table after the Andalucians managed to achieve a 2-1 win against Espanyol at Montjuic, but their record at the Nuevo Colombino isn't good at all, because Recre's squad has only achieved 13 points in 11 games at home. Besides, they have only conquered three wins there: 2-1 Vs. Espanyol, 1-0 Vs. Osasuna and 2-1 Vs. Recreativo, while they have lost the last two against Getafe (0-3) and Sevilla (1-2).

Meanwhile, Depor is once again inside the relegation zone, but its record playing away from home continues to be one of the best ones in la liga. More precisely, the 15 points achieved so far in this condition represents the sixth best mark in Primera Divisi??n, only surpassed by: Real Madrid (23), Valencia (20), Espanyol (19), Villarreal (18) and Atl?孤ico Madrid (18).

Besides, Deportivo continues to be one of the eight teams in la liga that has scored more goals away from home than in its own stadium. Lotina's team has conquered 14 of its 24 goals away from the Riazor. Of the twelve visits made so far by Depor, the Galician squad has only missed to score in three occasions: at Getafe (0-0), at Espanyol (0-1) and at Almer?苔 (0-1).

Like it happened for the game with Getafe, Lotina has the big doubt of who should play as the lonely striker. Rodolfo Bodipo and Francisco Jim?姊ez Tejada 'Xisco' are the two main candidates for the role. Xisco didn't took part of the game with the Madrilenians since Lotina thought he was too tired, but the Mallorcan already said that he feels fit to play.

Xisco is the best scorer between the six forwards in the team he has four goals in his account, while Bodipo has just scored once. But Lotina's decision might depend of other factors like the physical condition of both players or about some specific tasks the Basque coach wants to see over the grass.

As for the rest of the formation, it's expected that it will be the same one that drew with Getafe on the past weekend. This means the same line of five defenders with Fabricio Augusto in the goalkeeping position, Manuel Pablo at the right-back, the trio Coloccini-Pablo Amo-Lopo in the centre and Filipe Luis at the left side, the Brazilian was slightly injured during the game with Getafe and he didn't train properly during the week, but the ex-Real Madrid is fit to play.

Who will have a special game is Pablo Amo, the Madrilenian defender spent the past season on loan at Huelva and now he has scored two goals in four games. He was also a crucial actor in the goal against Getafe. Amo said before the game that Recreativo is a rival to have in mind, but that Depor is better "Recreativo is playing really well in a collective sense and we must be cautious with them. They demonstrated it in the first round after they defeated us at home, but we shouldn't be afraid because they aren't better than us."

Midfield will be a critical zone if Lotina wants to achieve the win, the Me?帶ka-born coach already detected some details that need an adjustment, like the exact place in which the midfielders need to start putting pressure to the rival. Despite this changes, it isn't expected any modification compared to the past game at the Riazor. This means that De Guzm??n and Antonio Tom??s will act as pivotes, while Juan Rodr?茆uez will be performing towards the right wing and Verd?? will take the place of Guardado.

Juan Rodr?茆uez said during the week that he's upset because Depor is once again in the relegation zone, no matter the team has clinched seven of the last nine points in dispute "What upsets me is that, although we achieved two wins and one draw, we are in the relegation zone once again. At least the team has the hope and the confidence to surpass the situation, and that's the important thing. We have an important game ahead of us and there's no other way than to go out for the victory."

Canadian Julian De Guzm??n was more worried about the fatigue in the squad using Lotina's new system, one that obligates the players to run more in order to cover the empty spaces "The first fifteen minutes are terrible, later you start gaining some rhythm, but it's in the last fifteen minutes when we notice the fatigue and we end dead. I am running during the whole game. I don't know if I am going to last with this system, if I could continue during the rest of the season. Maybe it's a matter of been used to it, maybe we could hold on until the end, it's difficult. But well, we'll try."

Andr?孟 Guardado (stress fracture) and Cristian (knee) continue to be the casualties for injury reasons, and Adri??n joined this list on Saturday's morning after he suffered an ankle sprain during the last training of the squad. Christian Wilhelmsson had a strong flue, but now he's fit to play. Lotina said the Swedish international has the option to be an starter in the place of Juan Rodr?茆uez, but it isn't probable since the illness didn't allow his presence in Friday's training. The novelty in the list travelling to Huelva are Chapi and Laure, two Fabrl's youngsters that already debuted with the first squad.

Called players: Fabricio, Mun??a (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Coloccini, Pablo Amo, Filipe, Chapi (defenders); Antonio Tom??s, De Guzm??n, Sergio, Juan Rodr?茆uez, Willhelmsson, Valer??n, Verd?? (midfielders); Bodipo, Xisco and Riki (strikers).

Before the game against Espanyol, Recreativo was in a complicate situation: Victor Mu?得z was fired after his team spent seven straight games in liga without a win, the Andalucians entered to the relegation zone and Manolo Zambrano was chosen in order to save the situation. And everything has radically changed within the last seven days. 'Recre' smiled once again after the 2-1 win at Montjuic and now everybody thinks positively and appoints the team should repeat the performance showed against Espanyol.

Although the idea is to repeat the same scheme that gave a good impression at Montjuic, Zambrano is thinking in three modifications in the line-up. The first one is forced since central defender Roberto Deus 'Beto' has been struggling during the week with a gastro-enteritis, his place could be taken by Enrique Alvarez 'Quique', a Vigo-born defender that has only played five times on this season. The presence of Beto hasn't been discarded yet since he train on Friday, but it isn't probable since the defender isn't at 100%.

The second modification will occur  in the striking zone. Sinama Pongolle, the hero that scored the two goals against Espanyol, will be accompanied by Marco Rub?姊, the Argentinean was pretended by Depor on the winter window, but he was signed by Villarreal at the end, and later he was loaned to Recreativo. Marco already played twice on this season, but the game with Depor will be his first appearance as starter.

Marco Ruben described the game with Depor as a very important confrontation for Recreativo "Sunday's match is very important, we are taking points from ourselves since we are fighting for the same thing, therefore is a game in which we can't miss the points, The important thing is to make our game and to keep our ideas."

The appearance of Rub?姊 as starter will lead to the other modification, the movement of Francisco Camu?帶s to the right wing, the Madrilenain performed as second striker at Montjuic and now he's moving his position to his natural place. Camu?帶s is together with Javi Guerrero and Carlos Martins, the second best scorer of the squad with four goals. Camu?帶s is also one of the three players at Recre that have appeared in all the games in liga, the other two are goalkeeper Sorrentino and central defender Mart?要 Cac?姅es.

Left-winger Aitor Tornavaca was predicting a tough game, and was analysing the strategy to be implemented by Depor "It's going to be a different game compared to the one against Espanyol. It will be difficult to impose our rhythm, because they will try to destroy our game and take full advantage of the counterattacks or the set-pieces. They will make a game based in been obstructing the rival and losing the time, with a lot of men behind the ball. They even changed the system since a while ago, playing with three central defenders."

The three players sidelined for injury reasons are 'Pampa' Calvo (muscular problem), Javi Guerrero (knee) and Iago Bouz??n (hamstring strain). The casualty of  Javi Guerrero represents good news for Depor, because the ex-Racing striker has scored eight goals against Depor in his career, including one during the 2-0 win at the Riazor of the first round. Guerrero suffered his injury at the start of the month during the game against Sevilla and his return is expected until March. At least Rosu and Ersen Martin are already recovered from their muscular injuries, but they won't take part of the game.

Called players: List not released yet.

Recreativo: Sorrentino - Edu Moya, Quique, C??ceres, Poli - Camu?帶s, Martins, Jes??s V??zquez, Aitor - Marco Rub?姊 - Sinama Pongolle
Deportivo: Fabricio - Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Pablo Amo, Coloccini, Filipe - Antonio Tom??s, De Guzm??n - Juan Rodr?茆uez, Verd?? - Xisco (or Bodipo).
Referee: Alvarez Izquierdo (ten games on the season, only one win for the visitor).
Kick-off: 17h00 (Nuevo Colombino)
Record Vs. Recreativo: 9 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 14 wins for Recreativo (Primera & Segunda).
Record at the Nuevo Colombino: 0 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 10 wins for Recreativo (Primera & Segunda).

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