Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – REAL MADRID (SUNDAY, LIGA, 21h00)

30 Aug 2008
La liga 2008/2009 kick-offs for Deportivo with the important visit of Real Madrid to the Riazor. Lotina will use a formation with four defenders although no clues were giving during the last training, what seems defined is the presence of Sergio and Z? Castro in the starting eleven. In Madrid the attention is focused in the situation of Robinho tough the Brazilian is not traveling to La Coru?a.

STATISTICS: THE PREFERRED VISITOR OF THE RIAZOR
The shadow of the Riazor is once again chasing Real Madrid. Schuster’s team visits a stadium in which the Madrilenians haven’t earned the three points since the season 1991/1992. Despite Real Madrid is one of the clear candidates to clinch the liga title for the third straight time, they have been an easy target for the Galicians within the last seven matches played in La Coru?a.

And it’s that Real Madrid has only scored one goal within the last seven visits to the Riazor, that goal was conquered by Ra??l during the season 2005/2006 (3-1 win for Deportivo). In that seven-year period, the Madrilenians have only earned a point: the 0-0 draw on the season 2002/2003.The last meeting of these two sides occurred on March 15, day in which Depor secured the three points thanks to an own goal of Pepe.

DEPORTIVO: SERGIO AND ZE CASTRO RETURNS
As coach Miguel Angel Lotina appointed after the UEFA confrontation against Hajduk Split, the main novelties for this game are the returns of Sergio and Z? Castro, both rested for the match against the Croatian side. Since Pablo Amo still out for an Achilles problem and since Piscu will be rested due to a slightly injury-hit in the knee, Lotina will keep the 4-2-3-1 figure of mid-week.

In defence, Aranzubia will be the starting keeper, Laure will continue performing on the right-back position, Filipe Luis will cover the left side and Lopo will play alongside Z? Castro in the centre. During the training session that took place on Saturday, Lotina didn’t give clues about the formation that he will use, but he said during the press conference that he would introduce ?four or five changes?. The first one of these modifications should be the mentioned introduction of Z? Castro.

The second modification should be the introduction of Sergio in order to replace Antonio Tom??s in midfield, while De Guzm??n will continue on his position. The biggest doubts appear up front. The right wing was occupied by Juan Rodr?guez in the game against Hajduk Split, but in the game against the Madrilenians, Lotina could surprise with the introduction of Pablo ?lvarez. Same doubt appears in the playmaking function, Valer??n could be rested and his place could be taken by Joan Verd??, player that gave positive sensations in the game with Hajduk.

The only thing for granted in attack is the presence of Andr?s Guardado on the left wing position, Riki has been the most used striker during the pre-season, but Lotina seems to be thinking in a change, reason why Mista and Omar Bravo have their options to be starters.

Juan Carlos Valer??n talked before the game and assured the confrontation will be tough for Deportivo ?It will be a very interesting game and we will see how things end. Inside the pitch you forget about the statistics and the only thing you try to do is to play in the best possible way, this in order to win the match.?

Other man that talked was Daniel Aranzubia, the Basque keeper said he doesn’t believe the squad will feel tired after the game against Hajduk ?Madrid is always a favourite team in order to win la liga, we are coming to this game after a positive streak against them and let’s see if we can keep it. Maybe we are a little tired, but we forget about that fact when we are facing Madrid, besides we have more time training than them and that’s always a helpful fact.?

List of called players (20): Aranzub?a, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Lopo, Ze Castro, Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Filipe (Defenders); De Guzm??n Sergio, Antonio Tom??s, Juan Rodr?guez, Pablo ?lvarez, Guardado, Verd??, Valer??n, Cristian (midfielders); Mista, Riki, Omar Bravo and Xisco (strikers).

REAL MADRID: ALL EYES OVER ROBINHO
Real Madrid is more worried about Robinho than about the start in la liga 2008/2009 or the curse at the Riazor. The Brazilian isn’t content in the squad and he has been pushing for an exit to Premiership giant Chelsea FC. His departure seemed consumed, but coach Schuster phoned president Ram??n Calder??n on Wednesday and the German trainer asked him to keep Robinho in the club. Apparently Schuster promised that he could ?regain’ the player.

Then Calder??n appeared on Friday saying that Robinho will stay and that there’s no turning back point for him. But a few hours later the same player assured to a Brazilian radio the negotiations still on with Chelsea. All kind of declarations and articles have been written in the papers about this matter, the fans are upset with the procedure of the player and the papers have been requesting for a public apology coming from him. Schuster decided to not call him for the game and appointed his case will be resolved during the next days.

Who should be in the spotlight is Gonzalo Higua?n, the Argentinean has been the best striker in the pre-season with three goals scored in 215 minutes, reason why he will be a starter playing in a more delayed position. That’s because Ra??l and Van Nistelrooy will be the two leading men in the squad. Therefore Higua?n will have to play alongside Guti in midfield.

Rafael Van der Vaart, the €13 million move of Real Madrid, will not be able to debut since he is suspended after his expulsion in the Supercopa second-leg, but Arjen Robben is fit to play and the Dutch will have the chance to perform on the left wing. The defensive line will be the same one that faced the last game at the Riazor: Casillas on the goal, Sergio Ramos on the right-back position, Pepe and Heinze in the centre and Marcelo on the left side. Fabio Cannavaro is recovered from an injury, but he will be on the bench.

Ruben De La Red, who was called for this game, appointed that Real Madrid should be breaking the curse at the Riazor ?It’s about time to win at the Riazor, but that pitch isn’t an easy one, because those are very difficult matches. We must go out in order to bite the rival, to win the game, to achieve the three points. It’s important in order to gain confidence and start at the top since the beginning. But Deportivo is a complicate rival; they have signed important players and would like to demonstrate their level in front of the fans. We just need to think about our football and to not be disconnected during the ninety minutes.?

Other player in the list is Royston Drenthe, the Dutch will be on the bench and assured this is going to be a tough game for them ?It will be a difficult game, not only because we are talking about Depor, but also because it’s the first game of la liga. We want to do the right things and win, because it’s the first encounter of the season and we are forced to do it.?

List of called players (18): Iker Casillas, Jerzy Dudek (goalkeepers); Fabio Cannavaro, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Heinze, Metzelder, Torres (defenders); Diarra, Gago, Robben, Guti, Drenthe, De La Red (midfielders); Ra??l, Van Nistelrooy and Higua?n (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Laure, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe Luis - Sergio, De Guzm??n - Juan Rodr?guez or Pablo ?lvarez, Valer??n or Verd??, Guardado - Mista or Riki.
Real Madrid: Casillas - Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Heinze, Marcelo - Diarra, Guti, Higua?n, Robben – Ra??l, Van Nistelrooy
Referee: Mu?iz Fern??ndez
Kick-off: 21h00 (Riazor)
Record Vs. Real Madrid: 17 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 41 wins for Real Madrid
Record at the Riazor: 15 wins for Depor, 13 draws, 10 wins for Real Madrid

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