Squad news

PREVIEW: VILLARREAL – DEPORTIVO (LIGA, 17h00)

13 Sep 2008
Lotina introduces changes in the lineup for the trip to El Madrigal. Lafita will be left on the bench as Cristian is entering for Guardado. Also the Basque coach is presenting a figure with three pivotes. In Villarreal, no big modifications will be made although the squad is suffering important casualties like Rossi and Nihat.

STATISTICS: EL MADRIGAL IS A GOOD STADIUM FOR THE GOALS
Deportivo has scored at least one goal in each one of its nine visits to El Madrigal. Actually, since the year 2000, El Madrigal is the second stadium in which Deportivo has scored more goals playing as a visitor in Primera Divisi??n. The first place on this list is the Camp Nou, stadium in which Depor has scored 16 goals within the last eight years. El Madrigal is the second place tied with El Sardinero (Racing Santander) as Depor has scored 14 goals in both places during the same period of time.

Besides, the Galicians have only lost three times at El Madrigal while they have achieved four victories there. During the past season, Lotina’s squad lost there with a 3-4 score after leading the score in two occasions.  However it must be appointed the Valencians only lost two games at home during the past season: 0-5 Vs Real Madrid (matchday 02) and 0-1 Vs. Betis (matchday 15). In the first matchday of the season, Villarreal drew with Racing Santander at El Sardinero (1-1).

DEPORTIVO: ROTATIONS
Miguel Angel Lotina will start making rotations ahead of the UEFA cup clash against SK Brann. Maybe the most notorious modification is the return of Cristian Hidalgo to the left wing. The Catalan is taking the place of Andr?s Guardado after the Mexican joined the squad until Friday due to his two appearances with Mexico’s national squad. Angel Lafita was appointed to be Guardado’s replacement after he was operated on for appendicitis, but Lotina considers is too soon for him and the Aragonian winger will start the match on the bench. The only two players up front that will repeat their participation in the line-up compared to the team that defeated Real Madrid a fortnight ago are Mista and Pablo Alvarez

Another big change is the one that Lotina is doing in midfield. Julian de Guzm??n hadn't joined the squad until Saturday and he will be rested although he’s suspended for Thursday’s game against SK Brann. Instead Lotina will trust in triple figure performing in midfield: Juan Rodr?guez, Antonio Tom??s and Sergio. Lotina didn’t want to talk about a ?triple pivote’ figure, mainly because Juan Rodr?guez will be switching his functions on the pitch while Antonio Tom??s will act as playmaker.

What won’t change is the defensive sector, because Lotina will keep playing with a line of four defenders. It’s too soon for Diego Colotto and the duo in the centre will continue to be Z? Castro-Albert Lopo. With Manuel Pablo still sidelined, the right-back position will continue to be for Laure, while Brazilian Filipe Luis will cover the left side.

One of the things that have been emphasized during the week is the overconfidence the squad could feel after the good start of season. Lafita was one of the players that talked during the week and warned about the optimism between the fans ?There’s too much euphoria after the victory over Real Madrid and the pre-season we’ve made. We are targeting greater achievements, but we must keep both feet on the ground. This is just starting and our goal is to reach Europe as we did the past year, but we must go little by little.?

Verd?? also talked before the trip to Vilareal, it will be a special game for the Catalan as he scored his first goal at Depor playing in El Madrigal ?Villarreal brings good memories to me. I scored there my first goal at Deportivo. I hope I can repeat the history this Sunday, and if this occur with a goal of mine, much better. I found myself really comfortable the day of (Real) Madrid and let’s hope things will stay like this. The team is happy and with confidence. Things couldn’t be better, but this is only the second game and we have to demonstrate on the pitch that the squad is living a positive moment.?

Meanwhile, Filipe was praising the level of Capdevila, his predecessor on the position and who is now playing for Villarreal ?He is international, champion of Europe and has more than 500 games at Primera. I love his capacity to not be nervous, but I especially love one thing: the respect the wingers have with him. Even the best like Messi. Everybody knows that it’s really complicated to face him and that’s what I will love to have some day: the respect of the wingers in the rival team.?

For the game at El Madrigal, the casualties for injury reasons are Riki (stress fracture), Manuel Pablo (toe cyst), Pablo Amo (Achilles) and Antonio Barrag??n (knee). As it was appointed before, Colotto wasn’t included since he still needs time while Guardado has been rested. Finally Rodolfo Bodipo was left out of the group traveling to Vilareal. Dudu Aouate and Gustavo Mun??a still sidelined.

List of called players (18): Aranzub?a, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Lopo, Ze Castro, Filipe (defenders); Antonio Tom??s, De Guzm??n, Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez, Verd??, Valer??n, Pablo ?lvarez, Lafita, Cristian (midfielders); Mista and Omar Bravo (strikers).

VILLARREAL: CASUALTIES IN THE SUBMARINE
The season is just starting, but Villarreal is already struggling due to important casualties in its squad. Nihat Kahveci (knee) and Guiseppe Rossi (tight) will miss the game for injury reasons, while coach Manuel Pellegrini had to travel to Argentina for the delicate state of his mother’s health, but it’s expected he will arrive on time for the game. Also, Uruguayans Sebasti??n Eguren and Diego God?n were left out of this game since they arrived late from international duty.

?ngel L??pez (muscular problem), Robert Pires (hamstring strain), Guille Franco (knee) and Josmer Altidore (unfit) had all physical problems during the week, but they passed a late test on Saturday. However, only Mexican Guille Franco will start the game due the casualties in the striking zone. The biggest relief for Deportivo is that Nihat will miss the match. The Turkish striker has been a real nightmare for the Galicians scoring six times against Depor (four with Real Sociedad and two with Villarreal). 

Besides, international players Joan Capdevila, Santiago Cazorla, Marcos Senna (Spain), Mat?as Fern??ndez (Chile), and Gonzalo Rodr?guez (Argentina) returned until Friday after the FIFA World cup qualifiers and they are tired despite that second coach Ruben Cousillas has said they are fine. It’s an important week for Villarreal since the squad has to face on Wednesday Manchester United at Old Trafford playing for the UEFA Champions League.

For that reason it was rumoured that Pellegrini would start making rotations in the squad, but second coach Cousillas confirmed no big changes will be made compared the squad that faced Osasuna on the opening day. The only expected modifications are the ones of the Uruguayans Eguren and God?n. Fabricio Fuentes will probably replace God?n in the centre of the defence. The Argentinean is just coming back after a six-month absence due to a knee injury. The other expected change is occurring in midfield. With Eguren out, the spot as one of the pivotes in the squad will be for Brazilian Edmilson or for ex-Villarreal B member Bruno Soriano.

The players are aware that Deportivo is now a dangerous rival to face. First it was Galician keeper Diego L??pez who pointed out the level of Depor ?The match against Deportivo will be highly complicated, because it’s a rival that’s growing and that’s achieving very good results. As for us, we are having a series of important matches, like the first home game at El Madrigal and a victory is important for us, especially since it’s the first match at home. We need to start the things well.?

Later it was ex-Depor man Joan Capdevila who warned the fans shouldn’t expect the same Deportivo that lost at El Madrigal during the past season ?This Depor that we are meeting now isn’t the same one that we faced on the past season. Right now it’s a stronger team. When they came on the past year, they were morally sunk and their second part of the season was impressive after the change in the system. Now they have started in the same way, with strength and ambition, defeating (Real) Madrid and for that reason, this is going to be a tough and highly disputed game.?

List of called players (19): Diego L??pez,Viera (goalkeepers); Javi Venta, ?ngel, Fuentes, Gonzalo, Gygan, Capdevila (defenders); Edmilson, Senna, Cazorla, Bruno, Cani, Pir?s, Ibagaza, Mati Fern??ndez (midfielders); Guille Franco, Llorente and Altidore (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Villarreal: Diego L??pez - Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Fuentes, Capdevila – Cazorla, Edmislon, Senna, Ibagaza - Guille Franco, Llorente.
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Laure, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe - Juan Rodr?guez, Antonio Tom??s, Sergio - Pablo ?lvarez, Cristian - Mista.  
Referee: Daud?n Ib???ez.
Kick-off: 17h00 (El Madrigal)
Record Vs. Villarreal: 8 wins for Depor, 4 draws, 6 wins for Villarreal (Primera)
Record at el Madrigal: 4 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 3 wins for Villarreal

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