Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – MALLORCA (LIGA, 17h00)

20 Sep 2008
Deportivo searches the calmness after two straight defeats. For it, Lotina returns to the 4-2-3-1 figure that defeated Real Madrid in the opening game in liga, the only modification is the exit of Mista due to a flue, his place will be taken by Omar Bravo. Meanwhile Mallorca arrives to the game with the doubts surrounding the future of the club, on the pitch Manzano is also planning several changes.

STATISTICS: ONLY TWO WINS FOR MALLORCA AT THE RIAZOR
RCD Mallorca has been a tough competitor at the Riazor in recent times. During its last five visits, the Balearic team has achieved two victories (2-0 in 2002/2003 and 3-0 in 2003/2004), two draws (2-2 in 2005/2006 and 1-1 in 2007/2008) and has only suffered one defeat (0-1 in 2006/2007). But those are the only two wins of Mallorca at the Riazor after fourteen liga matches played there.

An interesting statistic is that of the current Primera rivals, RCD Mallorca is the second that has scored more goals at the Riazor within the last five seasons: 8. Only Valencia has conquered more (12). However, of the six goalscorers that conquered those eight goals, only Juan Arango remains at the Majorcan squad. The other five (Guiza, Okubo, Farinos, Eto’o and Bruggink) already left the team.

Mallorca has had a poor start in la liga, because after the first two matchdays, the Majorcans have only added a point. First they were trashed by Valencia at the Mestalla (0-3), and later they could only draw with Osasuna at home (1-1). Reason why the Majorcans are currently 18th in the table (relegation zone). That brings another interesting statistic: the last time that a team in relegation defeated Depor at the Riazor was Alav?s in January of 2006 (0-2).

DEPORTIVO: SEARCHING FOR A REACTION
The calmness experienced with the good start of season was erased in a stroke of a pen, first with the defeat in liga at Villarreal and especially with the setback in the UEFA cup against SK Brann. Now Lotina wants to find the normality during a complicate week. For this he’s returning to the 4-2-3-1 figure that gave good results in the opening liga match against Real Madrid.

The only novelty compared to the team that defeated the Madrilenians is that Mista was left out of the game for a flue, reason why Omar Bravo will be the starter in the striking zone. The Mexican made his debut in the starting formation on Thursday and didn’t have a good game, but it was the same thing for the rest of players that performed in Norway.

The rest of the team is the expected one, with Dani Aranzubia on the goal, Laure at the right-back position, Filipe on the left, Ze Castro returning to the centre of the defence in order to join Albert Lopo, the couple conformed by Sergio and Julian De Guzm??n in midfield, Joan Verd?? returning to the playmaking function, Pablo ?lvarez on the right wing and Andr?s Guardado on the left.

One of the doubts for the encounter in the right wing, Lotina has the choices of ?ngel Lafita and Pablo ?lvarez for the position, but with some restrictions. The Basque coach believes that Lafita is not totally fit yet, while ?lvarez had muscular problems on Friday. Therefore his intention is to combine both of them during the game, it’s expected that ?lvarez will start on the game and that later Lafita will replace him during the second half.

Other novelties are on the bench, Diego Colotto has been called for the first time for a liga game after his disastrous European debut on last Thursday. Also Rodolfo Bodipo has big chances of playing due to the casualties of Mista and Riki. The other players discarded for injury reasons are Barrag??n, Manuel Pablo and Pablo Amo. The reader can consult their status on the injury room section.

Right-back Laure is getting used to la liga and also to the pressure, he talked before the game and appointed that Depor is forced to win this match ?What matters is the team, we are carrying with two straight defeats and we need to recover a positive dynamic. We are focused in what we need to do, the game will be very complicated. This confrontation is very important, we have to win after the defeat at Villarreal. Personally I am gaining pace and trust in each game, I believe I can do better and I will try to.?

?ngel Lafita also talked after Depor’s last training, he was assuring that the players are the ones hat should make a system work ?The depth we had with me and Willy on the past season helped us on the last season. Maybe other reason why we were good up front was our defensive solidity. But I believe that if the players are at the top and if the team is at the top, no matter how you play, you are going to win the match. The players are the ones that make the system works.?

Finally, the Aragonian thinks these last two defeats for Deportivo will be useful in order to reduce the euphoria in the changing room ?It seemed everything was going to be a road to heaven and the current situation has helped us to put both feet on the ground. We are the ones that should have the feet on the ground and to know we haven’t’ achieved anything yet, we must control our feelings.?

List of called players (20); Aranzubia, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Lopo, Z? Castro, Adri??n ?Piscu’, Colotto, Filipe Luis (defenders); Sergio, Antonio Tom??s, Juan Rodr?guez, De Guzm??n, Pablo ?lvarez, Guardado, Lafita, Cristian, Joan Verd??, Valer??n (midfielders); Omar Bravo and Bodipo (strikers).

MALLORCA: DOUBTS AND UNCERTANITY
It is a strange and very special season for RCD Mallorca. It’s president, Vincenc Grande, can’t no longer hold the economy of the club and decided to sell the 93% of his shareholding participation. A British entrepreneur, Paul Davison, already presented an offer of €38 million and on these days the club is studying other propositions from Fredy Shepherd (ex-Newcastle United president) and from Red Bull, company that currently owns a team in F1 and Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg.

Besides, Grande had to sell almost all his most important players during the summer. Daniel Guiza, last season’s Pichichi, was transferred to Fenerbahce for the record fee of €17 million, while Ariel Ibagaza went to Villarreal for €1.5 million and Fernando Navarro to Sevilla for €5 million. Jon??s Gutierrez also left the Majorcan club to join Newcastle in an operation that seems to reach the €5 million. In this way Mallorca recollected almost €30 million during the summer window.

However, the club only invested €9 million in new signings. Of this amount, €6 million were used for the acquisition of ex-Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz, definitely the biggest hope for the season. The club had to use the figure of the loans in order to obtain important reinforcements. In this way central defender/right-back Josemi arrived from Villarreal, while midfield duo Jos? Manuel Jurado-Cl?ber Santana came from Atl?tico Madrid. Other interesting signings were the ones of ex-Real Madrid Castilla Juanmi Calder??n, offensive midfielder for whom the club paid €1 million. Also Oscar D?az, a striker that was linked with Depor in the past and that came in a free-transfer from Elche.

The media in the island is convinced the squad has enough squad to survive in la liga during the present season, but the public is worried because they fear all this major lifting and speculation about the future of the club could influence the performance of the squad. Things seemed fine as Mallorca defeated German side Hannover 96 (4-2) and Premiership club Newcastle United (1-0) during the pre-season. But then the team started slowly in la liga, because the Balearic side lost in the opening game at Mestalla (0-3 Vs Valencia) and then dropped two points at home when Osasuna’s Portillo scored the equaliser at minute 84 (1-1).

For the game against Depor, coach Gregorio Manzano has the casualty of Juanmi, who was sent off in the game with Osasuna. Ex-Depor Lionel Scaloni is the natural choice to replace him, but he is just coming back after a five-month absence due to a surgery (hamstring strain) and will not take part of the game. Therefore the spot in the starting eleven will be for ex-Sevilla Pep Llu?s Mart?

Manzano is also planning other changes tough he will keep a 4-4-2 figure. One of these changes is to put ex-Racing Ayoze D?az on the right-back position replacing Corrales. Also the entrance of Cl?ber Santana for Jurado in midfield. Maybe the biggest modification is the appearance of ex-Boca Juniors striker Oscar Trejo in the place of Pierre Webo. In this way the Argentinean will join Juan Arango and Aritz Aduriz up front. Aduriz scored 22 goals in 85 liga games with Athletic, but he has never scored against Depor. African striker Keita Otchico has been called for the first time, bur he will start on the bench

Midfielder Mario Su??rez, who will be a starter at the Riazor, was hoping that Depor will be tired after the travel from Norway ?With its game in liga, Deportivo demonstrates that’s a strong team. We have to remind they have entered to Europe through the Intertoto, therefore I hope they will be tired and we could be benefit from this. However what matters is to make our game and to be the superior side on the pitch.?  

List of called players (19): Moy?, Lux (goalkeepers); Ramis, David Navarro, Nunes, Ayoze, Mart?, Corrales (defenders); Mario Su??rez, Callej??n, Jurado, Gonzalo Castro, Varela, Juan Arango, Cl?ber Santana (midfielders); Webo, Keita, Oscar Trejo and Aduriz (strikers),

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Laure, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe - De Guzm??n, Sergio - Pablo ?lvarez, Verd??, Guardado - Omar Bravo
Mallorca: Moy?? - Mart?, David Navarro, Nunes, Ayoze - Varela, Cleber Santana, Mario Su??rez, Arango - Aduriz, Trejo.
Referee: Ayza G??mez
Kick-off: 17h00 (Riazor)
Record Vs. Mallorca: 8 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 9 wins for Mallorca
Record at the Riazor: 5 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 2 wins for Mallorca

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