Competition news


28 Oct 2008
Rotations. That’s the word resuming what both teams will do in order to face the first-leg game on this series. And it’s that each side will only present two starters that played in their respective last liga encounter. At Depor the main novelty is that Fabricio returns to play a game after the Intertoto series, while Elche is trusting in ex-Betis attacker Dani.

This is the fourth occasion in which Depor faces Elche in Copa del Rey. The Ilicitano club already eliminated Deportivo in two of three previous confrontations in Copa. The first occasion was on the third round of the 1965/1966 competition, at the time Elche won the series winning both legs: 2-1 at the Riazor and 3-0 at home. The only occasion in which Depor eliminated Elche was on the season 1981/1982, in that opportunity Depor won the series thanks to a 2-1 victory at the Riazor and after the Galician squad drew 2-2 during the second match.

The last opportunity in which these two sides faced each other in Copa Del Rey was during the season 2004/2005. In that occasion it was a one-leg series played at the Mart?nez Valero stadium during the round of 16. Elche won the game thanks to a goal scored by Perag??n (1-0). The coach of Depor at the time was Javier Irureta.

But the current season of Elche has been totally disappointing, because the squad now coached by Claudio Barrag??n is the last place in Segunda Divisi??n after the first nine matchdays. Actually it’s the only team in the division that hasn’t achieved a victory yet. Like the case with Deportivo, Elche is also suffering from a lack of goals as the team has only scored five times on the season  In the previous round, the club from Alicante eliminated Tenerife in the penalty shoot out (regular time 1-1).

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina will use the Copa del Rey in order to give some rest to his key players. That’s why usual starters like Filipe, Omar Bravo, Valer??n, Pablo ?lvarez, Lafita and Sergio weren’t called for the match. In the other hand, other men that haven’t had too many opportunities will now enjoy a chance to play. That’s the case of young goalkeeper Fabricio Agosto who will be the starter in this occasion.

Without taking in mind Pablo Amo, who has been injured since the start of the season, plus the discards (Aouate and Mun??a) and the players that weren’t inscribed in la liga (Taborda and Barrag??n), Fabricio is the last man that will make his debut in a local competition. The Canarian keeper played a few matches on the last liga season and was also the starter in the Intertoto series against Israeli club Bnei Sakhnin.

The novelties continue in the defensive line. Firstly, Laure returns to the right-back position. The Madrilenian is one of the victims from the 2-4 disaster in Valencia, because Laure hasn’t participated in the lineups of Lotina since he was a starter in that game. In the centre of the defence, Z? Castro and Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’ will be the starting options. It’s the logical solution since Diego Colotto is suspended after been sent off against Sporting Gij??n and since Lotina is giving some rest to Albert Lopo, Depor’s central defender with more minutes in la liga.

The rotations continue in midfield, De Guzm??n will be sited on the bench and Sergio was not even called for the encounter, therefore the starting couple in the sector will be Juan Rodr?guez-Antonio Tom??s. Joan Verd?? is also returning to the starting lineup as he will perform as the playmaker. The Catalan is another victim from the 2-4 defeat at Valencia, because it was the last game in which he appeared as starter. Since that day, he has only played 29 minutes as substitute (19 Vs Numancia and 10 Vs Racing).

Cristian is also returning to the formation after been a starter in the UEFA clash with CSKA Moscow. The Catalan will replace Pablo Alvarez on the right wing. The only two players that will repeat their participation compared to the disastrous 0-3 against Sporting Gij??n are Andr?s Guardado and Riki, the Mexican will cover the left wing while the Madrilenian will play again as the lonely striker.

A thing that called the attention of the media was that Lotina had a 30-minutes conversation with the players before to Monday’s training session. The Basque coach was demanding more concentration and courage to his players, as later Manuel Pablo explained to reporters: ?When you leak three goals in one single game, then you aren’t giving the sensation of been competing. That’s what the coach was trying to say to us.?

Riki talked at Abegondo’s press room after Tuesday’s training, he said that Depor will search for a victory in Copa in order to regain the will lost against Sporting ?A victory in Copa will give us the morale and the confidence to face Sunday’s game. It’s a privilege for everybody to be able to participate in three competitions. The better thing for us is to play this match and forget about the past Sunday. We should try to do our best effort and win the match.?

List of called players (16): Aranzub?a, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Laure, Lopo, Ze Castro (defenders); De Guzman, Juan Rodr?guez, Antonio Tom??s, Cristian, Verd??, Guardado (midfielders); Riki, Bodipo and Mista (strikers).

The Segunda club is not interested in the Copa. That’s the hidden message of coach Claudio Barrag??n when he released the list of called players. And the reason is simple: right now all the attention is focused in achieving the permanence. Elche is the last place in the division with only four draws after nine matches, the situation already cost the job to ex-coach David Vidal and Claudio arrived as the emergency solution.

Despite the ex-Depor striker said he is preparing a ?competitive’ squad to face his former club, the true is that he will rest his best man for the weekend’s confrontation against Alav?s. That’s why the lineup for this game will be composed by players who have barely played on this season. That’s the case of goalkeeper Jaime Jimenez (166 minutes on the season), midfielders Juan Manuel Cobo (166) and Sa??l Fernandez (126), ex-Racing striker Iv??n Bolado (52), defender Ib??n Zubiaurre (35), and even French defender Laurent De Palmas who hasn’t debuted yet on this liga season.

These six players will be starters against Depor and all of them accumulate less than the 25% of the minutes disputed so far in Segunda Divisi??n. Of the normal starters in liga, left winger Dani Benitez is the only one that will play against Depor (499 minutes in liga) Actually, he is one of the two players that will repeat his participation compared to the starting eleven that drew with Alicante on last Sunday (0-0). The other one is Daniel Mart?n ?Dani’, the ex-Betis striker that hasn’t scored yet on the Segunda season. Despite his poor moment, Dani should be considered as the main threat for Deportivo, he scored 19 goals in 92 Primera appearances with Betis.

Claudio has not even called for the game some of the most regular starters, like the case of ex-Mallorca defender Fernando Ni?o, ?scar RubioJos? Luis Acciari, this last one is an Argentinean player that Lendoiro failed to sign in the summer of 2004 as the operation with his former club, Real Murcia, fell down in the last minute.

Besides the fact of making rotations, other similarly between Deportivo and Elche are the lack of goals. And it’s that Claudio’s team has only scored five times on the season (the worst mark in Segunda) and arrives to this encounter after scoring only two goals within the last five official matches. And like the case of Depor, the strikers at the squad are in crisis as Miguel Angel Lopez is the only attacker that has scored a goal on the Segunda campaign.

List of called players (16): Willy and Jaime Jimenez (goalkeepers); ?scar Rubio, De Palmas, Olmo, Iv??n Amaya, Samuel, Zubiaurre (defenders); Cobo, Rodri, Usero, Sa??l, Dani Ben?tez (midfielders); Iv??n Bolado, Gato Caprari and Dani (strikers).

Elche: Jaime - De Palmas, Amaya, Olmo, Zubiaurre - Sa??l, Cobo, Rodri, Dani Ben?tez – Bolado, Dani.
Deportivo: Fabricio - Laure, Piscu, Z? Castro, Manuel Pablo - Juan Rodr?guez, Antonio Tom??s - Cristian, Verd??, Guardado - Riki
Referee: Fern??ndez Borbal??n
Kick-off: 21h00 (Mart?nez Valero stadium)

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