Competition news

PREVIEW: BETIS – DEPORTIVO (LIGA, 21h00)

01 Nov 2008
Deportivo visits Real Betis searching for its first away victory in la liga and trying to keep its positive record at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera. With this mission in mind, Lotina is trusting in Riki and he has also prepared a couple of modifications with the entries of Juan Rodr?­guez and Verd??. At Betis, coach Chaparro trusts in the same squad that defeated Osasuna though he has lost captain Juanito due to an injury.

STATISTICS: JUST TWO DEFEATS IN THE LAST DECADE
The Manuel Luis de Lopera has been a positive stadium for Deportivo during the last decade, because the Galician squad has only lost twice there within the last ten visits: 0-1 on the season 1997/1998 (matchday 13) and 0-2 during the 2004/2005 campaign (matchday 24). Also, Betis has been only capable to score four goals against Depor during the last ten visits of the Galicians, that’s the lowest number allowed by Deportivo against any other Primera rival during the last decade.

However, both teams arrive to this game living opposite moments. Betis started the season in a poor way, with only two points added within the first six matches, but in the last two encounters they achieved the victory: 3-0 Vs Mallorca and 0-2 at Osasuna, reason why the Andalusians are no longer living in the drop zone. Actually they are only one point behind Deportivo. In the other hand, the Galician club arrives after only adding one of the last six points in dispute and after the 0-3 humiliation at home against Sporting Gij??n.


DEPORTIVO: RIKI LEADS THE ATTACK
Lotina has decided to keep Riki as the lonely striker in the formation after the Madrilenian broke the drought of Depor’s forwards during the Copa match against Elche. The strikers at the squad had a mark of 1,020 minutes without scoring a goal during an official match, but they managed to score twice during the victory at Elche. Precisely Lotina has also decided to call for the game the other scorer at the Mart?­nez Valero: Rodolfo Bodipo. That’s why Omar Bravo was left out of the game while the other option will be Mista.

Other modification that Lotina has prepared is the introduction of Joan Verd?? to his scheme. The Catalan started as playmaker in the Copa match with Elche and ended as pivote after De Guzm??n left the game injured. Now Lotina has decided to keep the ex-Barcelona in his natural role of playmaker. The decision means that Angel Lafita will move his position to the right wing, while Pablo Alvarez goes to the bench. Andr?©s Guardado completes the offensive formation as the Mexican will continue on the left wing.

In midfield, Lotina is keeping Julian de Guzman in contention, the Canadian was replaced in the game with Elche due to muscular problems, but now he’s fit to play. What it’s changing is that Sergio will not start the game as Juan Rodr?­guez will be now the partner of De Guzm??n. In this way Depor’s coach is preparing a very defensive duo in the double pivote figure.

Another of the novelties is that Z?© Castro will keep his spot at the centre of the defence. It was expected that Diego Colotto would regain his place after fulfilling his suspension, but Lotina has decided to continue playing with the Portuguese defender. His partner at the centre will be Albert Lopo. The side defenders will be the usual ones: Manuel Pablo on the right and Filipe Luis on the left.

Riki was saying before to the game that he’s pleased to see the coach is now counting with him �We always work thinking of going out as part of the starting eleven. If I have the chance to play against Betis, I will try to demonstrate to the coach that he still can count with me, and especially I will try to help the team. It’s something to be thankful to realise the coach is valorizing your work. It makes you feel important inside the team.�

Midfielder Juan Rodr?­guez was hoping this match will become into Depor’s first liga win away from the Riazor â€?It’s a privilege to be playing in three competitions, but we know we can’t forget about la liga. It’s the most important tournament. The victory at Elche was useful in order to leave behind our pessimism and to meet again with the goal. We haven’t won’t yet in la liga playing away from home. Sunday's game is a good occasion to achieve our first away victory in liga."

Together with Omar Bravo, the players that were not called for technical reasons are Cristian and Laure, while Dudu Aouate and Gustavo Mun??a still sidelined. Antonio Tom??s is joining Pablo Amo (Achilles) and Barrag??n (knee) in the injury room. The Cantabrian suffered an ankle sprain in the warm-up of the game against Elche and he will be out for a couple of weeks.

Called players (19): Aranzubia, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Adri??n L??pez â€?Piscu’, Colotto, Z?© Castro, Lopo, Filipe (defenders); Juan Rodr?­guez, De Guzm??n, Sergio, Verd??, Valer??n, Guardado, Lafita, Pablo Alvarez (midfielders); Riki, Mista and Bodipo (strikers).

BETIS: A LATE START
The fans were expecting for more after Betis was the third club in la liga in terms of money invested in the summer market (€31.7 million). The financial resources were focused in four players: Achille Emana, a Cameroon playmaker signed for €6.7 million, Argentinean left-back Luciano Monz??n who cost €9 million, Portuguese right-back Nelson from whom Betis paid €6 million and striker Sergio Garc?­a who was sold by Zaragoza in €10 million.

There was also room for Turkish midfielder Mehmet Aurelio and ex-Levante right winger Juanma, both of them arrived in zero-cost transfers. But things started slowly for coach Francisco Chaparro has his team spent tough times in la liga during the first six matchdays, actually if was rumored that Chaparro might be fired due to the poor results. And things radically changed in the last two weeks as Betis conquered two victories. These results have lifted the expectations and the morale of the fans.

Curiously, the players that have leaded the reaction are the ones in which the fans had less expectations, that’s the case of midfielder Mehmet Aurelio, midfielder linked with Depor during the summer and that has been the heart of the squad at the centre of the pitch. Other player that’s awakening is Mariano Pavone, Argentinean striker that has scored two goal in the last two liga matches. Other player leading the reaction is defender/right winger Dami?? P?©rez. Before this season, the Catalan had only scored three goals in his Primera career, but now he accumulates two within the last three liga encounters.

Betis has three casualties for the game: Juanito (back injury), Mark Gonz??lez (knee sprain) and Luis Eduardo Schmidt 'Edu' (thigh). This last player scored one goal during the Copa victory over Castell??n (2-0), it was the returning match for the Brazilian after suffering a similar problem before and now the new setback is sidelining him for at least six weeks. Chaparro is recovering Xisco (ankle) after a six-week absence though the striker wasn’t called for the game, while Emana and Nelson have surpassed the physical problems suffered during the week.

Juanito will be the main casualty at the squad, because the defender, together with Arzu and keeper Casto, represent the only three players that have performed completely the previous eight matches in liga. The place of Betis’ captain will be taken by Juan Alberto Andreu �Melli’, defender that already played five games on the season, but only once as starter. Chaparro confirmed the rest of the squad will be the same one that defeated Osasuna during the past weekend.

Therefore Chaparro will keep playing with a 4-2-3-1 formation. With Casto Espinoza in the goal, Nelson at the right-back position, Arturo Garc?­a â€?Arzu’ alongside Melli on the centre of the defence, Fernando Vega on the left side, Mehemet Aurelio and Jes??s Capit??n â€?Capi’ as the two pivotes, Damia Abella covering the right wing, Sergio Garc?­a the left, Achille Eman?? in the playmaking function and Mariano Pavone up front.

Arturo Garc?­a Mu?±oz â€?Arzu’, one of the three men that have played all the minutes in liga, was appointing that no matter the good moment of the team, they should keep a humble behaviour on the pitch â€?Humility has been our slogan before and we must continue like this. We shouldn’t despise any rival. We should be playing as we wouldn’t have achieved a victory yet.â€?

Called players (18): Ricardo, Casto (goalkeepers); Rivas, Nelson, Melli, Monz??n, Arzu (defenders); Capi, Rivera, Juanma, Dami??, Emana, Fernando Vega, Mehmet Aurelio, Juande (midfielders); Sergio Garc?­a, Jos?© Mari and Mariano Pavone (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Betis: Casto - Nelson, Arzu, Arzu, Fernando Vega - Mehemet Aurelio, Capi - Dami??, Emana, Sergio Garc?­a – Pavone
Deportivo: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Z?© Castro, Filipe – De Guzm??n, Juan Rodr?­guez – Lafita, Verd??, Guardado - Riki
Referee: Delgado Ferreiro.
Kick-off: 21h00 (Manuel Luis de Lopera)
Record Vs Betis: 15 wins for Depor, 12 draws, 9 wins for Betis (Primera)
Record at Betis: 6 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 7 wins for Betis (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/08

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