Squad news


29 Nov 2008
Important game seeking for the top places in la liga, Deportivo wants to prolong its good moment and improve its record playing away from home. Riki and De Guzman are returning though it seems they won’t be starters. At Almeria, all the hopes are in Alvaro Negredo, one of the main scorers in la liga.

This is the third official confrontation between Deportivo and UD Almeria. The Galicians still seeking for its first victory over the Andalusians, actually they are still missing to score a goal against them. Almeria was recently founded (1989) and this is its second season at Primera Divisi??n. On the past season they won the two games against Deportivo, including a surprising 0-3 at the Riazor during the opening game of the liga campaign.

Currently Almeria is not living a positive moment, it started well adding three wins within its first five matches in liga, but in the last seven, the Andalusians just achieved one victory and were defeated in four occasions, including a devastating 0-5 at Barcelona one month ago. However, Almeria is just three points below Depor (12th with 15 points) and a triumph will mean an important boost for them.

An important thing to have in mind is that Almeria has been very strong playing at Estadio de Los Juegos Mediterr??neos, while Depor has showed his worst face performing away from the Riazor. And it’s that eleven of the fifteen points added by the Andalusians were achieved at home. Actually they have only suffered one defeat there: 0-1 Vs Sevilla (matchday 07). In the other hand, of the eighteen points added so far by Depor, only five were achieved playing as a visitor. 

A curiosity in this game is that Estadio de Los Juegos Mediterr??neos is by far the most expensive place to watch Primera football. A single ticket can cost 240€, and that’s the main reason why Almeria usually plays at home with a low attendance. In order to raise the number of spectators for the game against Depor, the officials at the Andalusian club have announced that the socios will be able to obtain an additional ticket with a 50% discount.

The latest results are leaving Depor in a comfortable position, with big chances of passing the round in UEFA and occupying the 7th place in liga, tied in points with 6th place Atletico Madrid. Therefore the Galicians will try to keep the pace and achieve the results that will allow the continuity of this situation, at least until the Christmas break.

On Saturday, coach Lotina didn’t test any specific lineup before the trip to Almeria, however it’s possible to figure the starting squad at Estadio de Los Juegos Mediterr??neos taking in mind the rotations made for Thursday’s UEFA clash with Feyenoord. The novelties in the list are Julian de Guzman (thigh) and Riki (tendonitis), players that already surpassed their injuries though they will probably be sited on the bench. Meanwhile, Sergio was left out of the squad due to a knee problem, but the case of the Catalan isn’t serious and he has been rested for the UEFA trip to Lech Poznan.

About the lineup for the game, Lotina will probably keep the base that defeated Athletic Bilbao on the past weekend, the only novelties should be Albert Lopo and Mista. The Catalan is returning from suspension and will play alongside Z? Castro at the centre of the defence, while the ex-Valencia will probably take the role of striker as Rodolfo Bodipo is out for a month after sustained a knee injury in the last liga encounter.

The rest should be the normal squad, with Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Filipe Luis on the left, Antonio Tom??s keeping his place in midfield alongside Juan Rodr?guez, Joan Verd?? returning to the playmaking function after his impressive game against Athletic, Andr?s Guardado trying to increase his tally of goals after scoring twice within the last two official games and Angel Lafita who will return to the right wing

It will be a special game for Juan Rodr?guez, because the Andalusian will face one of his closest friends: Juanito. Two men that starter theirs career with Antonio Tapia at Malaga CF. Rodr?guez commented to AS about this issue: ?He is my best friend in football, we talk a lot, but we didn’t do it during the week, though we will talk about the game today (Friday). But I already have a prediction: 0-1. Who will score? I don’t care, it could even be the keeper.?

Angel Lafita was remembering that Almeria defeated Depor twice on the past season ?They defeated us 3-0 at the Riazor during the past season and in the second round, when we were in the worst moment, they sunk us. Therefore, the homework for this season is to take the six points.?

With Riki and De Guzm??n already fit to play, Pablo Amo, Bodipo and Pablo Alvarez are the only ones at the injury room. The case of Sergio is a minor problem and he has been reserved for next week’s trip to Poland. Meanwhile Laure was not called to the game while Dudu Aouate and Gustavo Mun??a continue sidelined by Lotina.

Called players (19): Aranzub?a, Fabricio (keepers); Manuel Pablo, Ze Castro, Lopo, Colotto, Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Filipe (defenders); Antonio Tom??s, Cristian, De Guzm??n, Guardado, Juan Rodr?guez, Lafita, Valer??n, Verd?? (midfielders); Mista, Omar Bravo and Riki (strikers).

The Andalusian team has lost the impulse of the start of season as Gonzalo Arconada’s squad has only achieved one victory within the last seven liga matches, but the true is that they are only three points away from the European places, reason why they still confident about their chances. And all the hopes are on striker Alvaro Negredo, the ex-Real Madrid Castilla player that has scored 8 of the 14 goals conquered by Almeria on the liga season (57% of the total).

Negredo is considered as the diamond of the club as he already scored thirteen times on the past season (36 games), and all appoints that he will break his personal mark on this campaign. Another player that has been shinning is Pablo Piatti, Argentinean midfielder that has scored three goals in nine games and that’s the most expensive transfer in the history of the club (Almeria paid €7 million to Estudiantes La Plata during the summer).

No matter Almeria is living in the tranquil zone, the fans are very upset with the behaviour of coach Gonzalo Arconada during the games, more precisely with the changes that he has made. In the past match with Osasuna, he replaced Negredo when the match was still tied and later refused to fulfill the last change despite been playing with ten men after the expulsion of Guilherme. In the end his team lost the game with a 1-3 score and the media blamed Arconada for the defeat.

No matter the last setback in liga, Arconada won’t make too many changes to the squad that suffered the defeat against Osasuna and will keep playing with a 4-2-3-1 formation. More precisely, the Basque will only make two modifications, the first one is caused by the absence of left-back Guilherme who is suspended. His place will be taken by Jos? Manuel Jimenez ?Mane’, player that will delay his position on the pitch since he usually performs on the left wing.

The rest of the defence will be the same one that lost at the Reyno de Navarra, ex-Espanyol Bruno Saltour will cover the right spot and the duo Carlos Garcia-Hern??n Pellerano will play at the centre, this since normal starter Jos? Manuel Flores ?Chico’ was not called to the game though he already surpassed an Achilles injury.

Juan Jes??s Gutierrez ?Juanito’ and ex-Rayo Vallecano Julio Alvarez will keep their places in midfield territory. The second modification that Arconada will fulfill is the appearance of Albert Crusat on the left wing, he will take the place of Man? who is delaying his position in order to perform in defence. Crusat is an ex-Espanyol player that gave a lot of problems to Depor during the past season and that even scored a goal at the Riazor during the opening game of the past season. Juan Manuel Ortiz will keep his place on the right wing and Argentine Pablo Piatti will continue performing as the playmaker of the formation.  Finally, Alvaro Negredo will be the lonely striker.

Right-back Bruno will be responsible of the mark over Guardado, something that he sees as a very tough mission ?I have to dance with the ugliest one. We will have to put pressure over him, we need to see him feeling uncomfortable, especially since we are playing at home.? The Catalan was also remembering the two victories over Depor of the past season ?At the Riazor we started well, but in Almeria it was tough for us, no matter they were in the drop zone.?

Called players (18): Diego Alves, Esteban (goalkeepers); Bruno, Carlos Garc?a, Pellerano, Acasiete, Man? (defenders); Juanito, Julio Alvarez, Soriano, Corona, Kalu Uche, Juanma Ortiz (midfielders); Ortiz, Negredo, Natalio, Piatti and Crusat (strikers).

Almeria: Diego Alves - Bruno, Carlos Garc?a, Pellerano, Man? - Juanito, Julio ?lvarez - Jos? Ortiz, Piatti, Crusat – Negredo.
Deportivo: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe – Antonio Tom??s, Juan Rodr?guez – Lafita, Verd??, Guardado – Mista.
Referee: Iturralde Gonz??lez.
Kick-off: 17h00 (Estadio de los Juegos Mediterr??neos)
Record Vs Almeria: 0 wins for Depor, 0 draws, 2 wins for Almeria (Primera)
Record at Almeria: 0 wins for Depor, 0 draws, 1 win for Almeria (Primera)


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