Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – MALAGA (LIGA, 17h00)

06 Dec 2008
Deportivo will try to continue with its positive streak and will continue in the quest for the first places in la liga. For this Lotina is keeping the same squad of recent games. The rival is Malaga, club that’s living a solid season and that’s arriving to the Riazor in the middle of the scandal for corruption.

STATISTICS: NO WINS FOR MALAGA AT THE RIAZOR
The new Malaga CF (the old one was CD Malaga) has visited the Riazor in seven opportunities, and they haven’t been able to achieve a victory there yet. The Andalusians were just able to add a point back on the season 2001/2002 (2-2). Actually, Malaga has only defeated Deportivo once after fourteen confrontations at Primera Divisi??n. It was on the 1999/2000 campaign as Joaqu?n Peiro’s Malaga defeated Irureta’s Depor with a goal scored by Dario Silva at La Rosaleda (matchday 27).

No matter the record at the Riazor, it must be appointed that Malaga is living a positive season. The Andalusians are currently 9th in the table and a victory on this match will put them at the same height of Depor. At thing to emphasize about Malaga is that the team coached by Antonio Tapia has already scored 21 goals after 13 matchdays. That’s the sixth best mark in la liga, only surpassed by the giants Barcelona (40), Real Madrid (30), Valencia (28), Atletico (28) and Villarreal (23).

But Malaga has only won twice after six visits on this liga campaign: 4-0 at Recreativo (matchday 06) and 1-0 at Sevilla (matchday 08). Meanwhile Depor returns to the Riazor, stadium where the Galicians have won eight of the eleven official games played there during the present season. Only three teams have ?survived’ the Riazor on this season: Hajduk Split (0-0 in UEFA), Mallorca (0-0 in liga) and Sporting Gij??n (0-3 in liga). Besides Depor has won seven of the last nine matches played in all the competitions (two in Copa, two in UEFA and five in liga). The only defeat in this period of time was the 1-4 setback at Atl?tico Madrid.

A thing to emphasise is that a victory over Malaga will mean the triumph number 500 for Deportivo at Primera Divisi??n. So far the Galicians have disputed 1,277 matches in the elite. Another fact to have in mind is that Depor has added 1,539 points in those 1,277 games. Number that puts Deportivo at the 12th position in the historic table of Primera, just eight points behind 11th place Celta.

DEPORTIVO: THE USUAL SQUAD OF LOTINA
After a period in which coach Miguel Angel Lotina was used to fulfill rotations, now it seems that the Basque has found the squad that he likes for la liga. And it’s that in recent encounters just a few things have changed in the formation, more precisely the duo performing in midfield and the striker of the scheme. However, all this changes have been always caused by injury reasons and this time it isn’t an exception.

No matter Lotina has expressed his concerns about the tireness of his players, the squad that will face M??laga at the Riazor will be the same one that defeated Almeria on the past weekend with one modification: the return of Sergio to midfield in order to cover the absence of Antonio Tom??s, the Cantabrian has been struggling with a hip problem during the week. Also, the formation is almost the same one that defeated Athletic Bilbao a fortnight ago, the only exceptions in that opportunity were Bodipo and Piscu. The first one didn’t end that game for injury reasons and the second was replacing suspended Albert Lopo, one of the fixed players in the squads of Lotina.

In this way the lineup will be the usual 4-2-3-1 conformed by Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Filipe Luis at the left sector, Z? Castro and Albert Lopo at the centre of the defence, Juan Rodr?guez joining Sergio in midfield, Andr?s Guardado covering the left wing, Angel Lafita the right spot, Joan Verd?? performing as the playmaker and Mista in attack.

It will be a special game for Juan Rodr?guez since he will face his former club, the Andalusian was explaining his feelings on Saturday ?It’s a special match because I wore that shirt for a long time. To have it before me will be a weird thing, but it is also pretty because I have a lot of friend on there. We are hopeful about all the competitions without forgetting la liga. We want to keep the pace and continue adding good results.?

Daniel Aranzubia also talked with reporters, he admitted the squad is tired after been playing the UEFA, but also wants to keep the good streak ?People is a little tired, but it can’t be an excuse. From here to Christmas we will face four games and people is focused on that, we know that later we will have time to rest. A victory will mean to add three straight wins, that’s very important in order to continue at the top.?

Together with Antonio Tom??s, the other players at the injury room are Pablo Amo , Rodolfo Bodipo and Pablo ?lvarez. This time Lotina has called the twenty men he had available, two of them won’t be at the bench on Sunday. Antonio Barrag??n is not inscribed for the competition while Dudu Aouate and Gustavo Mun??a still sidelined by Lotina.

List of called players (20): Aranzubia, Fabricio, (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Z? Castro, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe, Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’ (defenders); De Guzm??n, Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez, Lafita, Guardado, Cristian, Verd??, Valer??n (midfielders); Mista, Omar Bravo and Riki (strikers).

MALAGA: SOLID SEASON… AND SCANDAL
The effort done by Malaga’s squad on the season is more than plausible. The Andalusians were pointed at the start of the liga campaign as one of the candidates for the relegation, but instead they are living in mid-table territory, aspiring to reach the European places and enjoying one of the best scoring records in la liga: 21 goals in 13 matches (1.61 goals per match). And all of this with just a budget of €10.4 million, that’s the sixth part of Depor’s budget (€65 million).

An interesting fact is that 12 of the 21 goals on the liga season have been scored by three attackers: French Nabil Baha (5), Portuguese Sergio Paulo Barbosa ?Duda’ (4) and Eliseu Pereira (4). This last player is a 20-year-old Portuguese left winger that has been linked as a possible reinforcement for Depor in the next season. The gunpowder at Malaga is also impressive as they have other attackers like ex-Depor man Albert Luque and Depor’s Adri??n L??pez, this last one currently loaned by Lendoiro’s club. Both, Luque and Adri??n, have scored one goal on the season and they usually shine during the games.

However, the sweet dream of Malaga has been spotted by the shadow of corruption. During the week it has been denounced that Malaga ?bought’ some games on the past season in order to achieve the promotion. More precisely the last game of the season between Tenerife and Malaga, match that was won by the Andalusians (2-1) and that gave them the ticket to Primera. The president of Real Sociedad (I?aki Badiola), club that ended 4th on the season and that was left out of the ?train to Primera’, has been denouncing since some months ago that several Segunda clubs were paid by Malaga in order to allow the results that the Andalusian club needed.

All exploded this week as newspaper El Mundo revealed a tape in which ex-Tenerife player Jes??s Antonio Mora ?Jesuli’ was admitting that he received between €6,000 and €7,000 in order to allow the victory that gave the promotion to Malaga. Ex-Depor central defender Juanma Delgado has been also included in the scandal as he was appointed as the person that was the link between Tenerife and Malaga’s officials. Juanma was part of Tenerife and even caused a penalty in that game as he handled a ball inside the area. Malaga’s authorities have denied all the accusations while the president of la liga, Luis Astiazar??n, has already demanded a full investigation.

About the lineup that will play at the Riazor, coach Tapia is forced to make a modification. It’s the case of striker Adri??n L??pez, he was loaned during the summer coming from Depor and the Andalusian side is forced to pay €150,000 in order to allow the participation of the Asturian youngster in any of the matches against Deportivo. Malaga can’t afford the clause and Tapia will choose a familiar face of the Riazor in order to replace him: Albert Luque.

The Catalan fulfilled 101 games in la liga wearing Depor’s shirt and scored 26 goals, curiously one of them was against Malaga at the Riazor and it is remembered as one of the most beautiful goals in the history of Deportivo. Now he will try to repeat it at the opposite goal. The rest should be the same squad that defeated Osasuna on the past weekend: a 4-4-2 figure with I?aki Goitia at the goal, Jes??s G??mez at the right-back position, Iv??n Cuadrado and Brazilian Weligton at the centre of the defence, ex-Villarreal Javier Calleja on the left, the duo Miguel ?ngel-Antonio Galdeano ?Apo?o? in midfield, Duda at the right wing, Eliseu on the left and Baha playing alongside Luque in attack.

Interesting will be the confrontation between Jes??s G??mez and Guardado, the right-back has shined on the season and he has been appointed as a candidate for Spain’s national squad, actually national coach Vicente del Bosque will be watching the game at the Riazor following his progress and also the one of Depor’s Lafita, Aranzubia and Lopo.

Albert Luque was talking during the week and compared Depor and Malaga ?We are two teams that have been obtaining a lot of points. It is going to be a complicate and very equal game. They have dangerous wingers, because Guardado and Lafita are living a good moment and people up front is making the goals. We must have in mind their players, they are tied with Atletico Madrid, playing in UEFA and it’s a great team.? Similar were the ideas of Duda ?The stronger point of these teams is the group. If all of them don’t yield, they will hardly survive.? The Portuguese said to AS.

No matter the potential of Malaga in the attacking zone, coach Tapia does not have too many options on the bench. With Baha and Luque on the pitch and with Adri??n out, he only have Fernando Fern??ndez as a possible alternative. This because Salva Ballesta is injured. Actually it was rumoured that Tapia would call Juan Rodriguez’s brother, Carlos Rodr?guez, from the B squad. But in the end he preferred to include an additional defender in the list: right-back Manolo Gaspar.Other players out for injury reasons are Rossato, Pere Mart?, Jos? Juan Luque and Cheli.
 
Called players (18): Arnau, Gotilla (goalkeepers); Jes??s G??mez, Weligton, Ib??n Cuadrado, Calleja, Manolo Gaspar, Manuel Ortiz ?Lolo’ (defenders); Apo?o, H?lder Rosario, Duda, Eliseu, Miguel ?ngel, Pablo Barros, Ignacio P?rez ?Nacho’ (midfielders); Albert Luque, Fernando and Baha (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe – Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez – Lafita, Verd??, Guardado – Mista.
M??laga CF: Goitia - G??mez, Cuadrado, Weligton, Calleja – Duda, Apo?o, Miguel ?ngel, Eliseu – Baha, Luque
Referee: Carlos Clos Gom?z
Kick-off: 17h00 (Riazor)
Record Vs Malaga::  8 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 1 win for Malaga (Primera)
Record at the Riazor: 6 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 0 wins for Malaga (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/08

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