Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – VALLADOLID (LIGA, 17h00 CET)

02 May 2009
Depor searches Europe and Lotina plans to use the same lineup that faced Malaga. This no matter that Lopo and Lafita are returning to the squad. Valladolid arrives with Pedro Le??n fit for the game, but with Goitom as a last-minute casualty.

STATISTICS: THE POOREST VALLADOLID OF THE SEASON
The violet team has only picked two points within its last six games in la liga, that’s the worst mark for Mendilibar’s squad during the present season. Before this dark period, Valladolid had European options, but the drought of victories has left the squad eleven points behind the UEFA zone. And with an eight-point gap with the drop zone, the squad is virtually saved, therefore their season can be considered as over. Also to emphasise that Valladolid has remained scoreless in the last five games.

Valladolid also has poor numbers playing away from home. In 16 matches outside the Jos? Zorilla, the squad has suffered 11 defeats. However, it has clinched three wins in very difficult stadiums: 3-0 at El Madrigal against Villarreal (matchday 12); 2-1 at the Calder??n against Atletico Madrid (matchday 21) and 2-1 at Mestalla against Valencia (matchday 25) plus the 3-2 at the Nuevo Colombino against Recreativo (matchday 26).

Meanwhile, Depor still is trying to improve its already solid numbers at the Riazor. The Galicians have added 31 points in 16 matches played at home; this means the 64.46% of the points disputed at the Riazor on the season. It is the first time in five years in which Deportivo is so effective at home, the previous occasion was on the season 2003/2004, time when the Galician side clinched the 73.68% of the points disputed at home (42 of 57 points).

DEPORTIVO: SAME SQUAD THAT FACED MALAGA
After spending the whole week without testing anything special in the lineup, it was clear that the thoughts of coach Miguel ?ngel Lotina were related to use the same formation that left a positive impression at Malaga, and that’s exactly what the Basque coach will do for the visit of Real Valladolid. It will be the same 4-4-2 figure, with Rodolfo Bodipo in attack and with Tunisian Lassad Nouioui acting as a second striker/playmaker.

At the same time, Lotina is recovering key players that have been injured lately, that are the cases of Albert Lopo (Soleus) and Angel Lafita (knee sprain). Both men have been very important for Depor’s solid season and are returning after some weeks out, but they will not be starters in the game for different reasons.

Firstly, Lotina wants to keep the same defensive duo at the centre that has only allowed one goal within the last three games: Z? Castro-Diego Colotto. Later, with Lafita on his way to Zaragoza, the Basque coach wants to see the potential of Pablo Alvarez ahead of next season. That’s why ?The Shark’ will be a starter for the fourth straight time. All of this taking in mind that Depor needs a victory in order to keep the track of the European positions.

The lineup is completed by Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo performing at the right-back position in defense, Filipe Luis on the left sector, the duo Sergio-Juan Rodriguez in midfield, and Mexican Andr?s Guardado performing on the left wing.

Valladolid’s game is so important for Lotina that he decided to call all the available men for the occasions, the only exception is Canadian Julian De Guzm??n, who was left out of the game because the coach sees him ?distracted’. The 20 men picked for the confrontation had been concentrated since Saturday’s night at Hotel Hesperia Finisterre.

With the return of Lopo and Lafita, the injury room is now occupied only by three men: Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’, Mista and Antonio Tom??s. Mista already started to train during this week, but it isn’t known yet if he will be able to play before the end of season. Piscu should be ready on the next week, while Antonio Tom??s may be available for the final two matches of the season.

Filipe Luis was talking before the game about the UEFA chances of the squad, ?We still alive in the fight for the UEFA. We must win at least three more matches. If we are able to add four, the better, but we must be focused, because there’s no easy rival. It was demonstrated by Espanyol, a rival that was the last place and that defeated the leader Barcelona.?

Meanwhile, Colotto was explaining to La Voz de Galicia why defence has been so solid in the last three games, ?What happens is that the players at the team have started to play a little more close to each other. Each game is a different story, but in a general sense we have defended pretty well, with Juan (Rodriguez) given the balance. The squad found the way to perform better.?

List of called players (20): Aranzubia, Mun??a (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Z? Castro, Lopo, Pablo Amo, Colotto, Filipe (defenders); Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez, Pablo ?lvarez, Lafita, Guardado, Cristian, Verd??, Valer??n (midfielders); Bodipo, Riki and Lassad (strikers).

VALLADOLID: FIGHTING THE APATHY
With the permanence virtually achieved, the ?demon? that has been tormenting coach Mendilibar is the apathy of his squad. And it’s that Valladolid hasn’t achieved a victory within the last six matchdays, while it has spent scoreless in the last five liga meetings. To make things worse, a plague of injuries have been affecting the squad lately.

Henok Goitom was the last man that scored a goal for Valladolid in la liga, it was at the S??nchez Pizju??n on March 31, and if the Violet team doesn’t achieve a goal at the Riazor, they will tie their negative history mark of six straight matches without scoring a goal in the competition. And to have in mind that Goitom, who is the Pichichi at the squad with nine goals, is a last-minute casualty after picking an ankle sprain on Saturday.

But the Swedish attacker isn’t the only casualty due to injury reasons, because Pedro L??pez (pubis), Garc?a Calvo (toe), Vivar Dorado (Achilles) and Jonathan Sesma (adductor) are also out of the game in La Coru?a. The absence of Sesma, alongside the one of Goitom, is the most important one at Valladolid, because Mendilibar has been unable to find a proper replacement at the left wing.

Sesma has been out for a month and Dami??n Escudero, ?scar S??nchez and even Pedro Le??n have been tested there without good results, this time, Mendilibar will use the option of N?stor Cannobio, the ex-Celta man has scored four goals in the liga season.

For the game at the Riazor, Mendilibar is completing five changes in the formation.  Sergio Senjo is staying at the goal after surpassing a tonsillitis case, but Pedro L??pez (pubis) is out and his place at the right-back position will be claimed by Javier Barajas, who is delaying his position from midfield in order to fill the gap. At the centre of the defence, I?aki Bea and Luis Prieto will continue performing there, while Alberto Marcos will keep playing at the left.

In midfield, Mendilibar will play with a triple pivote figure: ?lvaro Rubio, Borja Fern??ndez and Oscar S??nchez, Cannobio will now occupy the left wing, and Pedro Le??n will perform on the right side. The ex-Levante was the best player during the game of the first round and even scored a great goal from midfield. Definitely, he will be the main reference in attack for the visitors.  Finally, Brazilian Pedro Henrique Oldoni will be the lonely attacker. The ex-Atl?tico Paranaense has just played five games on the season and has scored a goal.

?lvaro Rubio, one of the players with more minutes on the season, was saying before the game that Valladolid must improve its level after playing very badly during recent matches, ?The true is that the other day we didn’t complete a good game, because we were too thick. We must achieve a victory to be more calmed and look to the rest of the season in a different way. The team is not relaxed no matter we are almost saved. We have had complicate games. The past week was hard with three games on it, but now we have more time to be physically and mentally recovered, so we are prepared.?

The midfielder was also talking about Deportivo, ?It’s a team well placed, and represents a rival that fulfills dangerous counterattacks, especially on the left side, and that possess solid gunpowder up front. They want to achieve their goals and we also need the victory. It is going to be a complicated game at their stadium, each side with its own weapons.?

List of called players (19): Asenjo, Justo Villar (goalkeepers); Baraja, Nano, Luis Prieto, I?aki Bea, Marcos, ?scar S??nchez (defenders); Borja, ?lvaro Rubio, Medunjanin, Jes??s Rueda, Aguirre, Pedro Le??n, V?ctor, Canobbio (midfielders); Ogbeche and Oldoni (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Z? Castro, Filipe - Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez - Pablo ?lvarez, Guardado - Lassad, Bodipo
Valladolid: Asenjo - Baraja, I?aki Bea, Luis Prieto, Marcos - Pedro Le??n, Alvaro, Borja, Oscar S??nchez, Canobbio - Oldoni
Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro (13 games on the season, only 2 wins for the local)
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs Valladolid: 29 wins for Depor, 17 draws, 29 wins for Valladolid (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 24 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 5 wins for Valladolid (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/09

ZAPPING

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