Competition news

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

09 May 2009
Recreativo plays for its life, while Depor targets the UEFA zone. It could be the last hope for the Andalusians as they trust in the couple Camu?as-Colunga. At Depor, Lotina allows the return of Verd??, while Bodipo will lead the attacks.

STATISTICS: ZERO WINS IN HUELVA
The visits to Huelva have never been a pleasant trip for Deportivo, because the squad has never won there after 75 years. The Galicians have played there 18 times against Recreativo (3 in Primera, 13 in Segunda and 2 for Copa Del Rey) in three different stadiums (Vel??dromo, Viejo Colombino & Nuevo Colombino), and the squad only managed to achieve five draws and nine goals in favour, actually Depor was able to score more than one goal until the game of the past liga campaign, and it ended in a 2-3 defeat.

However, Recreativo is living its worst moment of the season with only three points added within the last seven matchdays. It seemed the Andalusians were on its way to Segunda as they suffered six straight losses between matchday 28 & 33, but the win at Osasuna has given new hopes as the team is at the drop zone, but only one point away from the safety. To emphasise that together with Real Betis, Recreativo is the worst home team at Primera Divisi??n with only 16 points added at the Nuevo Colombino (4 wins and 4 draws). Their last victory there occurred four months ago: 1-0 Vs Betis (matchday 20, January 25).

Meanwhile, Depor knows that a victory on this game will put them at the doors of Europe, especially since direct rivals Villarreal and Valencia are facing tough games against Barcelona and Real Madrid. But Depor hasn’t had a solid season away from home, this since Lotina’s team has only added 19 points in 17 liga visits, that’s the worst mark between the aspirants to Europe (Barcelona, Real Madrid. Sevilla, Valencia, Villarreal, Atletico and Malaga).

A final statistic fact is related to the fair play ratings. The UEFA Executive Committee endorsed a change to the criteria for allocating the additional places reserved to Respect Fair Play winners in next season's UEFA Europa League. As defined in the club competitions regulations, the three places in the UEFA Europa League will automatically go to the three best-placed national associations in the Respect Fair Play ranking, provided they attain an average of 8.0 points or more. This means that contrary to previous editions, there will not be a draw to determine which two national associations will have the right to enter an additional team on top of the outright winners. So far, Spain is 13th in this ranking (8.01), but it’s very close to the third place, Scotland (8.186). And inside Spain, Barcelona is the leader of the table with 72 points, while Depor (95) is second and Recre third (96). All this means that both teams playing at the Nuevo Colombino have a chance, small, but a chance to reach the new Europa League through this system.

DEPORTIVO: ALL EYES ON BODIPO
With Lassad discarded of the game due to a muscular contracture problem, coach Lotina has decided to switch the system into a 4-2-3-1 figure, this means with only one striker in the formation. And the man selected for the job is Rodolfo Bodipo, the Equatoguinean forward was a discard at the start of the season, but his six goals and good performances throughout the campaign have convinced everybody, so much that Lotina will keep him in the squad after appearing twice in the last two starting lineups.

It will also be a special game for Bodipo, because he is facing one of the teams in which he debuted in Spain. Totally, Bodipo played 96 games in la liga as part of Recreativo’s squad scoring six goals. He already said he won’t celebrate in case of scoring a goal against his former club. The ex-Alav?s man continues to be the most effective player at Depor’s squad with one goal scored every 202.5 minutes.

Tunisian Lassad was picked for the game, but he was unable to participate in Saturday’s training session (held at Sevilla’s sporting city). So the striker is now out of the match after been a starter in the last two meetings. His exit means that Lotina will return to play with the figure of a ?normal’ playmaker, role that Joan Verd?? has executed in the major part of the liga matches (26 of the 34 games played so far). The Catalan is also the second best scorer at the squad with six goals on the liga season, he is returning after missing the last two games due to injury reasons.

About the rest of the lineup, it will be the same formation that defeated Valladolid during the past weekend. Daniel Aranzubia will try to add a new clean sheet to his account, while the defensive line will be composed by Manuel Pablo performing at the right-back position, Filipe Luis on the left sector, and the duo Z? Castro-Colotto at the centre. Albert Lopo is already fit to play, but since the squad has only leaked one goal within the last four matches, Lotina has decided to leave things the same.

At midfield, Sergio and Juan Rodriguez will cover the pivote functions. Since Antonio Tom??s still injured (stress fracture), Lotina decided to call Julian De Guzm??n as a backup option on the bench, this no matter he said previously that he and Angel Lafita will not play anymore on the season since both are at the door out. The Canadian, however, picked an adductor problem during Saturday’s training and it was rumored that Lotina would call a player from Fabril or any of the two discards for technical reasons (Pablo Amo or Cristian) as an emergency move, but the doctors confirmed that De Guzm??n will be fit enough to be sited on the bench.

Lafita was also included in the list for the game, but it is expected that Pablo Alvarez will be the starting option at the right wing, while the left side will be covered by Andr?s Guardado. The Mexican has only scored two times in liga, but he is the top assistor at the squad with nine in all the competitions (seven in liga).

Before traveling to Andalusia, Pablo Alvarez was saying to reporters that this game is more important for Recreativo than for Depor, ?The normal thing is to see them noticing it. They are playing for their life, it’s one of their last chances and the game is more important for them than for us. For them because they will suffer, and for us is pretty due the things we’re playing for.?

Together with Antonio Tom??s, the other two players at the injury room are Adri??n L??pez ?Piscu’ and Mista. The Galician defender was training during the week, but he was left out due to precaution reasons. Finally, Cristian and Pablo Amo were discarded for technical reasons.

List of called players (19): Aranzubia, Mun??a (goalkeepers); Laure, Filipe, Lopo, Manuel Pablo, Z? Castro, Colotto (defenders); Verd??, De Guzm??n, Guardado, Juan Rodr?guez, Lafita, Pablo ?lvarez, Sergio, Valer??n (midfielders); Bodipo, Lassad and Riki (strikers).
Note: Lassad was part of the trip to Huelva, but he will not play the game.

RECREATIVO: THE LAST HOPE?
The six straight losses suffered between matchdays 28 and 33 wiped away all the hopes at Huelva, the disappointment was so big that even president Francisco Mendoza said in public that he no longer was believing in the salvation, something that awoke criticism among the fans and even from the players at the squad. But the big back-to-back win at Osasuna, scoring two goals within the last ten minutes, has risen again all the hopes.

And its’ that now, Recre is just one point below the safety, meaning that any point added means gold, especially the ones disputed at home. And with only two matches left at the Nuevo Colombino (the other against Racing), this confrontation represents a big final for the Andalusians. Everybody knows this and that’s why the intention is to have a full stadium against Depor. The club’s authorities cut the price of the tickets by 50% and on Saturday it was reported that only 1,000 tickets were still available.

This could be the first sold-out game for Recreativo on the liga season, not even the visits of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Andalusians rivals Sevilla and Real Betis were able to provoke the reaction had with this match (the Nuevo Colombino has a capacity of 21,670 spectators). All this means Depor will meet a tough environment there, something that could be favourable or not depending of the circumstances.

Regardless to the lineup that will face Depor, coach Lucaz Alcaraz is able to present the same squad that achieved the important win at Pamplona, that means a 4-1-4-1 figure, though there is a modification: Aitor Tornavaca, who performed at the left side against Osasuna, will advance his position to midfield since Jos? Manuel Casado (loaned by Sevilla FC) is returning to cover the sector.
 
Ex-Real Sociedad Asier Riesgo will be the goalkeeper, Iago Bouz??n will cover the right-back position in defense, while Casado will cover the left side. At the centre, Nasieff Morris and Arzo will try to stop Depor’s attacks. South African Morris is the only field player at Primera Divisi??n that has performed during all the possible minutes on this liga season (3,060).

In midfield, Valencian Rafael Barber will perform as the lonely pivote, while the right wing will be covered by ex-Valladolid Sisinio Gonz??lez ?Sisi’, ex-Sporting player Javi Fuego and Aitor will perform as the two playmakers on the formation, while the goals will be the responsibility of Javier Camu?as and Adri??n Colunga, without doubt the best two players of Recreativo on this liga season..

Camu?as, who has been doubtful all over the week due to a hamstring problem, is the Pichichi at the squad with ten goals scored, while Colunga follows him very closely with eight goals added to his tally. This means that combined, this two players have scored the 56% of Recreativo’s goals during the liga campaign (18 of 32). Also to emphasise the presence of Javi Guerrero in the list for the game, the Madrid-born attacker has an interesting record of eight goals scored against Deportivo (5 with Racing and 3 with Recreativo), though on this season he has only scored twice in 19 appearances. He will be waiting for a chance sited on the bench.

A thing that surprised were the declarations of striker Ersen Martin, who promised to score four goals in the last four games if the coach gives him the chance to play, ?I think I can do it, to score four goals in the remaining four matches, but for that I must play more than fifteen minutes per game. Right now I am working fine, without injuries, but the coach wants me to play for 20 minutes, 45 minutes or 15 minutes, like it happened at Pamplona. Maybe I am not at 100%, but surely I am at an 80% level.? Martin has only played twelve times on the season, all of them as a substitute and has scored just once (the first goal Vs Osasuna).

Meanwhile, Javi Fuego, player that was close to join Depor in the past alongside keeper Manu, was aware of the importance of the game, ?The match is truly important and it is very clear we must win it in any possible way. Let’s hope nothing weird will happen and that it will be a clean and normal match.?

Defender C?sar Arzo was saying that a key for the salvation is the past game with Osasuna, because that victory is raising the morale of the players, ?We have now a different point of view compared to the previous week. The victory at Pamplona was, especially, a thing that raised the morale and now we see things difficult, but we must be sincere, not so impossible like one week before. I think that now the team is going up.?

List of called players (18): Roberto, Riesgo (goalkeepers); Morris, Lamas, C?sar Arzo, Iago Bouz??n, Jos? Manuel Casado, Alain Nef (defenders); Jes??s Vazquez, Maidana, Sisi, Barber, Aitor, Javi Fuego (midfielders); Javier Camu?as, Ersen Martin, Adri??n Colunga and Javi Guerrero (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Recreativo: Asier Riesgo - Iago Bouz??n, Morris, Arzo, Casado - Barber - Sis?, Javi Fuego, Aitor, Camu?as - Adri??n Colunga.
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Z? Castro, Filipe - Sergio, Juan Rodr?guez - Pablo ?lvarez, Verd??, Guardado - Bodipo.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (17 games on the season, 10 wins for the visitor)
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Nuevo Colombino)
Head-to-head Vs Recreativo: 10 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 15 wins for Recreativo (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Nuevo Colombino: 0 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 11 wins for Recreativo (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/09

ZAPPING

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