Squad news


13 Sep 2009
Deportivo searches its first win in liga and is repeating the same squad that lost against Real Madrid, though Lotina has now the options of Lassad and Adrian on the bench. Malaga wants to continue in the same way and only presents two changes.

Malaga FC has never won in La Coruña after eight visits at Primera División. The Andalusian side has only been able to pick up a draw (2-2, season 2001/2002), while the last five matches ended in a defeat for them: 0-1 (2002/2003), 0-1 (2003/2004), 0-1 (2004-2005), 1-2 (20005/2006) and 0-2 (2008/2009). But this Malaga will try to change the history and presents its credential with an impressive 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the opening matchday of la liga.

Meanwhile, Depor will try again to base its season in a solid performance at home, in the past campaign Lotina’s team clinched 36 points at the Riazor, number that represented the sixth best record in la liga, only surpassed by Barcelona (45), Real Madrid (44), Atletico (40), Villarreal (39) and Almeria (37). At the other side, Malaga clinched 24 points playing away from home, mark that represented the sixth best at Primera, only surpassed by Barcelona (42), Sevilla (35), Real Madrid (34), Atletico (27) and Villarreal (26).

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina will repeat the formation that lost at the Bernabéu against Real Madrid, but at the same time he has recovered all the injury players at his squad, meaning that he has enough options to prepare the debut of Deportivo at the Riazor during the present liga season. The only doubt is Filipe Luis, the Brazilian has a small problem on his left knee, if he is not fit enough Angulo will take his place, that’s the reason why the coach picked 20 player for the encounter instead of the traditional number of 19.

The lineup will be composed by Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Laure at the right-back spot, Filipe on the left flank and the duo Lopo-Ze Castro at the centre of the defence. Juca and Juan Rodriguez are the two pivotes, Pablo Alvarez will stay at the right wing, Guardado on the left, Valerón will be the playmaker and Riki the lonely attacker

On the bench Lotina will have three options for the role of attacker: Mista, who was one of the Pichichis during the pre-season; Lassad, who impressed during the last part of the past season and that has surpassed his muscular problems; and Adrian, who is returning after spending the last year and a half loaned at Deportivo Alavés and CD Xérez.

 With no injury worries at the squad, the only absence is Angel Lafita, who still in the limbo about his contract situation, while the three discards for technical reasons are: Adrian López ‘Piscu’, Bodipo and Antonio Tomás, this last one already surpassed a hamstring problem.

The match represents an emotive game for some players like Adrian, Munúa, Luque and especially Juan Rodriguez, the midfielder made his whole career at Malaga before joining Depor, he was explaining his feelings to reporters, “I still have a lot of good friends at the squad and also some club officials. It’s a special game for me, because I spent there almost my entire career.”

‘Juanro’ was also emphasising the importance of a victory during the next two games of Deportivo, “Right now what we need to do is work hard and let’s see if we are capable of achieving two straight victories at home, first against Malaga and then against Espanyol. Malaga gave the surprise in the first matchday with the 3-0 win over Atletico. They have a great team and have signed good players. We would love to add these three points at home, in front of our fans; we are willing to win after what happened at the Bernabéu.”

Meanwhile, Ze Castro was explaining the importance of achieving a win in this game, "It's important to reach the second game with a victory, this in order to be calmed and keep practicing our football, because later the nerves come out. We have to win at any cost, to add the three points and occupy a good place in the table ahead of the next game, which is also played at home. The goal of the season is to go game by game."

Finally, Valerón was asked about his feelings after scoring a goal in the debuting game and if he was wishing to repeat it in this encounter, “To score another goal? Everything related to bring things is good for the players that perform from midfield to attack. In my case, and for my style of playing, I always prefer to give a pass to the partner.”

List of picked players (20): Aranzubía, Manu (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Lopo, Zé Castro, Colotto, Filipe, Angulo (defenders); Juca, Juan Rodríguez, Sergio, Pablo Álvarez, Valerón, Guardado, Iván Pérez (midfielders); Riki, Mista, Lassad and Adrián (strikers).

Everybody is talking about the moves completed by Real Madrid and Barcelona during the summer window, but the true is that Malaga CF was the side that completed the major number of operations during the market: 30 (14 signings and 16 exits), without including the return of coach Juan Ramón López Muñiz, who two seasons ago achieved the promotion to Primera with the Andalusian club and that worked with Racing Santander during the past campaign.

Despite the number of arrivals, Malaga just spent €1.3 million in new signings (3 operations), the rest were six zero-cost transfer moves plus six loans. Among the most important incorporations are Duda, who is now joining permanently the squad after the previous loan from Sevilla, also ex-Depor Albert Luque, who secured a contract with Malaga, and also Victor Obinna, who is coming loaned from Intern Milan. Ex-Depor keeper Munúa also joined the Andalusian team, right now he’s the starting goalie of the squad.

But Malaga has also lost potential, because key players during the past season have left the club; that’s the case of Eliseu (Lazio), Goitia (Betis), Calleja (Osasuna), Adrián López (Deportivo), Salva (without club) and Popo (Murcia). However these casualties didn’t prevent the squad from achieving an impressing 3-0 win over Atlético Madrid during the opening day of la liga.

For the game against Depor, coach Juan Ramón López Muñiz is only making two modifications compared to the squad that trashed Atletico in the first matchday. Both changes are occurring at defence as central defender Milan Stepanov (hamstring) and Danish left-back Patrick Mtiliga (bounded leg) had injury problems in the game against the Madrilenians (Stepanov was replaced at half-time and Mtiliga at minute 17). In the end Mtiliga was picked for the game, but he will stay on the bench.

Their substitutes will be Brazilian central defender Robson Wellington and 20-year-old left-back Manuel Torres ‘Manu’, who debuted against Atletico with a solid performance and even scoring a goal. The rest will be the same squad, with ex-Depor Gustavo Munúa at the goal, Manuel Gaspar ‘Manolo’ at the right-back position and Jesús Gámez as the partner of Wellington at the centre of the defence.

Ex-Almeria Juan Jesús Gutiérrez ‘Juanito’ and ex-Barcelona B Xavi Torres will be the two pivotes in the formation, while Valdo and Duda will cover the wings. New signing Fernando Forestieri will perform as the second striker and Nabil Baha will be the lonely attacker. This means that ex-Depor Albert Luque will start sited on the bench.

Precisely, he talked before the game; he was explaining to reporters why he celebrated the goal that he scored in the past season against Depor “It’s a special game for me. My only intention is to pick up the three points there. I’ve always celebrated the goals that I have scored against Depor, at both Malaga and Mallorca, but I won’t do it playing at the Riazor, this since I respect the fans that always supported me. For respect to them, I won’t celebrate.”

The Catalan also explained his role at the squad of Muñiz, “The end of the last year was good. I was really excited about reaching Europe with this team. Now I'm trying to reach the highest level and to perform as I did in La Coruña, club that gave me the chance to play for the national team and in the Champions League. The position I like is the left wing and is where I can contribute more to the team. But on this year, Muñiz is working harder with the wingers, he wants more, he wants us to be more defensive and we're working on it. “

Another ex-Depor player talking before the game was Gustavo Munúa, “It is going to be a pretty game, special for me, because I will meet friends and ex-team mates. It is going to be a pretty opportunity to win there and start strongly outside home. Deportivo is a complicate rival, a very balances team.”

List of picked players (18): Arnau, Munúa (goalkeepers); Jesús Gámez, Wellington, Manu Torres, Mtiliga, Manolo Gaspar (defenders); Xavi Torres, Valdo, Duda, Edinho, Juanito (midfielders); Albert Luque, Nabil Baha, Fernando, Forestieri, Benachour and Obinna (strikers),

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1)  Aranzubía - Laure, Lopo, Zé Castro, Filipe - Juca, Juan Rodríguez - Pablo Álvarez, Valerón, Guardado - Riki.
Malaga: (4-4-2) Munúa - Manolo, Gámez, Wellington, Manu - Duda, Xavi Torres, Juanito, Valdo – Forestieri, Baha.
Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Riazor)
Record Vs Malaga: 9 wins for Depor, 6 draw, 1 wins for Malaga
Record at the Riazor: 7 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 0 wins for Malaga



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