Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – ESPANYOL (LIGA, 18h00)

19 Sep 2009
Depor tries to climb positions in the standings as it hosts an RCD Espanyol that arrives to the Riazor occupying the last place and with three key casualties in its squad. It’s expected that Lotina will repeat the starting squad for the third time in a row.

STATISTICS: BAD START FOR ESPANYOL
After two matchdays in la liga RCD Espanyol is occupying the last place on the standings, the Catalan team and CD Xérez are the only two sides that haven’t added any point yet. Besides, Espanyol is one of the three clubs at Primera División that haven’t scored yet any goal (the others are CD Xérez and UD Almeria). Meanwhile Depor is ninth on the standings with a mark of three points in two games, a new win could put them among the top six clubs in Spain.

It’s the opposite situation to what happened to Espanyol on the past season, because on the last liga campaign the Catalan team had two victories after the first two matchdays. The last time that Espanyol started la liga suffering two defeats was on the season 2006/2007, at the time the Catalans lost at home against Nástic (0-1) and away at Zaragoza (0-3).

This is the 38th visit of Espanyol to the Riazor playing for Primera or Segunda División, and the Catalans have been only able to achieve four wins in those confrontations, the last one occurred for the season 2005/2006 (2-1, with goals of Fredson and Armando Sa).

DEPORTIVO: THREE IN A ROW
Coach Miguel Angel Lotina is ready to repeat the lineup for the third straight time, something he only did once since his arrival to Deportivo. However, during the press conference previous to the game, the Basque manager warned that he might give the surprise allowing the appearance as starter of Adrian or Lassad, though the media is convinced that no modifications will be made to the starting squad.

There are two basic reasons why Lotina is repeating the starting eleven: the absence of injury worried at the squad and the acceptable performance of the formation during the previous two games. It is understood that any change will be cause by the fact that Depor has to face two games on the next week (at Xérez and Villarreal at the Riazor), but Depor’s manager already confessed that he is not thinking of those confrontations, at least not yet.

Therefore it’s expected that Depor will play with the same 4-2-3-1 system that defeated Malaga on the past weekend, with Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Laure staying at the right-back position, Albert Lopo and Zé Castro at the centre of the defence, and Filipe Luis on the left sector. In midfield Juca ad Juan Rodriguez will occupy the two pivote positions.

Pablo Álvarez will continue performing on the right wing, while Andrés Guardado will attack by the left flank. Juan Carlos Valerón will be the playmaker and Riki the lonely attacker. It’s the third appearance as starter for the Madrilenian forward on the present liga season, interesting number taking in mind that he only played seven times as starter on the past liga campaign.

Albert Lopo is facing his former club, he was analysing the feelings of the rival after the tragic death of Dani Jarque, “It’s clear that the issue of Jarque might affect them, because it was a hard hit for everybody, besides it happened before the start of the season. I don’t know how big the effect is, but they should be affected because he was a great player and a good person.”

The Catalan defender also analysed the poor start of Espanyol during the season, “They begun without adding any point in the first two matchdays, therefore they are trying to add as soon as possible. I believe that Espanyol has a great team, it’s just that they didn’t have the luck to add, but they have signed well and have better players than before. Anyhow these are teams against whom we can add points and it depends on us, we must do the right things, always trusting in ourselves and trying to win the games.”

Andrés Guardado was talking before the game, he was admitting that he would love to score more often, “To score goals is a consequence of the good game, and I am only worried about that and for been working with the team, later if I am the one that should score the goals, the better. It’s a hope that I’ve, but neither is a responsibility nor the obligation to score ten goals. I just take it easy and the only thing that worries me is to play well.”

Zé Castro was saying that beyond displaying a pretty style, what matters is to win the games, “I prefer to play as against Malaga and add the three points; in the end it’s what matters and what people remember. Everybody wants to play well, though against Malaga I didn’t see the team playing badly. Against Malaga the heat was incredible, but the players gave everything and we were superior, we didn’t leak any goal, we created occasions and we knew how to play at the back zone… I don’t know if people expect us to be the champions, I just hope for a solid season, to be going game by game. We must go step by step. “

Finally the Portuguese is hoping to see Depor having a solid year in defence, "Last year we conceded very few goals, and that doesn’t mean that it will be the same on this year, because in football anything changes from one moment to another. We must be focused during the whole match, but all teams make mistakes. Against Malaga we defended well, except at the end of the match "

With no one at the injury room, the five casualties for the game are just caused for technical reasons: Colotto, Angulo, Antonio Tomás, Iván Pérez and Bodipo. It calls the attention that new signing Angulo was left out for the second opportunity.

List of picked players (18): Aranzubía, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Zé Castro, Adrian López ‘Piscu’, Filipe (Defenders); Juca, Juan Rodríguez, Sergio, Pablo Álvarez, Valerón, Guardado (midfielders); Riki, Adrián, Mista and Lassad (strikers).

ESPANYOL: TRYING TO FIND THE WAY
It has been a terrible start of season for Espanyol, mainly because it lost its captain, Daniel Jarque, just days after the big inauguration of the new stadium, Cornella-El Prats. The death of the defender forced the club to stop the pre-season trainings during one and a half week, something that according to the media has affected the preparation of the team and that has been traduced into two defeats during the first two matchdays of la liga.

To make things worse, the injuries are affecting the Catalan side at this start of season, especially in attack as coach Mauricio Pochettino has lost three key players in his formation: Raúl Tamudo (hamstring), Iván de la Peña (muscular) and Shunsuke Nakamura (ankle sprain). Tamudo is the historic scorer of Espanyol and has conquered four goals against Depor playing for in liga, while De La Peña is considered as the ‘soul’ in midfield, precisely his expected replacement is Nakamura, who is injured too. Therefore the whole responsibility in the offensive sector is now on the shoulders of Joan Verdú, playmaker that left Depor during the summer to join the Catalan side.

Pochettino was even forced to fill the gaps in the list of picked players with the presence of two youngsters coming from Espanyol B: midfielders Juan José Ciércoles ‘Juanjo’ (21-years-old) and Javi López Rodriguez (23). Besides, the casualties represent a golden opportunity for players like José Callejón, Ferrán Corominas or Ben Sahar; men that are usually substitutes and that will have the chance to demonstrate their value at the Riazor.

It’s expected that Espanyol will keep playing with a 4-4-2 system, but there are two modifications compared to the team that was trashed by Real Madrid. In defence everything stay the same, with Carlos Kameni at the goal; Francisco Chica occupying the right-back position, the Argentine duo Dani Pareja-Juan Forlín at the centre and David Garcia on the left sector. García was pretended by Depor during the summer, but later he signed an extension of contract with the Catalan side.

In midfield, Moisés Hurtado will carry with the defensive responsibilities, while ex-Depor Joan Verdú will take care of the offensive duties. The absence of Nakamura and De La Peña is allowing the presence of Callejón and Corominas on the formation, duo that will cover the wings. In attack, Luis García will be joined by Iván Alonso, attacker that was signed on the winter window and that scored the first goal during the 3-1 win of Espanyol over Depor at the end of the past campaign.

It will be a special game for Joan Verdú, midfielder that debuted at Primera División wearing Depor’s shirt, he was commenting what he expects to meet at the Riazor, “I’m willing to travel there and meet the friends that I left, also to complete a good game and pick up the three points.” About his current state at Espanyol, he’s feeling fine, “I am very content, people are treating me really well and the coach is trusting in me. We’re just missing the results, we need the first goal to see the others coming. But there are no nerves, we played two games against tough rivals.” 

Meanwhile, Luis García was saying that Espanyol must stay calmed after the two defeats in liga, “I believe there is no emergency. It’s true we should already have one point and we think we deserved this. Now we must have patience. Things have been made in the correct way and we must continue like this in order to add and win the matches.” He was also confident about achieving a good result at the Riazor, “It’s a good place to start adding and Espanyol must impose its criteria and style of playing.”

List of picked players (19): Kameni, Cristian Álvarez (goalkeepers); Chica, Pillud, Roncaglia, David García, Pareja, Forlín (defenders); Javi Márquez, Fernando, Marqués, Juanjo, Verdú, Moisés Hurtado, Corominas, Javi López (midfielders); Luis García, Callejón, Ben Sahr and Iván Alonso (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubía - Laure, Lopo, Zé Castro, Filipe - Juca, Juan Rodríguez - Pablo Álvarez, Valerón, Guardado - Riki.
Espanyol: (4-4-2) mamen - Chica, Forlín, Pareja, Davíd García - Corominas, Moisés Hurtado, Verdú, Callejón - Luis García, Iván Alonso.
Referee: Fernando Teixera Vitienes
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs Espanyol: 30 wins for Depor, 16 draws, 28 wins for Espanyol (Primera & Segunda)
Mark at the Riazor: 23 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 4 wins for Espanyol (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS SEPT/09

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