Squad news


03 Oct 2009
Depor searches the Champions League places as it visits the Canary Islands, one of the toughest zones for the Galicians in their history at Primera. For the occasion Lotina is making two changes forced by the injuries.

The Canary Islands is not the best place for Deportivo in order to play a Primera match, because the Galician team has a negative record against clubs from that region of the Atlantic Ocean such as RCD Mallorca (only six wins after thirty visits to Soin Moix) or UD Las Palmas (only four wins after seventeen visits to the Gran Canaria stadium); and CD Tenerife is not the exception. After nine Primera visits to the Heliodoro Rodríguez López stadium Depor was only able to pick up one victory.

And that triumph occurred during the season 1993/1994 (0-1, goal of Alfredo); since then, Depor has played six games in the largest of the seven Canary Islands and the Galician team was only able to achieve four draws, while it suffered two defeats.

To have in mind that CD Tenerife is basing its season on the home performance, this since the six points achieved so far were added at the Heliodoro Rodríguez: 2-1 Vs Osasuna (matchday 02) and 1-0 Vs Athletic Bilbao (matchday 04). Meanwhile this is the third visit of Depor, Lotina’s team searches for the second win away from home after the 0-3 success at CD Xérez.

Also, Depor is the sixth best offensive team in la liga with nine goals scored after five matchdays, actually Deportivo has scored at lest one goal within the last six meetings at Primera División, the last time that Lotina’s team ended scoreless was in the 1-0 defeat at Sevilla FC (May 23, matchday 37 season 08/09).

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina will complete two modifications compared to the squad that defeated Villarreal at the Riazor, and those changes are provoked by the injuries of Adrian (adductor) and Juca (muscular). It’s expected that Riki and Juan Rodríguez will take their spots. The rest should be the same 4-2-3-1 system displayed on the past weekend.

Daniel Aranzubia will be the starting keeper, Manuel Pablo will continue playing at the right-back position, while Filipe Luis will keep adding appearances on the left side. Diego Colotto will add his third straight appearance as starter as he will join Albert Lopo at the centre of the defence.

In midfield Juan Rodríguez is reappearing as he will join Sergio in the pivote functions, Pablo Alvarez will cover the right wing and Andrés Guardado will attack from the left flank. Lassad Nouioui will keep performing as playmaker though he will be rotating his function with Riki, who now will be playing in the position that he likes the most: central attacker.

Bodipo is the biggest novelty in the list of picked players, the Equatoguinean was called for the first time on the season; Zé Castro was also picked after missing the game against Villarreal due to a back problem, but he has lost his starting place in defence with Colotto. Meanwhile, Iván Pérez, Piscu and Angulo still without entering into the plans of Lotina.

It’s a special game for Mista and Valerón, two men that will be sited on the bench, Mista played at Tenerife at the beginning of his career -the coach was Rafa Benitez- The Murcian was expressing his happiness for been returning to his previous home, “It will be a special game for me, there I became a person and a football player. I don’t play at the Heliodoro since six or seven years ago, the last time was with Valencia and it’s about time to do it.”

For Valerón it’s a special game because he is facing a club from the Canary Islands, El Flaco is returning to Tenerife after seven year without visiting the island, he was commenting the match, “It’s always special to return to the Canary Islands and play in Tenerife. It isn’t for the rivalry between Las Palmas and Tenerife, but the opposite, I always want the best for Canarian football, because as long as we have more Canarian clubs between the elite, the better chances to see our players succeeding. Tenerife is a team that’s following the same line of the past year at Segunda. They always offer good football.”

Meanwhile, Guardado was also talking before the game, the Mexican analysed the fact of spending the last ten months without scoring (his last goal was against Feyenoord), “The goals will come sooner or later. It isn’t something obsessing me, neither I am worried. Actually it’s the opposite, I like to see people demanding this for me, because it means they see me prepared to do it.”

Diego Colotto was feeling optimistic ahead of the game, “We hope to achieve a new triumph against Tenerife, so we can reach the pause in la liga with good expectations. Every game is different and has a special taste, but out strategy is always to have the ball and achieve a good result. It will be good to add the tree points and see ourselves in the group of teams at the top.”

But Albert Lopo was warning about the potential of the rival, "We arrive to this game after two wins and a third straight victory will be important, but also dangerous, we can’t despite Tenerife. We must be careful facing the teams at the bottom or the recent promoted clubs, especially playing at their stadium and in front of their fans."

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers), Manuel Pablo, Laure, Lopo, Colotto, Zé Castro, Filipe (defenders); Juan Rodríguez, Antonio Tomás, Sergio, Pablo Álvarez, Valerón, Guardado (midfielders); Mista, Bodipo, Lassad and Riki (strikers).

Coach José Luis Oltra has been described as a manager that likes to practice an offensive football, and his Tenerife has demonstrated this since the past season at Segunda: the team was the second best offensive line with 79 goals scored and clinched an impressive mark of 14 wins after 21 matches played at home. They only lost three times at the Heliodoro Rodríguez: CD Castellón (1-2), UD Salamanca (2-3) and Real Zaragoza (1-2).

And part of that offensive power was already saw at Primera División, because after five matchdays Tenerife is third in the category of attempts to score (85 opportunities, Depor is 11th with 63) the problem is that those attempts haven’t been materialized into goals, and it’s that the Canarian team has only scored three times on the liga season, which converts Tenerife into the second worst effective team as it needs 28 attempts to score a single goal.

Besides, the offensive game of Oltra leaves open spaces that the rivals are tying to capitalise, as example of this is that keeper Sergio Aragoneses has been forced to make 22 saves within the first five matchdays, which is the 4th highest mark in la liga –Aranzubia is 10th on the list with 19 saves- Another problem are the injuries, the Canarian side has three long-term cases: Right-back defender Marc Bertrán (ankle fracture); midfielder Ricardo Leon (nose fracture) and central defender Manolo Martínez (stress fracture).

Against Depor all the hopes will be on Juan Francisco Martínez, 'Nino' and Alejandro Alfaro. Nino was the last Pichichi at Segunda with 29 goals scored, though in this tournament he has only scored once, while Alfaro is a young and promising playmaker of Sevilla FC that’s completing his second season loaned at Tenerife, he’s considered the leader in midfield and on the past season he scored the impressive mark of 20 goals at Segunda.

The big problems are in defence, because Oltra will have to improvise in order to cover the casualties of Marc Bertrán and Manolo Martínez -both injured in the 0-3 defeat at Real Madrid- It’s expected that 22-year-old Aitor Salvador Nuñez will take the place of Bertrán at the right-back spot, while ex-Atletico Pablo Sicilia will replace Martínez at the centre of the defence. Nuñez has only played once on the season, while Sicilia has made two appearances. The other central defender will be Argentine Ezequiel Luna while ex-Numancia Carlos Bellvís will cover the left spot.

It will be a 4-2-3-1 system, with two pivotes in midfield: ex-Real Sociedad Mikel Alonso -brother of Xabi Alonso- and Espanyol on loan Román Martínez, the Argentine is returning after surpassing a knee contusion. In attack, ex-Murcia Ricardo Pérez ‘Richi’ will cover the right wing, Cameroonian Daniel Ngom Kome will perform on the left side, while Alfaro will be the playmaker and Nino the lonely attacker.

Left-back defender Bellvís was explaining the game of his team and at the same time was expressing his satisfaction with their current position, “Tenerife likes to move the ball, we are fine at home and this is the path to follow. We are occupying the place that we deserve and let’s see if we can keep that line. We must forget what happened in Madrid, it was a big score but we already turned the page, now we only think of Deportivo La Coruña.”

Meanwhile, Kome is expecting to achieve a positive result at home, “If we keep the same level, la liga will give us some options, but the better thing is to go game by game. Now we must focus on Deportivo. We play at home and need to add those three points, it doesn’t matter how. The rival is a good team; they defend well and are dangerous in attack.”

List of picked players (18): Luis García, Sergio Aragoneses (goalkeepers); Aitor Núñez, Pablo Sicilia, Culebras, Ezequiel Luna, Carlos Bellvís (defenders); Richi, Mikel Alonso, Román Martínez, Alfaro, Ayoze, Kome, Gaizka Saizar (midfielders); Nino, Ángel, Dinei and Omar (strikers).

Tenerife: (4-2-3-1) Aragoneses - Aitor Núñez, Luna, Sicilia, Bellvís - Román, Mikel Alonso - Richi, Alfaro, Kome - Nino.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe - Sergio, Juan Rodríguez - Pablo Álvarez, Lassad, Guardado – Riki.
Referee: José Luis Paradas Romero
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (Heliodoro Rodríguez López)
Head-to-head Vs Tenerife: 13 wins for Depor, 13 draws, 12 wins for Tenerife (Primera, Segunda & Segunda B)
Record at Heliodoro: 4 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 9 wins for Tenerife (Primera, Segunda & Segunda B)



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