Squad news

PREVIEW: VALENCIA – DEPORTIVO (COPA, LAST-16 ROUND)

06 Jan 2010
Lotina changes half of his team ahead of the first-leg confrontation with Valencia FC, while Unai Emery is only completing a few changes. The major part of the modifications at Deportivo are occurring at defence.

STATISTICS: NO DEFEATS AT HOME FOR VALENCIA
Valencia FC hasn’t lost a Copa Del Rey confrontation at Mestalla within the last three years; the last time was on January of 2007 as the Orange team lost against Getafe (2-4), since then they have played eight matches at home achieving seven victories and one draw, precisely that draw occurred on this season as Emery’s team drew with Segunda B club Alcoyano in the previous round (2-2). Besides, on the present liga campaign Valencia has only lost two games, and one of those setbacks occurred at Mestalla: 2-3 Vs Real Madrid.

This is the eighth confrontation between Valencia and Deportivo playing for Copa Del Rey; The Valencians won the first five ties: 1942/43 (aggregate 5-3), 1943/44 (aggregate 6-2), 1948/49 (aggregate 1-0), 1963/64 (aggregate 5-1) and 1990/91 (aggregate 7-2). But Deportivo has won the last two meetings, including the final game of the edition 1994/95 (2-1). The last confrontation occurred on the 2005/06 campaign, Depor won it with a 2-1 aggregate score, though the series is more remembered for the coin that hit the assistant referee during the leg played at Mestalla.

To emphasise that Deportivo arrives to this match in the middle of its worst moment in liga, with only three draws added within the last four liga matches, while Valencia added two wins and one draw in the same period. However, only four points are currently separating these teams at the standings

DEPORTIVO: SIX CHANGES IN THE LINEUP
On the past Saturday coach Miguel Angel Lotina announced that the teams playing against Zaragoza and Valencia were going to be very similar, but the true is that the Basque man is planning to change the half of the team for the Copa clash at Mestalla. The major part of the changes (4 of 6) are occurring at defence, with Filipe Luis been the only one that will continue in the starting eleven as he will cover the left-back position.

The rest of the defensive sector is different, with Manuel Fernandez Muñiz ‘Manu’ returning to the goal after clinching two clean sheets in his previous two appearances in Copa Del Rey against Real Murcia. Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ is also returning to the right sector, while Adrián López ‘Piscu’ and Portuguese Zé Castro will cover the central positions. Lopo is out of the game as he was reserved for the liga clash with Osasuna after suffering a knee problem during Tuesday’s training session.

The only sector that will stay the same are the couple of pivotes, Sergio and Antonio Tomás will keep playing there. Juan Rodriguez is also staying at the starting eleven, but this time he will appear at the playmaking function after performing in the right wing in the liga encounter against Real Zaragoza.

Now Pablo Alvarez is entering in order to play as right winger, while Andrés Guardado will keep attacking by the left flank. The final modification is the appearance of Riki in attack, the Madrilenian is returning from a stress fracture problem and will replace Adrián, who is rested for Sunday’s clash with Osasuna.

List of picked players (20): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe, Zé Castro, Adrián López ‘Piscu’, Manuel Pablo (defenders); Antonio Tomás, Juan Rodríguez, Sergio, Iván Pérez, Valerón, Guardado, Pablo Álvarez, Juan Domínguez (midfielders); Adrián, Riki and Lassad (strikers).

VALENCIA: ZIGIC AT THE STARTING ELEVEN
Nikola Zigic will start his third game in Copa Del Rey after he scored Saturday’s winning goal over RCD Espanyol during the stoppage time. The Serbian is on form and represents the main modification that coach Unai Emery is making for the occasion. The ex-Racing Santander has just played 85 minutes on this liga season, though he already scored twice. He was a starter in the previous two legs with Alcoyano and scored one of the goals for his team.

It is expected that Valencia’s manager will only make four changes compared to the team that defeated RCD Espanyol for la liga, and three of the four modifications are occurring in defence, with ex-Mallorca Miguel Angel Moyá appearing at the goal, Portuguese Miguel Brito playing at the right-back position and ex-Castellón Angel Dealbert joining David Navarro at the centre, while Bruno Saltor will keep playing on the left.
 
In midfield David Albelda and Argentine Ever Maximiliano Banega will be the link between defence and attack, Albelda is playing because he is suspended in liga after picking his fifth yellow card of the season. David Silva (knee ligaments) and Vicente (low back pain) are returning from their injury cases, but it’s too soon for them and all appoints that Joaquín will keep playing at the right wing and Jordi Alba on the left.

The other modification in the squad is the mentioned appearance of Zigic replacing Juan Manuel Mata, while David Villa will be his partner in attack. El Guaje has scored six times against Depor playing for la liga and also has one goal against the Galicians playing for Copa Del Rey.

Winger Joaquín Sánchez was urging his team to achieve a victory on the first leg- game, “We should leave the tie on track, because Deportivo tightens the things at their stadium. We must be cold minded and face the game, they know how to lock things at the back zone, it is a complicated rival and we must try to open their defence by the wings, it is going to be a highly disputed tie.”

Keeper Moyá was having the same impression of the match, “Depor already demonstrated that it is a very uncomfortable rival for our game, because they are always well placed at the back zone. I think the game will be a copy of the match we played in La Coruña (0-0) and of the last one with Espanyol (1-0).”

List of picked players (20): César, Moyà (goalkeepers); Bruno, Miguel, David Navarro, Dealbert, Maduro, Asier del Horno (defenders); Albelda, Marchena, Fernandes, Joaquín, Baraja, Vicente, Éver Banega, Mata, Silva, Jordi Alba (midfielders); Zigic and Villa (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Valencia: Moyà - Miguel, Dealbert, Navarro, Bruno - Joaquín, Albelda, Banega, Jordi Alba – Villa, Zigic.
Deportivo: Manu – Laure, Piscu, Ze Castro, Filipe – Sergio, Antonio Tomás – Pablo Alvarez, Juan Rodríguez, Guardado – Riki.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo.
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Mestalla)
Head-to-head in Copa: 3 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 7 wins for Valencia.

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/09

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