Squad news


10 Jan 2010
Depor wants to return to the path of the victory in liga as Osasuna visits the Riazor; Lotina has several casualties in attack, but repeats the team that drew with Zaragoza; meanwhile Pandiani returns to his previous home.

Neither Deportivo nor Osasuna were able to clinch a liga victory during the month of December; Depor lost against Barcelona FC and later clinched three straight draws with Almeria, Valencia and Zaragoza, this last one in January. Meanwhile, Osasuna was losing against RCD Mallorca (0-1) and Athletic Bilbao (0-2), while it achieved two draws against Malaga (1-1) and Real Madrid (0-0)

However, the results in the previous matchdays are clearly differentiating these two teams; Depor is living at the European zone, while Osasuna is at mid-table, eleven points behind the Galicians. Lotina’s team is currently presenting the 7th best record at home, with 14 points after 8 matches at the Riazor (4 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses). Meanwhile, Osasuna presents the 10th best mark in la liga playing outside home, with 8 points added after 8 visits (2 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses). Also to mention that Depor is coming after defeating Valencia in Copa, while Osasuna lost against Segunda’s club Hercules in the same competition (1-2).

Osasuna has only clinched three victories at the Riazor, this after 27 confrontations playing for Primera & Segunda División, but to emphasise that those three wins came within the last five seasons: 2-1 (2007/08), 1-0 (2005/06) and 3-1 (2004/05). The last home victory of Deportivo over Osasuna occurred on the 2006/07 campaign, victory that was possible thanks to a goal scored by central defender Albert Lopo (1-0).

The goal that Andrés Guardado scored at Mestalla to open the scoresheet in Copa Del Rey was also useful to break a Depor’s negative mark of 243 minutes without conquering a goal; and it’s that the previous goal of the Galicians during an official match occurred at Almeria (December 13). In recent years the goals have always been a problem at Deportivo, but in the last month it was even a more scarce resource. Lotina’s team scored at least one goal in 13 of the first 14 matchdays of this liga season, and it only ended scoreless at Valladolid (0-4, matchday 08) plus the second leg-match with Murcia in Copa Del Rey (0-0).

But in December the Galicians lived their worst moment with only two goals scored in four games, and with two straight goalless matches (Valencia and Zaragoza). The period has coincided with a plague of injuries that has sweep the striking zone, and it’s that Lotina lost four of his five strikers within the last four weeks: Riki, Lassad, Mista and Bodipo. To make things worse Riki fell down injured again in the Copa clash with Valencia.

At least Bodipo has surpassed a knee injury and is now joining Adrián as the two available strikers to face the liga game against Osasuna and the returning leg in Copa against Valencia. On Friday, Adrián was talking about the lack of goals and the injury problems in attack, "The ones with more goals at the team, which are a few, only have two, and everybody want to score, especially the strikers. But one thing is to be wishing to score, and another to be obsessed with it. Right now we only have Bodipo and me, therefore we must try to do the right things and bring things to the team.”

Meanwhile, Equatoguinean Bodipo was still complaining about his status after only playing four games on this season, “I am at the limbo right now, because against Valencia three team mates were injured ad I don’t even played. In ten minutes I can’t do anything, sometimes I have to demonstrate twenty-five more things than others in order to be there. I have just played 52 minutes in liga and it’s too little after so many matchdays. But well, they paid us for this, to train, and to be in the best possible way when the coach needs us.”

In order to cover the long list of casualties in attack, Lotina decided to pick David Añon from Fabril as a backup, the playmaker/striker has made a solid season at Deportivo B and is the best assistor at the team with six assists so far. He can also perform as a playmaker, right and left winger and it’s the first time that the 20-year-old player is picked for an official match with the first time. He was talking about his presence in the list for the game, “All the youngsters at the team dream of this moment; if the coach wants me to play, I will do it; if not, I will appreciate the call. It is a surprise that means a hope for me. I want to thank the team mates for their support, and the fact of having other youngsters there is helping me to feel adapted.”

Angulo, Mista, Riki and Lassad are the players staying at the injury room; Juca is already fine, but wasn’t picked for the match because doctors want to be cautious with him. In the end Lotina will be able to present the same lineup that drew with Zaragoza during the past Sunday, the Basque coach didn’t give too many clues during Saturday’s training, but it’s expected a repetition of that starting eleven taking in mind that in three days Depor must face Valencia in Copa Del Rey; the main doubt is that Pablo Alvarez might be starting the game taking the place of Valerón in the playmaking function, ‘The Shark’ impressed during the first-leg with Valencia and might be enough to convince Lotina.

The rest should be the same 4-2-3-1 formation; with Aranzubia at the goal; Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Filipe Luis on the left, Albert Lopo and Diego Colotto at the centre of the defence; Sergio and Antonio Tomás on the pivote tasks; Juan Rodriguez on the right wing, Andrés Guardado on the left and Adrián in attack.

Aranzubia said before the clash that Depor’s squad must not feel pressured to win the match after spending the last month without adding a win, because what matters is to end the competition at the top, “It doesn’t matter if we are fifth, sixth or seventh at this point of the season, the important thing is to be at the top of the table. Later, when we reach the final stretch of the season, we can’t be aware of what the others teams are doing.”

List of picked players (20): Aranzubía, Manu (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Lopo, Adrián López "Piscu", Ze Castro, Colotto, Filipe (defenders); Sergio, Juan Rodríguez, Antonio Tomás, Juan Domínguez, Iván Pérez, Guardado, Valerón, Pablo Álvarez (midfielders); Adrián, Bodipo and David Añon (strikers).

Ex-Deportivo striker Walter Pandiani returns to the Riazor; the Uruguayan played 86 liga matches with the Blanquiazul team within the years 2000 and 2005 scoring 31 goals. Since his departure, he has been a tough opponent for Depor as he scored one goal in liga plus three painful goals in Copa Del Rey. Two of them conquered at the Riazor when he was loaned at RCD Mallorca and that cost the pass to the final (season 2002/2003, 2-3 defeat).

The other goal was scored with RCD Espanyol during the semifinal of the season 2005/2006, goal conquered at Montjuic and that was the decisive one to achieve the pass to the final, at the time the coach of Espanyol was Lotina. On the current season Pandiani has been the most important striker at Osasuna, with six of the fourteen goals in the tally of the Navarrans, which means the 43% of the total.

For the game at the Riazor, coach José Antonio Camacho is returning to the ‘normal‘ 4-4-2 lineup used against Real Madrid after making several rotations for the Copa clash with Hércules FC; the only doubt is at defence. Central defenders Sergio Fernández and Oier San are out injured, the first one is a normal starter and his place will be taken by Miguel Flaño. The doubt is who will be his partner, Josetxo Romero is returning from suspension, but his substitute, Portuguese Rovérsio Rodrigues, impressed with his performance against Real Madrid, and now both have the chance to play against Depor. 

The defensive line is completed with the return of Ricardo to the goal, the presence of César Azpilicueta at the right back position and Ignacio Monreal performing on the left. At midfield, Francisco Puñal and Iranian Javad Nekounam will cover the pivote functions, while ex-Real Madrid Juan Francisco Torres ‘ Juanfran’ will be attacking by the right flank, and ex-Recreativo Javier Camuñas will do the same by the left side. Finally, ex-Numancia Carlos Reina will be joining Pandiani in attack, he is sixth in la liga in terms of assists (4). To mention that Delporte, Vadócz and Dady are out for technical reasons, this last player was the one that scored the winning goal in the last victory of Osasuna at the Riazor.

List of picked players (18): Ricardo, Roberto (goalkeepers); Azpilicueta, Echaide, Roversio, Miguel Flaño, Josetxo, Monreal, Calleja (defenders); Nekounam, Puñal, Rúper, Juanfran, Masoud (midfielders); Camuñas, Jorge Galán, Aranda and Pandiani (strikers).

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Filipe – Sergio, Antonio Tomás – Juan Rodríguez, Valerón or Pablo Álvarez, Guardado - Adrián 
Osasuna: (4-4-2) Ricardo - Azpilicueta, Roversio or Josetxo, Miguel Flaño, Monreal - Juanfran, Puñal, Nekounam, Camuñas – Pandiani,  Aranda.
Referee: Antonio Rubinos Pérez.
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs Osasuna: 27 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 17 wins for Osasuna (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 19 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 3 wins for Osasuna (Primera & Segunda)



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