Squad news

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

13 Jan 2010
Depor will try to seize the 2-1 advantage in Copa despite the big numbers of casualties at Lotina’s team; meanwhile Valencia arrives with all their best attackers, with the exception of Mata, who has been rested for la liga.

STATISTICS: AN IMPOSSIBLE MISSION FOR VALENCIA?
Valencia has never achieved a comeback in Copa after losing the first leg at Mestalla with a 1-2 score, this already happened in three opportunities. The last time against Espanyol on the season 1982/83 with the returning leg ending 2-2; while on the campaign 1968/69 it occurred against Elche with the second match ending 1-1; and the first occasion was against Barcelona FC on the season 1941/42; after the initial 1-2, the Catalans clinched a 3-2 win in the second leg.

Meanwhile, Depor has never lost a two-leg series in Copa Del Rey after winning the first game playing away from home, something that has occurred in eighteen opportunities. The first time was on the season 1941/42 as Depor visited Cultural Leonesa to achieve a 1-0 win during the first leg of the first round, the returning leg ended 0-0. Curiously it was the same scenery during the previous round in Copa as Depor defeated Real Murcia at La Nueva Condomina (1-0) and later clinched a 0-0 at the Riazor.

However, it must be appointed that, currently, Valencia FC is the best visitor in la liga, with the 63% of their points (22) added away from Mestalla, which indicates that it won’t be easy for Depor. In order to qualify to quarterfinals, Deportivo only needs to draw or to even lose by a 0-1 score, this since the two goals scored at Mestalla would count as double in case the aggregate score is tied. Meanwhile, Valencia needs a 2-0 win to achieve the pass or to win the encounter scoring at least three goals.

DEPORTIVO: INJURIES AND MORE INJURIES
The injury room is pretty busy on these days at Deportivo; since the past week coach Miguel Angel Lotina already knew that for this game he was going to have the casualties of Brayan Angulo (knee ligaments), Mista (groin), Lassad Nouioui (stress fracture) and Riki (knee), but suddenly the Basque manager lost three more players after the last liga game against Osasuna: Andrés Guardado (stress fracture, knee), Pablo Álvarez (adductor, knee) and Sergio (contracture, knee). The most complicate case is the one of the Mexican winger, who will end missing two months of competition.

Therefore Lotina is facing the second-leg against Valencia with a 2-1 advantage, but with seven casualties due to injury reasons, and to add that Diego Colotto was not picked since the Argentine has tonsillitis, reason why he will be rested for the liga clash at RCD Mallorca. At least Depor’s coach is recovering Juca, who is returning from an ankle sprain, plus Antonio Tomás, who ended the game with Osasuna with muscular problems. In the end Lotina has picked winger/playmaker/striker David Añon and central defender David Rochela from Deportivo B in order to complete the list, plus midfielder Juan Dominguez, who already played three games in liga with the first squad.

The casualties are forcing the coach to a complete change in the attacking zone, but the defence will be the same one that faced Valencia during the first-leg, with Manuel Fernandez Muñiz ‘Manu’ returning to the goal after making solid games in his first three matches in Copa Del Rey. Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ is also returning to the right sector, while Adrián López ‘Piscu’ and Portuguese Zé Castro will cover the central positions. Filipe Luis will stay on the left.

At midfield, Juca returns in order to play alongside youngster Juan Dominguez, while Juan Carlos Valerón will be the playmaker of the squad. Juan Rodriguez, who scored the winning goal on the past Sunday, will be the only attacking player repeating his presence compared to the liga game with Osasuna, he will cover the right wing, while Iván Pérez reapers as the replacement of Guardado on the left. Finally, Rodolfo Bodipo will play in attack, it will be his fifth official game on the season, which means that he won’t be able to leave during the winter window, at least if he wants to join another Spanish club.

Keeper Manu said before the game that the team is conscious about the fact that the pass to the next round is not yet defined, “If we want to reach the final, we need to pass a series of obstacles, and the first one is to eliminate Valencia. They are forced to come to the Riazor and achieve a result. We didn’t close the series at Mestalla and is going to be a tough game, besides we have several casualties and it could be noticed.”

He was also warning about the presence of Villa, who also came out from the B squad of Sporting Gijón, “Villa wasn’t fine at Mestalla, but I still think he can be dangerous and Mata is following the same direction. I followed him a lot though he was older; he was a reference for us. Now is one of the best strikers in the world. I believe he will go out for the game since the beginning; just as it happened in Mestalla, there we struggled at the beginning with a series of attacks that complicated the game.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Adrián López ‘Piscu’, Zé Castro, Rochela, Filipe (defenders); Antonio Tomás, Juca, Iván Pérez, Añón, Juan Rodríguez, Juan Domínguez, Valerón (midfielders); Adrián López and Bodipo (strikers).

VALENCIA: MATA OUT, DOMINGUEZ IN
Unai Emery knows that his team needs goals in order to achieve the pass, and that’s why he has picked all of his artillery for the clash at the Riazor; in this sense he is traveling with Villa, Zigic, Silva, Joaquín, Vicente, Jordi Alba and ’Chori’ Dominguez, this last one debuted on the past weekend against Xérez and now will debut as starter as he will play behind David Villa in attack

The only attacking player that has been reserved is Juan Manuel Mata, who is rested after taking part in the major part of matches played on this season. Pablo Hernández was appointed to be returning in this game, but the doctors think is too soon for him and will be reserved for la liga.

The idea of Emery is to present an attacking team, with a couple of novelties in defence, starting with Miguel Ángel Moyà returning to the goal, and with Portuguese Miguel Brito playing at the right-back position. Like the case of Mata, Bruno Saltor has been rested, which means that Jeremy Mathieu will play on the left. David Navarro will keep performing at the centre of the defence, while the doubt is who will be his partner, the options are Angel Dealbert and Alexis Sánchez.

At midfield, Carlos Marchena will be joined by Argentine Ever Maximiliano Banega in the pivote functions. Joaquín will attack from the right flank and David Silva from the left. Finally, ‘Chori’ Dominguez will play behind Villa in attack. Always to mention that El Guaje has scored six times against Depor playing for la liga and also has one goal against the Galician team playing for Copa Del Rey, but the Asturian attacker has not scored a goal since December 17, day in which he scored against Genoa during the UEFA Europa League.
 
Éver Banega said before the game that he is feeling optimistic about the chances of his squad, “The key is to not lose our mind, because the game lasts 90 minutes and Valencia has the chance to achieve the comeback. We are the third best scorer in la liga and must seize that. We are feeling fine and will try to fight for the three tournaments, besides the win over Xérez gives us the strength to achieve the comeback against Deportivo, which is a team that defends well.”

List of picked players (20): César, Moyà (goalkeepers); Miguel, Navarro, Dealbert, Alexis, Maduro, Marchena, Mathieu (defenders); Albelda, Éver Banega, Baraja, Vicente, Fernandes, Domínguez, Joaquín, Jordi Alba (midfielders); Silva, Villa and Zigic (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Manu - Laure, Piscu, Zé Castro, Filipe - Juan Domínguez, Juca - Juan Rodríguez, Valerón, Iván Pérez - Bodipo.
Valencia: (4-2-3-1) Moya - Miguel, Navarro, Alexis or Dealbert, Mathieu - Banega, Marchena – Joaquín, Domínguez, Silva,  - Villa.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo.
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head in Copa: 3 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 7 wins for Valencia.

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/09

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