Squad news


28 Feb 2010
Crucial game for two teams that are aspiring to Europe, but that aren’t passing through their best moment. Lotina has nine casualties and promises surprises, while Villarreal hopes to keep their strength at home.

Villarreal is coming to this game after suffering the worst defeats in its history. First, a 2-6 loss in liga against Real Madrid; before that result, the worst liga defeats of the Yellow Submarine were the 0-5 setback at Recreativo Huelva on the season 2002/03 and the 0-5 loss at home against the same Real Madrid on the 2007/08 campaign. The last time that Villarreal leaked six goals was in Copa against Valencia (1997), but at the time the team was at Segunda. And on Thursday the Valencians were crushed by VfL Wolfsburg in the Europa League with a 1-4 score, which is the worst European result for them. Until that day, their worst European defeat was a 0-3 against Arsenal (Champions League 2008/09).

Now, the game against Depor is an important match for Villarreal, because they are nine points below Depor and a new defeat could end its aspirations to play in Europe during next season. No matter its current problems to emphasise that the Valencian is the fourth best local team in liga, with 24 points added in this condition after eleven matches. Villarreal only lost twice on this season playing at El Madrigal: 0-2 at Real Madrid (matchday 04) and 0-2 Vs Osasuna (matchday 20).

Meanwhile, Depor presents the fifth best record as a visiting team, with 15 points added in this condition after 11 matches. However, the Galicians don’t win an away match in liga since November 29 (1-0 at Racing Santander), and accumulates a negative mark of 376 minutes without scoring a goal playing away from the Riazor; though during January Lotina’s squad defeated both Valencia (2-1) and Sevilla (1-0) playing for Copa Del Rey. About the visits to Villarreal, Depor already won four times at El Madrigal after ten visits at Primera División, but the team lost in its two last matches played there: 3-4 on the season 2007/08, and 0-1 on the past campaign.

Finally, to mention the curious case of Villarreal with the penalties; the Yellow Submarine has suffered 12 penalties on this season: 9 in liga, plus 3 more between Copa and the UEFA Europa League. This means that the Valencians are among the European clubs with more penalties suffered on the season. And to mention that 7 of those 12 penalties were whistled in 2010.

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina knew that he was not going to count with Lopo and Riki for this game, the first suspended and the second injured in the past game with Xérez. And by Saturday it was confirmed that neither Zé Castro nor Juca were going to take part of the match. The Portuguese central defender was going to claim the spot of Lopo, but a gastric problem forced him to stay at the injury room.

Juca had sinusitis during the week, but was already recovered by Friday. The problem was that on Saturday he was feeling pain on the right thigh, same region where he sustained an injury precisely in the first round game against Villarreal. Therefore the doctors decided to discard the duo, two players that were going to be starters at El Madrigal. 

To make things worse, Lotina already had the casualties of Filipe Luis, Angulo, Sergio and Lassad, while Mista wasn’t picked since the doctors still trying to be cautious after the striker surpassed a groin injury. In the end Lotina is having nine casualties for the game, which is the higher number of casualties had for any liga game on this season.
In order to complete a list of 18 players Lotina has been forced to pick four players from Deportivo B: central defender David Rochela, side defender Diego Seoane, midfielder Juan Domínguez and winger David Añón. The four of them already debuted with the first team, but only Domínguez has experience at Primera División.
Therefore, Lotina will have to present some unexpected novelties for the game, actually the Basque man already announced a “little surprise” in the starting eleven. But what seems clear is the defensive line, starting with Adrián López ‘Piscu’, the Galician central defender will debut on this liga season performing alongside Diego Colotto. On this campaign the ex-Fabril has only performed in Copa Del Rey and this is his first opportunity in la liga season. Manuel Pablo and Laure will complete the defensive formation at the sides, to mention that two seasons ago Laure debuted at Primera at El Madrigal.

Midfield also seems clear, Antonio Tomás returns from suspension and he will be joined by Juan Rodriguez, Andrés Guardado should be attacking from the left wing and Pablo Alvarez from the right. The big doubt is who will be the playmaker and the striker in the formation. Juan Dominguez and Juan Carlos Valerón are the big candidates for the playmaker’s role, while Adrian and Rodolfo Bodipo are the choices for the striker’s position, but David Añon could be the surprise of Lotina as he can perform at both places. The 20-year-old player can perform as winger, playmaker and in the last two games of Fabril he performed as a central attacker.
Before been discarded for the game, Ze Castro was talking of the potential of the rival, “Villarreal has been a little but irregular, but still one of the teams aspiring to end on Europe. With a win we can increase our advantage over them and keep thinking of the top places. We will find more spaces to control the ball, so we are going for the victory. We can not criticise our team for lack of sacrifice, because we are a solidary team that always tries to give more.” 

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

This has been the worst week in the history of Villarreal, first they were humiliated by Real Madrid at the Bernabéu (2-6), and just three days ago by VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena (1-4). Both are the worst results for Villarreal in liga and in Europe, and with the team at mid-table and far from the European positions, the fans start to ask “what is going on?“. Because this team seemed destined to fight for the top four spots and also to reach the final instances in the Europa League; however, it must be noticed that the real problems are occurring when the team plays away from home.

One year ago the Yellow Submarine was having 38 points and was occupying the fifth spot at the table having a mark of 36 goals in favour and 31 goals against, now the team is having a similar mark with 35 goals scored and 37 goals received, but is only tenth at the standings. It seems tricky to try to explain the situation, but a specific detail explains the difference: the performance away from El Madrigal.

Because on the past season Villarreal have only lost three games after the first twelve visits, while on this occasion the team has lost eight times after eleven confrontations played away from home. And it’s that the Valencians have even lost with last-place Xérez (1-2), while the team lost in its visit to direct rivals Athletic Bilbao (2-3), Deportivo (0-1), Sevilla (2-3), Valencia (1-4) plus the catastrophic loss with Real Madrid (2-6).Those results away from home explain the current disappointing situation of a team that was aspiring to the European places.

Therefore, the team is forced to correct the course at El Madrigal, stadium where Villarreal has added 24 of the 36 points in dispute (the 4th best record at Primera), and the main asset continues to be its trio in attack, which already scored 17 goals in liga: Nilmar (8), Giussepe Rossi (5) and Joseba Llorente (4). A scoring trio that has been reinforced by the five goals added by ex-Depor left-back Joan Capdevila

For the game against Depor, Rossi is out since he will return until Sunday after the death of his father, while Santiago Cazorla is out for a while due to a back problem. The big news for Villarreal is that they are recovering their starting duo at the centre of the defence: Argentine Gonzalo Rodríguez and Uruguayan Diego Godín, both missed the game with Real Madrid due to injury reasons the first and for a suspension the second.

Javi Venta will be playing at the right-back position, ex-Depor Joan Capdevila will cover the left side and Galician Diego López will be the keeper. At midfield, Marcos Senna and Bruno Soriano will continue to perform in the pivote functions, ex-Arsenal Robert Pires enters into the lineup in order to attack from the left wing, while ex-Elche David Fuster will do the same on the right. Finally, the couple in attack will be composed by Brazilian Nilmar Honorato da Silva and ex-Athletic Bilbao Joseba Llorente.

Before the game Diego Godin said that the team is only thinking in winning this match, ”Our spirit isn’t so great after the game against Wolfsburg, because things ended badly, but we are already thing of Deportivo. We know it will be decisive and besides we play at home, which means an important support for us. There’s no time to meditate on what happened but of thinking in a victory, we need to carry out with this game in order to aspire to Europe, which  is now our goal for the coming season.  

List of picked players (18) Diego López, Xavi Oliva (goalkeepers), Ángel, Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Catalá, Godin, Capdevila (defenders); Marcos Senna, Bruno, David Fuster, Escudero, Ibagaza, Cani, Pires (midfielders); Llorente, Nilmar and Marco Ruben (strikers).

Villarreal: (4-4-2) Diego López - Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Godín, Capdevila – Fuster, Marcos Senna, Bruno, Pires – Filmar, Llorente.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Piscu, Colotto, Laure – Juan Rodríguez, Antonio Tomas – Pablo Álvarez, Juan Domínguez/Valerón, Guardado – Adrian/Bodipo.
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández (11 games on the season, 2 wins for the visiting team)
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (El Madrigal)
Head-to-head Vs Villarreal: 11 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 7 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)
Record at El Madrigal: 4 wins for Depor, 3 draws, 4 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)



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