Competition news


05 May 2010
Depor fights against history and the injuries as it tries to get back its identity; Lotina will test Rochela as a midfielder and is allowing the debut of Añon as starter. Meanwhile, Osasuna tries to certify the permanence as Pandiani threatens his former club.

Currently, Osasuna is occupying the 12th spot at Primera División, it seems to be a quiet position, but the true is that the Navarrans are just four points above relegation, which means that, with only three games remaining in the season, they only need one more victory to secure the permanence at Primera División, this since Tenerife FC lost during its visit to Barcelona FC (1-4)

The weak point of the Navarrans is the performance away from home as the Navarran team has suffered eight straight defeats playing away from Reyno de Navarra, but at home they present a solid record with six wins, seven draws and only four defeats. Actually, they are undefeated at home within the last four home encounters and achieved three clean sheets in those meetings: 1-0 Vs Almeria (matchday 29), 2-0 Vs Zaragoza (matchday 31), 2-2 Vs Malaga (matchday 32) and 0-0 Vs Athletic Bilbao (matchday 34).

Meanwhile, Deportivo is living its darker period in years, with ten straight matchdays without adding a victory –a record at the club- plus a mark of 449 minutes without scoring a goal in the competition. At least, in recent years Reyno de Navarra has been a positive stadium for Depor, because the Galicians have added five wins, five draws and only suffered two defeats within the last twelve matches played there.

Depor is living one of the worst statistical moments in its centennial history, it’s already dragging the negative record of ten straight liga matches without achieving a victory, and is near to break two more records: worst second round ever and more minutes without scoring a goal. Since the start of the second round in liga Depor has only added ten points, which means the 20% of the points in dispute. Deportivo’s worst historical mark at Primera División occurred on the season 1964/95, time when the Galician team only added the 26.6% of the points disputed in the second round.

This means that if Deportivo doesn’t achieve two victories within the last three matches (Osasuna, Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao), then it will break its’ worst mark in a second round. Also, the Galicians have been scoreless within the last 449 minutes in the competition, that’s Depor’s fourth worst mark at Primera, the other three occurred on the season 1996/97 (498) and twice on the campaign 1964/65 (470 & 466). This means that if Depor doesn’t score a goal before minute 49, then it will break its worst mark without scoring a goal in la liga.

And to make things worse coach Miguel Angel Lotina still facing problems to compose a team for the matches, this due to the injuries. On Tuesday he lost striker Adrián, who sustained an ankle sprain during the training session. Besides, Zé Castro (flu), Pablo Álvarez and Juan Domínguez (both ankle) didn’t surpass their problems, and they joined Andrés Guardado, Piscu, Antonio Tomás, Filipe and Angulo, quintet that already was at the injury room.

In resume, nine casualties for one single match, or the third time on the season in which the Basque manager has so many men out of action (the previous ones were at Villarreal, matchday 24, and Vs UD Almeria, matchday 33). Besides, the coach didn’t pick Rodolfo Bodipo for technical reasons, while he decided to fill the list for the game at Pamplona with four players from Deportivo B: right-back Diego Seoane, left-back Raúl Garcia, central defender David Rochela and winger/striker David Anon.

In the end Lotina will keep playing with a 4-2-3-1 system, but will make several changes. Starting with the fact that Albert Lopo and Diego Colotto will play together at the centre of the defence for the first time in four matches. That combination was the normal one since matchday 04, but after the home game with Racing Santander at least one of them has been out of the lineup for injury reasons, for a suspension, or because Lotina was testing other players. The defensive line is completed with Daniel Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position and Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ switching back to the left side.

Maybe the biggest novelty in the starting eleven is the presence of David Rochela performing alongside Juliano Roberto Antonello ‘Juca’ at the pivote functions. The central defender of Fabril debuted on the past matchday as starter and now he will play at midfield, zone where he has performed before, it was during the past season when Depor B team was at Segunda División B.

Juan Rodríguez will cover the right wing, while Juan Carlos Valerón will be the playmaker. The other big novelty in the formation is that David Añon will cover the left wing. The A Coruña-born player is used to perform there with Fabril, he already played two games in liga and this is his debut as starter after impressing within the final ten minutes against Real Zaragoza. Finally, the central attacker will be Iván Sánchez Rico ‘Riki’

Añon was talking before the game about his sensations at the first team, “We are here to improve and this could be an important test for us. It’s important to learn and let’s see how things are in this game. This has been a great season for me and I am not going to forget it.”

Meanwhile, Iván Pérez Maceiras was talking of the latest performance of the team, “Within the last matches we have improved our performance; we have been more defensive and warlike, doing the same aids of the start of season. We just need to materialize the scoring opportunities that we are having. What has been difficult is that the rival is damaging us each time they are attacking, and that’s affecting us.” 

Later he was feeling sorry for the latest criticism towards the squad due to their poor form, “It’s a pity that the results of the first round have been forgotten in a short period of time. The true is that we don’t have the same legs of the first round. We must emphasise the work of the first round, it’s difficult to appreciate that the team was making 3-1 aids, and now everything is tiring, as long as physiological as physical. But we are able to turn the situation at any moment.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Rochela, Raúl, Seoane (defenders); Juca, Sergio, Iván Pérez, Valerón, Juan Rodríguez, Añon (midfielders); Mista, Riki and Lassad (strikers).

Things have become tougher at the relegation zone; Tenerife FC has added ten points within the previous five matchdays, while the other two teams at the bottom also had a positive mark in the same period: Real Valladolid (9) and Xérez CD (7). And with the rest of clubs slowing down their pace, it’s normal to realise that no one is mathematically relegated yet.

That’s why Osasuna can’t fail in this game, the Navarrans have only added five points within the previous five liga matches and now need one more win in order to secure the salvation. Because the combination of a victory in this game plus the 1-4 defeat of Tenerife at the Camp Nou will mean the safety for the Navarrans.

And the main asset for coach José Antonio Camacho is ex-Deportivo striker Walter Pandiani; within the years 2000 and 2005 the Uruguayan played 86 liga matches with the Blanquiazul team and scored 31 goals. Since his departure, El Rifle has been a tough opponent for Depor as he has scored one goal in liga plus three painful goals in Copa Del Rey against his former club. Two of those goals were conquered at the Riazor when he was loaned at RCD Mallorca and cost the pass to the final in Copa (season 2002/2003, 2-3 defeat).

The other goal in Copa 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. On the current season Pandiani is the Pichichi at Osasuna, with ten of the thirty-two goals scored by the Navarrans on the Primera season, which means the 31% of the total. And to mention that seven of the ten goals in his tally were scored at Reyno de Navarra.

The Uruguayan will be joined in attack by Carlos Aranda, who has scored five goals on the liga season and that surpassed an adductor problem to be now part of the starting squad. This means a 4-4-2 lineup. The rest of the team will be composed by Ricardo at the goal César Azpilicueta at the right-back position, ex-Celta Sergio Fernández joining Miguel Flaño at the centre, and Ignacio Monreal at the left sector.

Iranian Javad Nekounam and Francisco Puñal will perform on the pivote functions, while ex-Real Madrid Juan Francisco Torres ‘Juanfran’ will cover the left wing and ex-Recreativo Javier Camuñas the left sector.

List of picked players (18): Ricardo, Roberto (goalkeepers); Azpilcueta, Josetxo, Miguel Flaño, Monreal, Oier, Sergio Fernández (defenders); Camuñas, Juanfran, Masoud, Nekouman, Puñal, Rúper, Vadócz (midfielders); Aranda, Dady and Pandiani (strikers).

Osasuna: (4-4-2) Ricardo - Azpilicueta, Sergio Fernández, Miguel Flaño, Monreal - Juanfran, Puñal, Nekounam, Camuñas – Pandiani, Aranda.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Laure - Rochela, Juca - Juan Rodríguez, Valerón, Añón - Riki.
Referee: José Luis Paradas Romero (15 games on the season, only 4 wins for the visiting team)
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Reyno de Navarra)
Head-to-head Vs Osasuna: 28 wins for Depor, 19 draws, 17 wins for Osasuna (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Pamplona: 8 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 14 wins for Osasuna (Primera & Segunda)



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