Squad news

PREVIEW: SEVILLA – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

12 Sep 2010
Lotina is making two changes at the starting squad, and it’s facing a Sevilla that searches for redemption after been eliminated in the Champions League; for it the Andalusians are trusting in the combination Kanouté-Luis Fabiano.

STATISTICS: ACCESIBLE VISIT?
Deportivo has only lost in three of its last sixteen liga visits to Sevilla FC, a fact that invites to the optimism, but that’s also deceiving due to the potential of the rival. And it’s that, within the last six years, Sevilla has been a contender for the Champions League places, and actually the last three defeats at the Sánchez Pizjuán came exactly in that short period of time.

Also to remember that Sevilla has been the executioner of Deportivo in two of the last three editions of Copa Del Rey, though it’s also true that the Andalusians are not living one of their best moments, as they were easily surpassed by Barcelona in the Supercopa and later eliminated from the Champions League by Portuguese side Sporting Clube de Braga.

But Depor has its own problems: the Galicians are trying to break a curse playing outside home, because Lotina’s men had lost in their last six liga visits, which is a negative mark at the club within the last thirty-eight years. And there’s more, because Depor is also the worst scorer at Primera División during the year 2010. Lotina’s team has only scored 16 goals in 24 liga encounters, which means a poor average of 0.6 goals per match. Actually, Depor has ended scoreless in 13 of those 24 matches.

 DEPORTIVO: TWO CHANGES AT THE LINEUP
After all the doubts and the criticism for the performance of the team during the opening game against Zaragoza, coach Miguel Angel Lotina has decided to make two change at his starting lineup ahead of the visit to Sevilla FC. The coach didn’t announce the modifications, but all appoints that the first is the introduction of Juca at midfield claiming the place of Juan Rodriguez. The Brazilian is joining the team as he is already recovered from the thigh problem that affected him since the pre-season.

While the second should be the appearance of Iván Sánchez Rico ‘Riki’ taking the place of Adrian López in attack; the position of central attacker is hardly disputed by Riki, Lassad and Adrian, and Lotina is choosing the last Pichichi of Depor as he remembers that Adrian’s last goal in liga was scored on March of the present year (matchday 28, 1-2 at Sporting Gijón). There was also the doubt of Mexican Andrés Guardado, who during the week had to make a long trip from North America, but in the end the coach has decided to keep him at the starting squad.

The formation will be a 4-2-3-1; with Manu at the goal; Manuel Pablo covering the right-back position, Claudio Morel playing on the left sector, while Albert Lopo and Diego Colotto will cover the centre of the defence. The two positions at the centre of the field will be for Juca and Antonio Tomás.

Jonathan Urreta will keep playing on the right wing, the Uruguayan was a pleasant surprise against Zaragoza, and now Lotina is keeping him at the starting eleven. Michel will be the playmaker after the Valencian surpassed the knee problem that forced him to leave the pitch during the game against Zaragoza. Finally, Guardado will play on the left wing and Riki will be the central attacker.

Lotina himself has admitted that it was hard to build up the list of picked players for the game; and it’s that the only man staying at the injury room is Juan Dominguez, who will return until next month. Daniel Aranzubia (shoulder) and Ze Castro (adductor) were already recovered from their problems, but the coach decided that’s too soon for them and both men stayed out of the game.

Maybe the two biggest surprises are Valerón and Saul, duo that was left out of the list and that entered as replacement against Zaragoza. The other two players out for technical reasons are Rindarøy and Pablo Álvarez. It calls the attention the fact that Lotina is travelling with his four pivotes at the squad (Ruben Perez was picked too), while he is only picking an additional winger (Desmarets), which should give a hint about his intentions at the Sánchez Pizjuán.

Before the game, Lopo was resting importance to the concerns of the fans regarding to the recent performance of the team, “Sometimes people ask us to play pretty and to lose the game, and I don’t get it, but what we all want is to find our identity, just like we did on last year, moment when we were fine at defence and were able to seize the opportunities. Truly we didn’t have a nice game against Zaragoza, but we clinched the clean sheet, which was the important thing. We’ll see of everything during the season and never all will be happy. Sometimes you don’t play well but end winning the games, and sometimes you play pretty and lose, so what we must do is to try to practice a nice football and win the matches.”

Meanwhile, Antonio Tomas was turning the page regarding to the comparisons with the other midfielders at the squad, “I am Antonio Tomás, not Rubén Pérez, or Juca, or Juan (Rodriguez). Each one have their own characteristics and the fact that in the past game nothing was working it doesn’t mean anything. Each player is able to carry out with the weight of the team, the other day we were terrible in the second half and that’s all. We always are the most affected sector on the pitch, and I don’t think it was our fault to see the team playing so badly against Zaragoza. If we are fine then it’s a merit of everyone, and when we are bad the same.”

Finally, Guardado was saying that the absence of Valerón and Saul is just demanding more from the players that were picked for the encounter, "It's surprising to see some key players outside of the list, but this is just making more competitive our squad; now the ones that were picked and the ones that will play have to demonstrate that they are the best at their positions."

List of picked players (19): Manu, Felipe Ramos (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Colotto, Morel, Laure, Aythami (defenders); Antonio Tomás, Juan Rodríguez, Urreta, Míchel, Guardado, Juca, Desmarets (midfielders); Lassad, Adrián and Riki (strikers).

 SEVILLA: A LETHAL COMBINATION IN ATTACK
Mali Frédéric Kanouté and Brazilian Luis Fabiano compose one of the most lethal combinations at the Spanish la liga, just to mention the fact that on the past season these two strikers combined scored twenty-seven goals. And Deportivo’s players are pretty aware of this situation as each one of them already scored six times against the Galicians (liga & Copa)

And it’s the combination Kanouté-Fabiano is the second most harming active couple against Depor, because their 12 goals against the Galicians are only surpassed by the 15 goals scored by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and David Villa. Perhaps that’s the reason why coach Antonio Álvarez has decided to put them at the starting eleven that will face Deportivo, this after the duo was on the bench for the opening matchday against UD Levante.

This is the first home match for Sevilla after the humiliating elimination in Champions League against Sporting Clube de Braga, and there’s a big expectation on what will be the attitude of the public towards the team. That’s another reason why Álvarez is trying to put an offensive team on the pitch, because there’s a big pressure over him and he wants to please the fans and achieve the results as soon as possible.

It’s expected a 4-4-2 formation, with Andrés Palop at the goal, French Abdoulay Konko will perform at the right-back position after he surprisingly scored two goals against Levante, while Fernando Navarro will be on the left sector. At the centre of the defence Barcelona’s on loan player Martín Cáceres will join French Julien Escudé as Senegalese Mauhamadou Dabo has been rested for the debut in the Europa League.

Midfield will be the territory for Brazilian Renato and Ivorian Didier Zokora; Jesús Navas, one of the heroes in the last FIFA World Cup, will cover the right wing and the left flank will be for Argentine Diego Perotti. Finally, Kanouté and Luis Fabiano will be the duo in attack.

Italian Tiberio Guarente has been picked for the first time for an official match after been out during the pre-season due to a muscular injury, but the other Italian at the squad, playmaker Luca Cigarini, is out after he suffered a cervical injury when he was heading a ball during Friday’s training. Serbian defender Ivica Dragutinovic is also out as he still recovering from a knee surgery.

Before the game, Didier Zokora was talking of Sevilla’s aim for the present season, “This team must aspire to be among the top three places and to win the Europa League. We are one of the best teams in the continent and must aspire to play the Champions League.”

Meanwhile, new signing Martin Caceres was warning about the difficulty of been facing Deportivo, ”It’s going to be a complicate game. We now need to face the competition after a pause of two weeks and clearly it’s a difficult rival. In a personal sense I don’t know if I am going to play, but I’m willing to do it.”

List of picked players (18): Palop, Javi Varas (goalkeepers); Alexis, Konko, Fernando Navarro, Cáceres, Escudé (defenders); Zokora, Renato, Alfaro, José Carlos, Navas, Perotti, Capel, Guarente (midfielders); Kanouté, Luis Fabiano and Negredo (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Sevilla: (4-4-2) Palop - Konko, Martín Cáceres, Escudé, Fernando Navarro - Jesús Navas, Renato, Zokora, Perotti – Kanouté, Luis Fabiano.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Manu – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Morel – Juca, Antonio Tomás – Urreta, Michel, Guardado - Riki
Referee: Javier Turienzo Alvarez
Kick-off: 21h00 CET (Sánchez Pizjuán)
Head-to-head Vs Sevilla: 35 wins for Deportivo, 20 draws, 29 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)
Mark at the Sanchez Pizjuan: 8 wins for Deportivo, 10 draws, 24 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS SEPT/10

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