Competition news

PREVIEW: OSASUNA – DEPORTIVO (COPA)

28 Oct 2010
Lotina could be living his last days at Deportivo and hold on to the scheme with five defenders in order to rescue the club, meanwhile Camacho is resting almost the entire squad.

STATISTICS: EIGHTH COPA SERIES AGAINST OSASUNA
It is the eighth time in which Deportivo faces Osasuna for Copa Del Rey; the Galicians have the advantage in the head-to-head comparison with five triumphs against two for Los Rojillos. The curious thing is that despite the superiority of the Galicians they have only won six of the thirteen meetings, while the other seven were won by the Navarrans. The first confrontation between these two teams on this competition took place on the season 1932/33 and Depor won it with an aggregate score of 7-5 (second round).

For the season 1947/48 the result was repeated although it was only a one-match round, and Deportivo won the game with a 5-2 score (first round). Then Osasuna eliminated Deportivo during the season 1955/56, the aggregate score was 6-3 (first round).

The farthest round in which these two clubs have played was the sixth round of the season 1991/92; in this occasion Depor defeated Osasuna in the penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw in the aggregate score, Depor passed the round through the penalty shootout (5-3) and was later eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the semifinals. For the 1997/98 campaign Depor faced Osasuna and again passed the challenge, this time with a 3-1 aggregate score (fourth round).

Then Osasuna had its second success against the Galicians on the season 1999/2000 (last-32 round), it was through a 2-0 aggregate score and the curious thing was that Lotina was the coach of the Navarrans, while Javier Irureta was the manager of Deportivo, just in the season in which the Blanquiazul club conquered its only liga title. The last meeting between these two clubs playing for Copa came on the season 2005/06, again in the last-32 round, and this time Deportivo achieved its fifth Copa triumph over Osasuna with a 4-2 aggregate score.

DEPORTIVO: LOTINA’S LAST CHANCE?
The year 2010 has been a disaster for Deportivo and the first one affected is coach Miguel Angel Lotina as the latest results are resting credibility to his long career; one year ago he had Depor among the top six clubs in Spain, now his team is a shadow of the past and the future looks darker. The latest 0-3 humiliation in liga against Real Sociedad just increased the criticism towards the Basque man and almost all the fans are now asking for his head.

Even some reports in the media are pointing out that Lotina might be fired if he loses this match, though it isn’t probable as in just three days the team is facing a new final in liga against RCD Espanyol. What seems evident is that president Augusto César Lendoiro won’t wait until the last minute in order to take a drastic decision, so everybody kind of agree that this is one of Lotina’s last chances to save his career in La Coruña.

The team has been concentrated in the city of Haro, more precisely at the hotel Los Agustinos, which was a convent in the past century, the training sessions have been taking place in a modern complex called El Mazo. This mini-concentration was planned in order to avoid two long trips in a matter of one week, but it is also helping to avoid the stress for the current situation lived in the city of La Coruña (the criticism against the coach and the team).

But the shadow of the injuries has followed the steps of the Galicians to La Rioja, and it’s that in just one day the team lost three men: Laure (ankle), Desmarets (thigh) and Fabril’s David Rochela (gastroenteritis). The three of them missed Wednesday’s training and were discarded for the match. The truth is that Lotina is more worried of Sunday’s game than of the Copa clash in Pamplona; and it’s that he will use the match with Osasuna as the first test for the ‘old’ system with three central defenders, same one that saved his job three seasons ago.  The Basque was hoping to count with Desmarets in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but his injury is forcing to present a totally different lineup. There are only three men repeating their participation compared to the team that played on Monday in liga.

Manuel Fernandez ´Manu’ returns to the goal after been the replacement of Aranzubia in the first liga games; Manuel Pablo also returns to the right-back position after been sidelined by Laure in the last two liga meetings; Albert Lopo returns from suspension and will perform alongside Aythami Artiles and Diego Colotto at the centre of the defense; the Canarian will play his first official game as starter at Depor after leaving the club three years ago, while the Argentine is the one of the three ‘survivors’ from the lineup that was trashed by Real Sociedad. Knut Rindarøy is also reappearing after his disappointing game against UU Almeria, the Norwegian will play on the left side.

Juan Rodriguez is the second player that will be a starter after been part of the starting squad on Monday, though this time he is returning to the pivote functions, while his partner will be Rubén Pérez , who also was a starter against Real Sociedad. It is a 5-2-2-1 formation with Rindarøy and Manuel Pablo having freedom to move on the wings, and having the support of Pablo Álvarez and Saul Fernandez, duo that will perform towards the centre.. Riki completes the formation as the central attacker.

On Tuesday the Madrilenian attacker was criticizing the level of the team during this season, “The needed level at Primera is higher than the one at other leagues, and in order to be at the top you need to compete, but not for fifteen or twenty minutes, but for the whole ninety minutes. If you don’t do this any team can defeat you. What have characterized us are the aggressiveness and our competitive level, and right now we are missing those things.”

Meanwhile, Aythami was talking of his first opportunity as a starter on the season, "I'm very happy. I work hard to have a chance and will try to seize it. At the moment I prefer not to think about playing on Sunday, because I don’t know if I'll play, I'm just worried of the game against Osasuna, match in which we must look good and get a good result. Things are not going well, but if we achieve a victory then things might change. We have no doubts of this squad and are confident that things will change.”

List of picked players (17): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Aythami, Lopo, Colotto, Zé Castro, Rindarøy, Seoane, Manuel Pablo (defenders); Rubén Pérez, Juan Domínguez, Juan Rodríguez, Valerón, Pablo Álvarez, Saúl (midfielders); Adrián, Lassad and Riki (strikers).

OSASUNA: ROTATIONS
The Navarrans are living a comfortable situation in liga after picking a point at the Riazor a fortnight ago, and it’s that the 3-0 win over Malaga was a relief for them as Osasuna is now occupying the 12th spot in the table, but it can’t relax as the relegation zone is just two points behind Los Rojillos. That’s why coach José Antonio Camacho has decided to reserve seven of the eleven players that conquered their biggest win on the season during the past weekend, and is been picking a couple of players from Osasuna B: goalkeeper Ignacio Zabal and midfielder Javier Fernández Anunziatta ‘Xavi’, duo that will be on the bench.

The only four men that are keeping their spot at the starting formation are defenders Damiá Abella and Manuel Ortiz 'Lolo', plus midfielders Javad Nekounam and Juanfran Torres. Besides the coach is missing striker Walter Pandiani (calf) and defender Sergio Fernandez (ankle), exactly the two men that also missed the liga match at the Riazor. Javier Camuñas will also miss the game as he is suspended after been sent off at the Riazor (la liga banned the player for two official games after telling to the referee that he was a ‘pimp’).

In the end Camacho is presenting a 4-2-3-1 figure; with goalkeeper Asier Riesgo debuting in an official competition wearing the shirt of Osasuna, Damiá will perform on the right-back position, Cape Verdean Nelson Augusto Tomar will play on the left side of the defense, and the central positions will be for Lolo and José Romero Urtasún ‘Josetxo´.

Iranian Javad Nekounam will play alongside Roberto López Esquiroz ´Ruper´ on the pivote functions; Juanfran will stay on the right wing, Javier Calleja will cover the left position, while Hungarian Krisztian Vadocz is claiming the spot of the playmaker, finally Serbian Dejan Lekic will be the central attacker.

Keeper Asier Riesgo was explaining the keys to clinch a positive result in this game, ”The important thing is to win. The away goals count as double and will try to be a serious team, just like the previous weeks. The first thing to do is to avoid conceding goals. It is very important to clinch a clean sheet, and if later we can score a couple of goal then it will be perfect.”

List of picked players: Camacho will release it until hours before the game.

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Osasuna: (4-2-3-1) Asier Riesgo - Damiá, Lolo, Josetxo, Nelson – Rúper, Nekounam  - Juanfran, Vadocz, Calleja - Lekic
Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Manu - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Aythami, Lopo, Rindarøy – Juan Rodríguez, Rubén Pérez – Saúl, Pablo Álvarez - Riki.
Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez
Kick-off 21h00 CET (Reyno de Navarra)
Head-to-head in Copa: 6 wins for Depor, 0 draws, 7 wins for Osasuna

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/10

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