Squad news

PREVIEW: CORDOBA – DEPORTIVO (COPA)

21 Dec 2010
Last game of 2010 for Deportivo; both teams are presenting a lot of novelties, Depor is making eight changes compared to the team that drew with Sporting, and Córdoba is making the same number of modifications compared to their last lineup at Segunda.

STATISTICS: FIRST COPA SERIES AGAINST CORDOBA
This is the first meeting between Deportivo La Coruña and Córdoba FC playing for Copa Del Rey; so far both teams have only collided in la liga and it must be remembered that the Galicians have been unable to achieve a victory in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, just two draws, while they suffered three defeats, including a cracking 0-6 back on the season 1964/65.

However, Córdoba is living a tough moment, and it’s that Los Califas have only won four matches on the Segunda División campaign, reason why they are just three points above the relegation zone. It is a total disappointment as Córdoba was one of the candidates to fight for one of the three tickets to Primera. Meanwhile, Depor is living at the tranquil zone of the Primera standings, but has just added three wins away from the Riazor during the whole 2010, though two of those three wins occurred in Copa Del Rey (2-1 at Valencia and 1-0 at Sevilla FC).

Finally, to appoint that, within the last decade, Deportivo has been eliminated in three opportunities by a Segunda club playing for Copa Del Rey; the last time was on the season 2004/05 as Elche FC eliminated Depor in a solo-game (0-1, third round); some years before Tenerife FC did the same against the Galicians, this time in the second round of the tournament (2-3, season 2000/01). And on the 1999/2000 campaign, the executioner of Depor was Osasuna, on that occasion it was in a two-leg series during the third round (aggregate score 0-2), and to mention that Lotina was the coach of Osasuna at the time.

FINANCIAL REPORT: CORDOBA IS ABOUT TO BE SOLD
The current major shareholder of Córdoba CF is a Mexican company named Prasa SA and they are about to sell the club to a Italian group, which main head is Alessandro Gaucci, son of Luciano Gaucci, who in the past controlled the Italian club Perugia. Both groups will watch the match against Depor at the stands and will try to close the negotiations. According to AS the price to be paid is €9.6 million. The Andalusian club was close to bankruptcy, mainly for its debt estimated in €9 million, and that’s the main reason why Prasa SA has decided to leave the Spanish market.

DEPORTIVO: A TEAM WITHOUT AMERICAN FLAVOUR
For the first time in fourteen years Deportivo is presenting a starting lineup without any player that was born in America. Since the last promotion to Primera División, Depor’s squad has been marked by the presence of important players from Latin America; in the 1990’s and early on this decade there were important men at midfield and attack coming from this continent, like Brazilians Bebeto, Donato, Mauro Silva and Djalminha, or Argentines Turu Flores, Duscher or Scaloni, or even Uruguayan Pandiani. And in recent years the heritage was passed to defenders like Argentines Coloccini and Colotto or Brazilian Filipe Luis.

The last time that Depor presented a lineup in an official game without American players occurred on the liga season 1995/96, it was at matchday 41 during the visit to Real Betis (19/May/1995, 0-1 loss). The starting lineup presented at the time was: Liaño - Boro, Djukic, Paco Jemez, Villarroya - Lopez Recarte, Nando Martinez - Alfredo, Beguiristain, Radchenko - Manjarín. In the second half of that match Brazil-born player Donato replaced Nando.

Since that day Deportivo has disputed 682 official matches, and it always presented at least one American player at the starting eleven (537 in liga, 95 in Europe, 28 in Copa, and 6 in the Spanish Supercopa). And the breaking of the mark should be considered as an accident, because the reason to not have any “Latin flavour” at the squad is caused by the fact that Lotina decided to advance the Christmas vacations to Paraguayan Claudio Morel, Mexican Andrés Guardado, Brazilian Juca, Uruguayan Jonathan Urreta and Argentine Diego Colotto

Therefore, the last three coaches of the Galician club –Lotina, Caparrós and Irureta- have spent their careers at the club always counting with the players coming from the new continent. Beyond the American players, Lotina is also resting Knut Rindarøy , who was a starter in liga against Sporting and that’s already in Norway enjoying of his vacations. This last one was a petition coming from the player himself. The Basque coach also left out of the list for the game winger Saul and midfielder Antonio Tomas, this last one still punished after his fight with Urreta.

But despite the casualties Lotina is taking the match seriously as he traveled to Andalusia with all the remaining players from the first squad, actually there are only two Fabril’s members on the list: central defender David Rochela and left/right-back Diego Seoane, and only the last one will be a starter against Córdoba.

The lineup will be the same 5-2-2-1 scheme, though with eight changes compared to the team that played against Sporting; now with Manuel Fernandez ‘Manu’ at the goal; the Asturian was the starting choice at the beginning of la liga, but with Aranzubia already recovered from his shoulder problem he will now have to be content playing in Copa. Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ is also returning as he has been on the bench since the switch in the system, the Madrilenian will cover the right-back position. Seoane will play on the left, while the line of three central defenders will be composed by Lopo, Aythami and Ze Castro.

Juan Rodriguez and Juan Dominguez will cover the pivote functions; Yves Desmarets returns in order to perform as the playmaker on the right wing; the last time in which the Frenchman was a starter was three weeks ago at Racing Santander; Lassad Nouioui will do the same on the left and the central striker will be Riki, the Madrilenian will be a starter for the first time since his operation (appendicitis), though he already played for a few minutes against Sporting. In the end only Lopo, Aythami and Juan Dominguez are repeating their participation as starters compared to last Saturday’s match at the Riazor.

Andalusian Juan Rodriguez was warning that this won’t be an easy confrontation for Deportivo, “The series won’t be easy as they reached the last-16 round after eliminating Racing, and we must remember that Racing defeated us. Evidently we are hopeful of the Copa, but won’t think of the next round before facing Cordoba. They have quality and experienced players, and if we think that it will be easy to defeat them then we will be committing a huge mistake.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Lopo, Ze Castro, Aythami, Rochela, Manuel Pablo, Seoane, Laure (defenders); Rubén Pérez, Juan Rodríguez, Juan Domínguez, Desmarets, Pablo Álvarez, Valerón (midfielders); Adrián, Riki and Lassad (strikers).

CORDOBA: EXCITEMENT AT THE END OF THE MATCHES
Without doubt this has been a cardiac season for Los Blanquiverdes, because ´several of their matches have been decided within the final twenty minutes. Starting with the three Copa series of Córdoba on the campaign; and it’s that the three of them have been decided in the stoppage time, including the series against Racing Santander. The Andalusians won the first-leg 2-0 and in the second they were losing 0-3 at the last minute of the extra-time, but a penalty goal of Jorge Luque at the last second gave them the pass in order to face Deportivo.

In liga things have been more negative, because Córdoba already lost key points within the last twenty minutes of the matches. Against Rayo Vallecano they were leading 2-0 at half-time, but later allowed two goals starting at minute 77 to ended losing 2-3. Against Celta de Vigo they were winning 2-1 at Balaidos by minute 59, but two late goals cost the game to the Andalusians (71’ and 93’). Later they were leading 2-0 against Tenerife, but a late goal of Natalio equalized the things (84’). And in the derby against Granada again the team was leading in the scoresheet (1-0), and a last-minute goal of Orellana rested two points to the Blanquiverde team.

But Córdoba has also clinched important points within the final minutes, at Gimnàstic de Tarragona the Andalusians were losing 0-1 at minute 83, but a late penalty earned them a point, while in the last matchday they were able to pick up the three points against Real Valladolid thanks to an own goal at minute 81.

For the match against Deportivo, coach Lucas Alcaraz will still be facing problems due to the injuries, for the moment the Andalusian man has four casualties: defender Gaspar Gálvez, midfielder Javier Flores Santacruz, goalkeeper Raúl Navas and side defender Juan Rafael Fuentes.

Besides the coach is worried for the physical effort done by his players in last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Valladolid, mainly because the match was played in a swamp and in a middle of a flood. Perhaps that’s the reason why he is thinking in making up to eight changes in the lineup. Alcaraz will release the list of picked players until Tuesday’s evening, but it’s expected that only keeper Alberto Garcia, French left-back Samuel Geoffroy Camille and central defender Ricardo Álvarez Puig ‘Richi’ will repeat their participation at the starting eleven.

In this sense it is expected a 4-4-2 draw; with Alberto at the goal, Cordoba B player José Fernández Reyes covering the right-back position, Camille will do it on the left and the two central defenders will be Richi and ex-Celta Agustín García ‘Agus’. Ex-Malaga midfielder Fernando Usero and Basque man Jagoba Beobide will cover the pivote functions.

Ex-Sevilla David Pérez Arteaga will attack from the right wing, former Cadiz man Jonathan Sesma will do it on the left, and the duo of central attacker will be composed by  Charles Diaz de Oliveira and ex-Real Sociedad Iñigo Diaz de Cerio. Ex-Pontevedra Charles has faced Fabril in several opportunities, but hasn’t faced yet the first squad of Depor during an official match. He is one of the Pichichis at the team with four goals scored at Segunda. The other top-scorer at Córdoba is ex-Celta attacker Oriol Riera Magem; he will be on the bench.  

Veteran right-back defender Gerardo García will start on the bench, he was explaining the feelings of the team for been facing Depor in Copa, “We are ager and at the same time don’t have the anxiety of other opportunities, because we achieved a victory against Valladolid, and that was a motivation for us. Anyway, what matters for us is la liga, and the Copa is a reward for the people; we must assume things in that way and later enjoy of the competition.”

List of picked players: Not released (the coach will give the final list after Tuesday’s training session)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Córdoba CF: (4-4-2) Alberto – Fernández, Agus, Richy, Camille - Arteaga, Usero, Beobide, Jonathan – Charles, Díaz de Cerio.
Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Manu - Laure, Lopo, Aythami, Zé Castro, Seoane - Juan Rodríguez, Juan Domínguez - Desmarets, Lassad - Riki.
Referee: José Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (El Arcángel)
Head-to-head Vs. Córdoba: 5 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 3 wins for Córdoba (Primera)
Record in Córdoba: 0 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 3 wins for Córdoba (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/10

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