Squad news


29 Jan 2011
Lotina recovers Michel and Riki, but loses Lopo. It seems the Basque man is presenting a 5-2-3-1 lineup, while Sevilla arrives to the Riazor without Kanoute, but feeling more optimistic after the resurrection of its striking zone.

Deportivo and Sevilla are following a different trajectory since matchday 17, because within the last four games the Galicians were only the 16th best team in liga with only one win and suffering three defeats, while the Andalusians present the opposite mark as they won three matches only losing once, reason why they were the fifth best team in the period.

This new behavior changed the path of a Sevilla that was coming after suffering fifth straight defeats, now they are just three points below the European  positions, while Depor is approaching to the pit as they are only separated by four points from the relegation zone. Off course the main explanation for this change is the number of goals scored, Sevilla has conquered nine goals within the last four matches, while Depor only scored twice, actually the Galicians have been scoreless within the last 308 minutes in la liga.

At least the Galicians can presume of a strong record against Sevilla FC when they play at the Riazor for la liga, and it’s that after thirty-five matches at Primera and seven at Segunda División, the Andalusians were only able to clinch five wins, the last one on the season 2008/09 (3-1), though it’s also true that, strangely, things change when Sevilla visits the Riazor playing for Copa Del Rey, competition in which they won the last three games played in La Coruña.

The list of picked players for the game against Sevilla presents the novelties of playmaker Michel Herrero and striker Riki. The Valencian midfielder is out since September 20 and as he had to go through surgery in order to surpass a knee problem, while the Madrilenian attacker has had countless muscular problems on this season, the last one was a grade one muscular injury on the right thigh sustained during the first-leg in Copa against Córdoba FC (January 5).

On Thursday, Michel was talking of his possible presence in the list of picked players, "I talked to the coach; he wanted to know how my knee was; I told him that it was fine and that I was content. He told me that tomorrow he will decide if I will be picked for the game. I am willing to play and will go until death in the minutes I could have. My knee is fine, and right now the only thing that I need is to be at the top, the trainings are useful, but I need match fitness."

However, both men won’t be starters in the clash, but clearly their presence is offering more options to Lotina, coach that still waiting for reinforcements in order to strengthen the weakest offensive line at Primera División. The Basque man is also recovering left-back Claudio Morel; the Paraguayan suffered a quadriceps injury in the second-leg against Córdoba FC.

But Lotina is losing a vital piece at defense: Albert Lopo. The Catalan sustained a Soleus injury on Friday’s training and was ruled out after been included in the initial list for the game. The other three players at the injury room are Rindarøy, Saúl and Guardado.

For the game Lotina didn’t give too many clues about the lineup, on Wednesday he tested three different draws, and in the next two days he didn’t test any scheme, and to make things more mysterious on Friday he picked all the available players for the match. However, it is expected that he will keep using the system with five defenders, and in the beginning Portuguese Ze Castro is the one that will replace Lopo at the starting team.

Daniel Aranzubia will stay at the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ will perform on the right-back position, Manuel Pablo has surpassed his ankle problem and will stay at the left, while Diego Colotto and Aythami Artiles will join Ze Castro at the centre of the defense.

At midfield, Lotina will chance the trivote figure used against Zaragoza for the 5-2-2-1, with Ruben Pérez and Juan Rodriguez at the centre of the pitch, the doubts are the names of the two playmakers in the formation, the main choices for the job are Juan Carlos Valerón, Pablo Álvarez and Lassad Nouioui, while the only thing for sure I attack is the presence of Adrian.

Before the clash, captain Manuel Pablo honestly explained the current situation at the team, “We already talked. The coach wants a reaction. We have lost the last five games and also left a very poor impression in Zaragoza, if we follow that path we will be unable to take forwards with this situation. I think the team needs to feel looser, we miss intensity and to believe in ourselves. We need to feel involved, to react and then to live the victory.”

List of picked players (21): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Colotto, Aythami, Rochela, Zé Castro, Morel (defenders); Rubén Pérez, Antonio Tomás, Juan Rodríguez, Juan Domínguez, Juca, Desmarets, Valerón, Pablo Álvarez, Míchel (midfielders); Adrián, Lassad and Riki (strikers).

Within the last seasons Sevilla FC has always been a powerful team in attack, with a solid trident conformed by French/Malian Frederic Oumar Kanoute,  Brazilian Luis Fabiano and Spanish Álvaro Negredo. Together, the trio scored 38 goals on the past liga season and was the leading force that allowed Sevilla to claim the fourth spot at the standings.

But somehow these three men marksmen had a poor start on this season, only scoring 14 goals within the first 16 matches at Primera División (5 for Negredo, 5 for Kanoute and 4 for Luis Fabiano). For this reason, mixed with a weak defensive line that allowed 27 goals (the second worse in la liga within that period), by the start of 2011 the Andalusian team was only 11th at the standings.

And now the trio is waking up, because within the last four games the trident of Sevilla has scored eight goals (4 for Luis Fabiano, 3 for Kanouté and 1 for Negredo), which is the half of the number conquered in the first sixteen matches. And those numbers have allowed the resurrection of a Sevilla that lost five straight games and later won four of the last three meetings. And the big news for the game against Depor is that Kanoute is suspended after picking a fifth yellow card in the past clash with UD Levante.

However, what still the same is the weakness at defense, because Sevilla is still allowing a lot of goals, the Sevillans have allowed 32 goals on the liga campaign, which is the fifth worst mark at Primera División, actually Sevilla has only clinched three clean sheets on the whole season: 0-0 Vs Depor (matchday 02), 2-0 Vs Valencia (matchday 10) and 1-0 Vs Osasuna (matchday 17), the three of them in matches that were played at the Sánchez Pizjuán.

Together with Kanoute, there are other three casualties for the game against Deportivo, all of them for injuries, the first two sustained in the Copa clash against Real Madrid: central defender Sergio Sánchez and midfielder Ndri Romaric (both ankle sprain). And Jesús Navas is a last-minute casualty due to a virus. Also, the club just completed the signings of Chilean midfielder Gary Medel and Croatian Ivan Rakitic, but both men weren’t included in the final list for the game at the Riazor.

For the match against Depor, coach Gregorio Manzano will use a 4-4-2 lineup, with Andrés Palop at the goal, Argentine  Fernando Caceres at the right-back position, Catalan Fernando Navarro performing on the left, and with Andalusian Alexis Ruano and French Julien Escude performing at the centre of the defense.

At midfield, Ivorian Didier Zokora and Brazilian Renato Dirnei will perform at the centre of the action, former Sevilla Atletico Alejandro Alfaro will attack from the right wing, Argentine Diego Capel will do it on the left and the duo in attack will be Negredo-Luis Fabiano.

List of picked players (18): Palop, Javi Varas (goalkeepers), Fazio, Martín Cáceres, Fernando Navarro, Escudé, Dabo, Alexis, Sergio Sánchez (defenders); Zokora, Perotti, Renato, Capel, Acosta (midfielders); Luis Fabiano, Alejandro Alfaro, Negredo, and Rodrigo Ríos ‘Rodri’ (strikers).

Deportivo: (5-3-2) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Aythami, Ze Castro, Manuel Pablo – Juan Rodriguez, Rubén Pérez – Pablo Álvarez, Valerón or Lassad, Adrián.
Sevilla FC: Palop - Cáceres, Alexis, Escudé, Fernando Navarro - Alfaro, Zokora, Renato, Diego Capel - Luis Fabiano, Negredo.
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gamez (11 games on the season, 5 wins for the local team)
Kick-off: 22h00 (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs Sevilla: 34 wins for Depor, 21 draws, 29 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 27 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 5 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)



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