Competition news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – GUADALAJARA (LIGA)

01 Oct 2011
Depor searches for redemption in front of its fans; Oltra still has a lot of casualties, but it’s only making two changes to the lineup; the rival is living a dream as CD Guadalajara is the current leader at Liga Adelante.

STATISTICS: NO REASON TO PANIC
Alarm bells rising in La Coruña after the latest setback in Alcorcón, but the true is that there is no reason to panic, at least in a statistical point of view. Deportivo is just two points behind the first place, which by the way is the rival in this game, and it must be reminded that in the year of the last promotion (season 1990/91) the Galicians had a similar start, with two victories (2-0 Vs Elche and 3-0 s Rayo Vallecano); two draws (0-0 Vs. Las Palmas & Sestao) and one defeat (1-3 Vs. Bilbao Athletic); this after the first five Segunda matches.

The rival is the surprising leader at Segunda División; surprising because it’s a recently promoted team that’s living its first season at Liga Adelante. CD Guadalajara is, together with UD Almeria, the only teams in the league that haven’t been defeated yet in the competition, though it’s also true that this is their first meeting against one of the six favourite clubs for the promotion spots –Depor, Celta, Almeria, Hércules, Valladolid and Elche-

At this point a worrying factor is the number of goals allowed by Depor in this start of season: eight. It’s the worst mark after the first five liga matches since the season 2004/05; at the time Depor had allowed eleven goals after the first Primera matches; eight of those goals came in the home meetings with Osasuna (1-3, matchday 02), and Valencia (1-5, matchday 04).

DEPORTIVO: PROBLEMS AT DEFENSE
Things are changing fast at Deportivo, last year the complaint was the lack of goals, and now that the team is finally finding the net people are realizing that there are cracks at defense that are costing a lot of goals, something that was clear on last Saturday as Depor allowed three goals in a matter of sixteen minutes, an unseen mark within the last fifty-three years.

Clearly the arrival of new coach José Luis Oltra is changing the mentality as the team seems now more offensive, but at the same time fragile at the back zone. Some might think the problem is based in the departure of Lopo, others appoint to a lack of communication between the defenders and the new couple at midfield –Álex & Jesus Vazquez-

No matter the reason why, Oltra has to find the way to fix the issue, because despite the team achieved three wins within the first four matches, the true is that those were narrow wins in which the team suffered a lot at defense. Álex Bergantiños was trying to explain the issue to reporters, ”In my opinion we are hurried at the moment of making the transitions. Maybe we are trying to arrive too fast and sometimes are lacking coordination, for this reason we need to improve the transition defense-attack.”

Meanwhile, Colotto was saying that, ”For now we need to be strong and must bring tranquility to the team. We aren’t the worst defense now only because we allowed four goals, neither will be the best if we achieve a clean sheet in the next game. We must find a balance at all the lines. I believe the team will end finding its strength. We need to find our answers and learn what we did wrong, but it was the same against Sabadell. The important thing is to make our conclusions for what lies ahead.”

Oltra is making his own analyzes of what is happening; as he recently told in a radio interview, ”I believe that the fact of been putting more pressure in attack has created some mismatches at the back zone, this due to the velocity of the rivals.”

To make things more complicated Oltra is missing two defenders for the meeting, because Colotto and Laure are suspended after been sent off in the past game. For this reason the Valencian coach is forced to make changes; with Manuel Pablo out injured the spot at the right-back position will be for Diego Seoane, who is making his first appearance as a starter with the first team in nine months (the last time was in Copa against Córdoba, December 21).

Meanwhile, it was expected that Portuguese Ze Castro was going to be the replacement of Colotto, but on Friday Oltra was testing with David Rochela in the position, so all appoints that the ex-Fabril will claim the spot. The Galician defender isn’t a starter in liga with the first team since seven months ago; the last time was in the home meeting with Real Sociedad (March 07). Rochela was discarded for the past match at Alcorcón, and now he is going directly into the starting eleven.

Despite the heavy defeat of the past weekend, there are no more changes expected at the starting lineup, mainly because the long list of injuries are reducing the possibilities for deeper changes. In this way Daniel Aranzubia will be at the goal, Ayoze Diaz will play on the left-back position and Aythami Artiles will join Rochela at the centre of the defense.

Álex Bergantiños and Jesús Vázquez will continue to be the couple at midfield,Andrés Guardado will keep playing at the right wing, Diogo Salomão will do it on the left, Juan Carlos Valerón will be the playmaker in the formation and Lassad Nouioui will be the central attacker.

Oltra is only recovering Xisco from the injury room; therefore seven players remain out due to injury reasons: Bruno Gama, Manuel Pablo, Saul, Pablo Álvarez, Riki and Borja Fernandez. Fabril’s Juan Carlos was called for the match; it’s the third straight time in which the playmaker is picked for a liga meeting.

Xisco was saying that this game must be used to change the latest image left by the team, ”We are the first ones that want to change; we are aware that the team was pretty poor on the past Saturday and must change as soon as possible. We left an improper impression of what Deportivo is, of what we really are… this Saturday things are going to be a little easier, with the fans supporting us. Everything is easier with 25,000 persons behind you. However, we can’t think that it will be a piece of cake.”

On Friday, Lassad said that, “We are only thinking in making a good match against Guadalajara and will try to fix the errors; we can’t be mad just for one bad game at Alcorcón. It was a bad game for the fans, but if we are thinking of Alcorcón, then we won’t be ready for tomorrow’s game.”

Jesús Vázquez said that, “We have been expecting for the game all week long, because we want to win and stay at the top positions, mainly after what happened on past week. In football everything is forgotten with a victory. I am here in order to help; the eleven players must put something and then the team will go up.”

Finally, to remember that last season Fabril suffered the relegation to Tercera after a polemic game at CD Guadalajara that included three expulsions for Depor’s youngsters; Alex was remembering the issue with reporters, ”I spoke with Juan Carlos and Rochela, and we agreed that if Fabril was relegated it was for the 38 matches that we played and not for one game in particular. We want to win in order to surpass them at the standings and to be back soon at the top positions.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Seoane, Morel, Ayoze, Aythami, Rochela, Ze Castro (defenders); Jesus Vázquez, Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, Valerón, Juan Carlos, Guardado, Salomão (midfielders); Lassad, Xisco & Bodipo (strikers).

GUADALAJARA: THE OTHER DEPOR
CD Guadalajara, also known as Deportivo or Depor by its fans, is a small club from Castile La-Mancha that’ s one of the surprises in the always uncertain Liga Adelante. Los Manchegos aren’t only a recently promoted club, but also a debutant at Segunda A, and are even a short-experience team at Segunda B -only four seasons in that division- Three months ago they were condemning Fabril to the relegation to Tercera, now they are meeting the first squad of Deportivo in the always intimidating Riazor, and they are doing it as the leader in the league and as one of the two undefeated teams in the competition.

Perhaps the most shocking fact at this team is the lack of experience of its players before this season; and it’s that only striker Joseba Arriaga has a solid experience at the top two leagues in Spain, which includes 56 Primera appearances with Athletic Bilbao within the years 2002 & 2005, plus 27 Segunda games with Cádiz and Las Palmas; and to remind that he’s out of the meeting with a hamstring strain injury.

Then there are only three players with a handful number of matches at Segunda before this season, defender Víctor Fernández only made three appearances with Celta during the past campaign (225 minutes); midfielder Rodrigo Suarez made seven with FC Cartagena (296 minutes)  and striker Cristian Fernandez had nine games with Albacete (511 minutes). The rest of the team had only played at Segunda B or in lower leagues.

The key to understand why this team has had a solid start is the block, because the team only made a few signings (10) and most importantly it kept the spinal cord of the past season, which is based in the attacks by the sides, with left winger Ernesto Gómez and right winger Iván Moreno attacking by the flanks always searching for the two references in attack, one of them will be Aníbal Zurdo, a tall central attacker that scored ten goals in the past Segunda B season and that’s replacing Arriaga. The other is Scottish Ryam Harper, the only foreign player at the club.

For the visit to the Riazor it is predicted a 4-4-2 formation; with Mikel Saizar at the goal, Antonio Moreno playing at the right-back position, Javier Barral at the left side plus Jorge Juan Martínez and David Fernandez performing at the centre of the defense.

Jon Andoni García ‘Jonan’ and Javi Soria will be the two pivotes; this last player scored in both matches of the past season against Fabril, while the attacking line will be the mentioned before, with Ernesto on the right wing, Iván Moreno on the left, while the attacking couple will be composed by Anibal and Harper. To mention that nine of these eleven men were part of the starting eleven that sent Fabril to Tercera on the past season.

Before the meeting, captain Jorge Juan Martínez was explaining what Guadalajara needs in order to pick up a positive result at the Riazor, ”If we want to get something positive from La Coruña then we need to play at two hundred percent; you don’t need to be smart to realize that Deportivo La Coruña is the rival to beat at Segunda División. We must be conscious that it’s a tough rival and that it will be complicated to pick up some points on Saturday. We will try to win from our humility, sacrifice and hard work.”

Similar was the opinion of striker Anibal, ”For us it’s a reward to face Depor, team that has been champion in la liga, champion in Copa and having all those players, like Valerón, who I watched playing in a World Cup and felt in love with him, and now it’s a pride to face him. Surely this feeling will end with the kick-off, but we are going there thinking that it’s a pitch where nobody can win… now because they are at Segunda, but before nobody was winning there. It’s incredible, [Real] Madrid was unable to win there and now we are playing there. They are anxiously waiting for us. They are hurt and it makes them more dangerous.”

List of picked players (18): Saizar, Sanmiguel (goalkeepers); Antonio Moreno, Javi Barral, David Fernandez Gaffoor, Ander Gago, Víctor Fernandez, Jorge Juan Martínez (defenders); Rodrigo Suarez ‘Rodri’, Javi Soria, Jonathan Ñíguez ‘Jony’, Ernesto Gómez, Iván Moreno, Jonan (midfielders); Anibal, Ryan Harper, and Cristian Fernandez (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Seoane, Rochela, Aythami, Ayoze – Jesús Vázquez, Alex Bergantiños – Guardado, Valerón, Salomão - Lassad
Guadalajara: (4-4-2) Saizar - Antonio Moreno, Jorge, David Fernández, Javi Barral – Iván Moreno, Javi Soria, Jonan, Ernesto – Aníbal, Ryan Harper.
Referee: Mario Melero López (32, third year at Segunda)
Kick-off: 16h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Guadalajara: First official meeting between these two clubs

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/11

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