Competition news

PREVIEW: ALCOYANO – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

08 Oct 2011
Again Deportivo is full of casualties; this time Oltra will miss Guardado, one of the two most incisive players on this start of season. The rival is Alcoyano, a team that has shown a warrior spirit during the Segunda campaign.

STATISTICS: TWO TEAMS CLEARING DOUBTS
CD Alcoyano is the third newcomer to Segunda División that Deportivo is meeting after just seven matches on the season 2011/12, but this is a totally different case compared to the previous two, Sabadell and Guadalajara, because they arrived to the Riazor as the leaders at liga Adelante, while Alcoyano is more worried trying to clear out the ghost of relegation. They just escaped from the drop zone after clinching their first victory on the season on the past weekend (2-1 at FC Cartagena).

And to mention that the Valencians have allowed at least one goal in each one of their six previous liga meetings, for this reason they are the fifth worst defense in the league (11 goals allowed). Meanwhile, Deportivo is trying to clear out the image of been a “soft” team each times that leaves the Riazor. The Galicians were already trashed by Alcorcón on their previous visit (0-4), and on the previous Primera season they just picked 13 of the 57 points disputed away from La Coruña (only 23% of the total).

This is the third time in which Deportivo visits Alcoyano playing for a league competition, the previous two visits took place at Primera División sixty years ago; the last one was a 1-0 win for Depor (matchday 10, season 1950/51), with a goal scored by legendary Rafael Franco, an attacker that scored 42 goals in 72 Primera matches with the Galician club.

DEPORTIVO: BATMAN & ROBIN
Oltra has found in Juan Carlos Valerón and Andrés Guardado his dynamic duo to lead Deportivo to the promotion positions. The Galicians had already scored ten goals on the Segunda season, and in nine of those goals at least one of these two players has been involved, well as the scorer or as the assistor. In the opening matchday the Mexican threw a corner-kick that El Flaco headed into the path of Colotto, who later was the man that scored the winning goal.

Again Barcelona B, Guardado claimed the protagonic role assisting Lassad twice and later scoring a sensational goal from midfield. Against Sabadell the lights were on both players as Guardado and Lassad built up a perfect play to see Valerón scoring the first goal, and just five minutes later the ex-Atlas man replied after collecting a late cross of Salomão.

And the hero in the past game with CD Guadalajara was Valerón as he gave three fantastic assists, one of them to Guardado. Precisely the last goal scored by Deportivo in that game represents the only goal in which neither Guardado nor Valerón have participated. It was a counterattack in which Ayoze sent a long pass that was capitalized by Salomão. In resume these two men combined has brought four goals and six assists for Deportivo, all of that in just six liga meetings.

Those are pretty impressing numbers, and now the problem for Oltra is that he’s missing one of his “superheroes” as Guardado is concentrated with Mexico for a friendly game against Brazil. The worst part is that Depor’s coach only has two available wingers for the match: Diego Salomão and Saul Fernandez, this last player is returning after one month out.
 
On Thursday the coach was testing the option of playing with Lassad on the right wing and with Xisco up front, but the Majorcan is a last-minute casualty due to a muscular injury, which rose the number of casualties for the game to seven players. Five men are at the injury room: Manuel Pablo, Borja, Pablo Álvarez, Bruno Gama and Xisco. Two are concentrated with their national teams, Guardado and Bodipo, while Juan Carlos is joining Fabril for the meeting with Bergantiños CF.

At least the coach is also recovering Riki, Colotto and Laure, the last two man are returning from suspension. The unexpected casualty of Xisco is brining big doubts on what Oltra will do at El Collao in order to cover the wings; the two probable scenarios are to allow the return of Saul, who has missed the previous three games and needs match fitness, or to advance the position of Laure, in this last case Diego Seoane would claim the spot at the right-back position.

The rest of the team is defined, with Dani Aranzubia at the goal; Ayoze Diaz covering the left-back position at defense, while Diego Colotto returns in order to join Canarian Aythami Artiles at the centre. Jesús Vázquez and Álex Bergantiños will continue performing on the pivote spots. Diogo Salomão will attack from the left wing, Juan Carlos Valerón will be the playmaker in the formation and Lassad Nouioui will be the central attacker.

Before the game, Riki was warning to avoid the same situation lived against Alcorcón, ”I believe the pitch is smaller than the one at Alcorcón, it’s a  typical pitch from Segunda B; if we aren’t plugged since the start then it’s going to be a similar game to the one against Alcorcón. We knew where we were going in the visit to Alcorcón and Alcoyano might have the same aggressive mentality, because they will be motivated for been facing Deportivo and it won’t be easy. If we compete at the same level than them, then we are superior as we have better players.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Seoane, Colotto, Aythami, Zé Castro, Rochela, Morel, Ayoze (defenders); Jesús Vázquez, Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez, Saúl, Salomão, Valerón (midfielders); Lassad and Riki (strikers).

ALCOYANO: THE MORALE OF ALCOYANO
There are several legends in Spanish football; one of them is related to the “morale of Alcoyano”; the legend says that in a distant past the players of this Valencian team implored the referee to extend the stoppage time as they were hoping to equalize the game, this despite they were suffering a big loss, some people say that it occurred in 1948 as Alcoyano was losing 0-13 in Copa Del Rey, others that it was a liga match that was deciding the relegation and that they were losing 0-6 by minute 90. Since then the phrase ” tienes mas moral que el Alcoyano” [you have more morale than Alcoyano] became quite popular at the moment of referring to an optimistic person.

And the performance of Alcoyano on this season, their first at Segunda after 44 years, is turning the fairytale into reality, because courage and morale is exactly the main virtue of this team. Five of the six points that they have achieved so far came with the team coming from behind in the scoresheet. Against Numancia they were losing 0-1 at home, but then scored the equalizer from the penalty spot (matchday 02).

Then, during the visit to SD Huesca (matchday 05), Alcoyano came from behind in two different opportunities to end clinching a point. They were losing 0-2 after twenty minutes, but conquered the equalizer before half-time; then they allowed another goal in the second half, but managed to score the 3-3 before the final whistle. And in the last visit to FC Cartagena (matchday 07), the Valencian team was losing 0-1 at minute 8, but managed to score twice within four minutes to end the first half leading in the scoresheet, by the end of the game they were claiming their first win on the season (2-1).

The sixth point of Alcoyano on the season was achieved in the 1-1 draw with Villarreal B; curiously it was the lonely opportunity in which the Valencians scored the first goal in a liga game during this Segunda campaign, so clearly this is a team that doesn’t lose the patience when it see itself in disadvantage.

For the match against Depor, coach David Porras has the casualties of strikers Raúl Iván Fabiani and Francisco Esteban Granado, but in any case he is able to repeat the same 4-4-2 figure that achieved their first win on the season.

For the meeting it’s expected to see Catalan Fernando Maestro defending the goal; the weakest point of the team is the defense composed by ex-Atletico Juan Pedro Pina performing at the right-back position, Jorge Devesa covering the left side and Jorge García Morcillo plus Fernando Martin playing at the centre of the defense.

The mark over Valerón will be the huge responsibility for former Alavés man César Jesús Remón, and his partner at midfield will be Catalan Miquel Martínez ‘Miki’. Ex-Murcia Antonio Cañadas will attack from the left wing, Álvaro García Cantó, who scored ten goals on the past Segunda B season, will play at the right flank, while the couple at the centre of the attack will be for Diego David Jiménez and Honduran Anthony Rubén ´Choco´Lozano, this last player is loaned from Valencia CF and scoffed the winning goal against FC Cartagena.

Cañadas said before the game that he’s confident about the chances of his team in this game, ”We believe that we can surprise them. The key is to maintain the intensity, ambition and humility. If we follow the same path, then we can make important things on this season. I am at the top and hoping to see the coach counting with me. We must have confidence in ourselves, because in the past the team kept the calm when things weren’t going as expected.”

Finally, César Remón was commenting the fact of been marking Valerón, ”As a fan of Atletico Madrid, I am satisfied for been facing on Saturday a player of the level of Valerón. We can defeat anyone at El Collao from the base that we have the support of a magnificent group of fans; we must close the lines and seize the counterattacks.”

List of picked players: Coach Porras will release the list until a couple of hours before the meeting.

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Alcoyano: (4-4-2) Maestro - Pina, Morcillo, Fernando Martín, Devesa - Álvaro, Miki, César Remón Cañadas - Diego Jiménez, Choco Lozano.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure or Seoane, Colotto, Aythami, Ayoze – Jesús Vázquez, Álex Bergantiños – Saúl or Laure, Valerón, Salomão - Riki
Referee: Jorge Valdes Aller (29, 2nd year at Segunda División)
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (El Collao)
Head-to-head Vs. Alcoyano: 3 wins for Depor, 0 draws, 1 win for Alcoyano (Primera División)
Mark at Alcoy: 1 win for Depor, 0 draws, 1 win for Alcoyano (Primera División)

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/11

ZAPPING

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