Squad news

PREVIEW: CORDOBA – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

22 Oct 2011
Depor needs to start winning games away from home and Oltra prepares some changes for the meeting, while Córdoba is dreaming with the promotion after a solid start on the current season.

STATISTICS: THE SEVENTH BEST DEFENSE IN SPAIN
Córdoba CF is currently living inside the promotion zone, and the best explanation it’s located in the strength of its defense, because the Andalusians have only allowed five goals in eight games, which put them as the seventh best defensive line among the top three divisions in Spain, just below Primera clubs Levante UD (3), FC Barcelona (4) and Sevilla CF (4), Segunda team Hércules CF (4) plus Segunda B clubs CD Mirandés (0) and SD Amorebieta (4).

The problem is that Córdoba has only scored seven times in the Segunda competition, which represents the fifth worst mark at liga Adelante 2011/12; curiously they only had one 0-0 match so far, which was last weekend’s goalless draw at FC Cartagena.

Meanwhile, Depor arrives to the Nuevo Árcangel stadium with the disappointing mark of been the fourth worst visiting team at Liga Adelante, with only three points added after three away games, mark only above CD Numancia (2), Girona FC (2) and FC Cartagena (1). To have in mind that Depor is the worst defense at Segunda during the away games, because the Galicians have conceded eight goals outside of the Riazor, dishonor shared with CD Guadalajara.

This is the thirteen visit of Deportivo to Córdoba playing in a league competition, and it must be said that the Galicians have had a lot problems in the matches played at both the old and new Árcangel stadium, because they have only won once there; which was the 4-0 victory achieved at the Segunda season 1982/83.

DEPORTIVO: TIME TO WAKE UP
The fans are starting to be nervous at Deportivo; the Galician side has only added one of the last six points in dispute and, beyond this number, the poor performance in the last two away meetings –at Alcorcón and Alcoyano- have lowered the morale of a demanding public that was expecting to see another Depor at Segunda División. The Galicians are just separated from the promotion spots by the goal difference, but the team needs to offer a convincing presentation in order to reaffirm its candidacy to Primera División.

And Depor must show this fresher version in the visit to the Nuevo Árcangel stadium, actually it’s a triple challenge as Oltra’s team must not only improve its recent performance, but must also break its drought of 239 minutes without scoring a goal away from home, plus to rip off a strong defensive line that has achieved a clean sheet in the half of the eight matchdays played so far.

In order to change the image coach José Luis Oltra is planning to make three changes compared to the team that only drew with Nástic on the past weekend; the first modification was the expected exit of Aythami Artiles, though the novelty is the replacement. During the week the coach tested with Ze Castro, but the Portuguese was surprisingly left out from the list of picked players, and on Friday Oltra was testing with David Rochela as the companion of Diego Colotto. the ex-Fabril has been a starter in Copa, but he has only played 14 minutes on the current Segunda campaign.

Riki is the second novelty as he will be a starter replacing Lassad up front; the third modification is the entry of Juan Dominguez at midfield. The lineup should be the classical 4-2-3-1 draw; with Daniel Aranzubia at the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ playing at the right-back position, Ayoze Diaz performing on the left side, while Rochela and Colotto will be at the centre.

At midfield, Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños will be the two pivotes in the formation; Mexican Andrés Guardado will attack from the right wing, Diogo Salomão will do it from the left; Juan Carlos Valerón will be the playmaker and Riki will be the central attacker.

Together with Ze Castro, striker Rodolfo Bodipo wasn’t picked due to tactical reasons, same thing than Juan Carlos Real, who will be playing with Fabril in the tough visit to Racing Vilalbés (Sunday). In the end five players are staying at the injury room: Manuel Pablo, Bruno Gama, Borja Fernández, Xisco and Pablo Álvarez.

Jesús Vázquez was saying before the game that, ”It’s going to be a good game for us, because we’re facing a great rival. The winner will surely demonstrate it on the pitch. If we have a good day, then nobody can stop us, but you have to demonstrate it on the pitch. We aren’t as we want to be, but we neither are bad.”

Aranzubia said on Friday that, “It’s a week with three games, with two complicate visits, and we are coming after a defeat and a draw at home, result that nobody liked, and then we have three matches in a week, but our goal is always to pick up the three points. The positive streaks are always good, and perhaps that’s what we need: positive results in order to reinforce our morale. To lose is always a bad signal, a new defeat would be a negative thing, but as the coach said nothing is definitive yet. Córdoba is playing good football; it’s having good results and therefore it will be a tough rival.”

Finally, Laure said that it’s time to achieve a win playing away from home, “We must win; it’s time to stop talking and been focused; we know that Cordoba is strong at home and we must assume risks. It’s time to play on the road and must seize the latest draw at home. Cordoba is a team that’s fine, with a defined lineup, so it’s complicated as they’re strong at home. We are willing to… a lot of games have passed and the lack of adaption can’t be an excuse now; we need to start winning away from home; it’s important for us and the team.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubía, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Ayoze, Morel, Seoane, Aythami, Colotto, Rochela (defenders); Saul, Guardado, Jesús Vázquez, Valerón, Salomão, Alex,  Juan Domínguez (midfielders); Lassad and Riki (strikers).

CORDOBA: ANOTHER CINDERELLA STORY
Deportivo is meeting another club living a good and at the same time unexpected moment; and it’s that Andalusian club Córdoba CF was at the brink of extinction during the pre-season; the club’s authorities had to put the team under administration due to a debt of €667,000 and even requested the redundancy policy (temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment), reason why eight players were dismissed, including defenders Agus and David De Coz. Besides, last season the team never passed above the 11th place at the standings and was even living inside the relegation zone at the beginning of the tournament, so the fans were concern about the near future.

But things went surprisingly good, fourteen players were hired for the present Segunda campaign and the club called ex-Depor Paco Jémez to lead the project, and Córdoba has won the half of its eight matches on the current season only losing once (0-2 at Valladolid, matchday 03). Now, everybody is referring to this team as one of the revelations of the campaign, and the fans are even starting to dream of their promotion options to Primera División. Their last appearance at the elite of Spanish football was on the season 1971/72.

And it won’t be a new situation for Deportivo as the Galicians already visited two clubs living a similar  situation of euphoria: AD Alcorcón and CD Alcoyano, and to remember that Oltra’s Depor lost in both opportunities been unable to score a goal. Perhaps the only difference is that Córdoba has more history as Los Blanquiverdes already played eight seasons at Primera, and last week meeting with FC Cartagena meant their match number 1,000 at Segunda División.

Big part of the merits for the present success are related to Paco Jémez, because he has been able to assembly a competitive team is a short period of time, just to point out the fact that ten months ago Deportivo faced this team in Copa Del Rey, and only two men are repeating their presence at the starting eleven: strikers Charles Días de Oliveira and José ´Pepe´ Diaz.

Despite the sad 0-0 of the past weekend, it’s expected that Jémez will practically repeat the same lineup of that match; with Catalan Alberto García defending the goal, 21-year-old Juan Rafael Fuentes playing at the right-back position, ex-Levante David Cerrajería ‘Cerra’ doing the same on the left side, while the central positions at defense will be for ex-Atletico Gaspar Gálvez and former Villarreal man Miguel Ángel Tena.

It’s considered a 4-4-2 figure, but the true is that the draw is more likely a 4-1-3-2, with a lonely pivote: ex-Celta Aritz López Garai. The wings are for ex-Elche man Juan Quero Barraso and former Cadiz player José María López da Silva. Right winger Borja García is unexpectedly recovered from his hamstring injury and was picked for the meeting, but he’ll be on the bench [in the end the only two casualties for injury reasons are defenders Cristian García and Jaime Astrain]

22-year-old Javier Hervás Salmoral performs as the playmaker in the scheme, he’s one of the two youngsters coming out from Córdoba B at the starting team and is considered one of the main hopes of the club due to his skills with the ball; he already scored one goal on this season. As it was said before, the duo upfront will be composed by Charles and Madrilenian Pepe Diaz . Brazilian Charles should be a familiar face to Deportivo as he spent six years at Pontevedra CF, club that faced Depor B in several opportunities.

Second keeper Carlos Arias talked before the game, the Bolivian was remembering the problems of Depor playing away from home, ”They aren’t fine when they leave the Riazor; Alcoyano and Alcorcón started the alarm bells an now we must try to exploit out best weapon, which is the pressure. We are about to face big clubs like Depor, Elche and Hércules and should go game by game, this if we want to end fighting in order to be up there.”

Former Celta man López Garai commented that, ”I’m with the coach until the end, he’s ambitious and isn’t thinking of any other think than to win on Saturday. Specially taking in mind our current form; Deportivo is the maximum aspirant to promotion, because they’re coming from Primera and has a lot of players from past season, though it’s hard to adapt, sooner or later they will be at the top, that’s a clear thing to me.”

Finally, defender Miguel Ángel Tena was talking of the strong defense shown by Córdoba on this season, ”The other day we had a lot of work at Cartagena and were fine, but it isn’t just the work of Gaspar and mine, but of the whole team, starting with the men up front. Now we are facing a rival with Valerón, no matter he’s older is a superclass and they use him a lot. We must follow him, because he makes passes from midfield, but the key for the game isn’t to stop Valerón, but to be fine. Right now it’s difficult to beat us, because we’ve a high pace since the kick-off.”

List of picked players (18): Alberto García, Carlos Arias (goalkeepers); Fernández, Fuentes, David Cerra, David Prieto, Gaspar, Tena (defenders); Javi Hervás, López Garai, Alberto Aguilar, Carlos Caballero, Quero, López Silva, Borja García (midfielders); Patiño, Charles and Pepe Díaz (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Córdoba: (4-1-3-2) Alberto García – Fuentes, Tena, Gaspar, Cerra - López Garai - Quero, Javi Hervás, López Silva – Pepe Diaz, Charles.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Rochela, Colotto, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Guardado, Valerón, Salomão – Riki.
Referee: Dámaso Arcediano Monescillo (27, first year at Segunda)
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (Nuevo Árcangel)
Head-to-head Vs. Córdoba: 11 win for Depor, 7 draws,  6 wins for Córdoba (Primera & Segunda)
Record at Córdoba: 1 win for Depor, 5 draws,  6 wins for Córdoba (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/11

ZAPPING

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