Squad news


30 Oct 2011
Depor searches for redemption at the Riazor and Oltra has been boosted by the miraculously recovery of Salomão and the presence of Guardado, while Girona arrives with big problems at defense and with the coach at the razor’s edge.

Both teams had opposite goals at the start of the season, Depor targets the promotion, but also whispers of winning the title at Liga Adelante, while Girona only thinks of living at the tranquil zone of the standings, but after only ten matches both teams are missing their targets. It’s true that Depor is just one point behind the promotion zone, but at the same time it sees how Hércules CF is escaping as the Valencian are now nine points away.

The worst part is that Depor already lost four matches allowing fourteen goals, which is the ninth worst mark in the competition. At least the Galicians still trust in the Riazor’s spirit as Oltra’s team has added ten of the fifteen points disputed there, which is the fourth best mark in the competition, only below the numbers of CD Sabadell (13, Real Valladolid (12)) and Hércules CD (12).

Girona has its own problems; the Catalans have only added seven of the thirty points disputed so far, which is their worst historic mark for a start in a Segunda season. They are also the second worst defense in the league with nineteen goal allowed, only above SD Huesca (20). For all these reasons they are currently living inside the relegation zone; without forgetting the fact that Girona is the worst visitor in the league, with only two points clinched in this condition after five visits; their only points came in the games: 2-2 at UD Almeria (matchday 03) and 2-2 at Villarreal B (matchday 09).

For the third time on the season Deportivo returns to the Riazor after losing a match playing away from home, and the good thing for the Galicians is that they have always reacted after suffering the blow as they haven’t lost two straight games on this campaign. First they were hammered by Alcorcón at Santo Domingo, and seven days later they were giving back the 4-0 medicine to CD Guadalajara.

Then Oltra’s Depor was defeated by Alcoyano at El Collao stadium (0-2), and the team returned home to pick up a 2-2 draw before Nástic, though Los Blanquiazules were criticized due to its poor performance in the second half of that game. What matters is that the team is adding points at home when they need it the most.

Now they return again to the Riazor after suffering a painful defeat away from home (1-2 at FC Cartagena), and again they are meeting a team at the bottom of the standings. Coach José Luis Oltra has been boosted by the news that Diogo Salomão is fit to play. The Portuguese winger didn’t end last Thursday’s match at Cartagonova due to a muscular problem, Oltra even said that only a “miracle” was going to allow his presence in the match, and the miracle happened as by Saturday the player completed the training session, reason by he was picked for the game.

Another player that was in doubt was Mexican Andrés Guardado, who also left the pitch on Thursday after suffering a blow, but in the end it was nothing and the player was picked for the match. The contribution of both wingers has been crucial for Oltra; both men are the top-scorers at the team with three goals in favour for each player, while combined they have gave five assists (four for the Mexican and one for the Portuguese).

Anyhow, it isn’t know if Oltra will risk Salomão, because the winger has been a starter in nine of the ten liga matches played so far and already sustained a couple of minor injuries, his place could be taken by Saul Fernandez. What’s clear is that Ayoze Diaz will return from suspension in order to claim the left-back spot at defense, actually his replacement at Cartagonova, Claudio Morel, wasn’t even picked for this meeting.

The second modification in the game will be the return of Juan Carlos Valerón, playmaker that was rested in midweek as Lassad Nouioui was a starter. The rest should be the same squad that lost before FC Cartagena, with Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Laureano Sanabria ´Laure’ will perform on the right-back position, while Aythami Artiles and Diego Colotto will be the central defenders. Jesús Vázquez and Álex Bergantiños will be the two pivotes; Guardado will attack from the left wing, while Riki will be the central attacker.

Right wingers Bruno Gama, Pablo Álvarez and centre midfielder Borja Fernandez continue to train at the same pace than the rest of players, but they haven’t been included in the list for this clash as the coaching staff want to be sure about their condition before been considered for the regular competition. Right-back Manuel Pablo and striker Xisco are the other players at the injury room as they continue to work apart. Finally, Ze Castro wasn’t picked for the third time in a row due to tactical reasons.

Diego Colotto talked before the game; he is convinced that Depor must react now, ”The team must be convinced that it can’t be at those positions, this despite we aren’t far from the second place. We’re conscious that the victory is the only thing in our minds. We must be conscious of our current situation, of the project that we have, with a clear goal and always trying to win the games. We must straighten the way and I’m sure that Depor will end at the top. It’s a matter of time, but we need to correct some things.”

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

If Los Albirrojos are currently having deep relegation problems it is for one simple reason: their terrible defense. And it’s that, together with SD Huesca, they are not only the teams with more goals allowed on the season, but are also the two clubs that haven’t clinched yet any clean sheet after the first ten matchdays; a clear sign of their miseries.

Coach Raúl Agné, who could be fired in case of losing this match, hasn’t founded yet the way to stop the bleeding, the true is that he doesn’t have much to choose from; Girona only has seven defenders in its squad and the Aragonian man has barely changed the four line men at the back zone, because beyond the fragility at defense, he has had all kind of problems, from the three red cards saw by his defenders to the physical problems of his men, as example the last match with Celta, confrontation in which left-back José Martinez and central defender Dani Tortolero were replaced due to muscular problems.

In the end Martinez didn’t recover and will miss the clash at the Riazor, so Agné will have to improvise replacing right winger Juan Luis Hens ´Juanlu’  at the right-back position, which opens a spot for ex-Barcelona B Benjamín Martínez ‘Benja’ at the starting squad.  There are other two modifications compared to the squad that played at Balaídos in midweek as central defender Ricardo Álvarez Puig ´Richy’ and striker Daniel Nieto are claiming a spot at the starting team.

It will be a 4-4-2 draw; with Navarran Roberto Santamaría at the goal, Juanlu performing at the right side of the defense, Miguel Ángel González ‘Migue’ will perform on the left, while the central positions will be for Richy and Dani Tortolero.

Albert Dorca and Marcos Tébar will cover the central positions at midfield, ex-Valencia man Alejandro Castro Fernández ‘Jandro’ will attack from the right flank, while Daniel Nieto will move his position to the left. Finally Benja will join Ferrán Corominas in attack, the ex-Espanyol striker is the current top-scorer at the team with four goals scored so far, which by the way represents the 33% of the goals scored by Girona in the Segunda season.

Former Depor keeper Dani Mallo will be the replacement on the bench; he was talking of the tough scenario lived by the team, ”We are facing a complicate situation; we are conscious about it. For this reason we must revert the dynamic as soon as possible. We know that on Sunday it will be complicated at the Riazor, but right now we must work game by game  in order to improve our performance, both at defense and in attack.”

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Aythami, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Jesús Vázquez – Guardado, Valerón, Salomão or Saúl - Riki
Girona: (4-4-2) Santamaría - Juanlu, Tortolero, Richy, Migue - Jandro, Tébar, Dorca, Nieto – Corominas, Benja.
Referee: José Luis Lesma Lopez (35, fourth year at Segunda)
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Girona: 1 win for Depor, 1 draw, 2 wins for Girona (Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 1 win for Depor, 1 draw, 0 wins for Girona (Segunda)



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