Squad news

PREVIEW: ELCHE – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

20 Nov 2011
Deportivo wants to keep climbing some positions while it tries to clear its grey image playing away from home; there are doubts on the possible lineup though it seems that Oltra is only making two changes.

STATISTICS: IN-FORM ELCHE THREATNES DEPOR
Elche CF had a mixed start on the Segunda season, with three wins in a row that were followed by three straight defeats, but within the last seven matches Los Ilicitanos have added twelve points only losing once (0-1 Vs. Córdoba). It’s the fourth best mark in the period, only below Hércules CF (15), Real Murcia (15) and RC Celta (13).

But Elche is only the tenth home team in the league as it added ten points playing in this condition, mark below the one of Depor (16), Valladolid (15), Hércules (15), Sabadell (14), Numancia (13), UD Almeria (12), UD Las Palmas (11), AD Alcorcón (11) and CD Guadalajara (11). At the same time Deportivo has just added seven points away from the Riazor, it’s the eighth worst mark in the league and actually it’s the worst one among the top nine places at the standings.

Deportivo has disputed fifteen liga matches between the new Martinez Valero and the old Altabix stadium, and it only won four of those meetings; the last time was at Segunda as the team coached by Eusebio Ríos clinched a 2-0 win during the season 1986-87. However, it isn’t the last win of the Galicians at Elche, because Lotina’s Depor won a Copa match there during the season 2008/09: 2-0 with goals scored by Bodipo and Riki. Guardado and Laure were also starters in that game and both men are repeating their presence in this match.

DEPORTIVO: TRYING TO IMPROVE AWAY FROM HOME
Oltra’s Deportivo La Coruña is the best local team at Segunda División, but it’s only the 14th best visiting side in the league; therefore this is the pending subject if the Galicians want to reach the direct promotion spots. In the first visits the main problem was the softness at defense, but lately it seems that Depor is improving in this department.

Because in two of the last three exits Deportivo was able to clinch a clean sheet (2-0 at Córdoba and 0-0 at Real Murcia), which is crucial in order to add points. But the problem that hasn’t been corrected is the number of goal scored playing in this condition; so far the Galicians have only conquered six goals away from the Riazor, which is the fifth worst mark in the league, so Oltra needs to find more depth in order to secure the three points.

Only Riki and Morel are at the injury room, so there was a high interest in the players that Oltra was going to pick for the trip to Elche, and it calls the attention the fact that Ze Castro, Seoane and Rochela were left behind in La Coruña, which means that Depor is only traveling with five defenders, while Oltra picked, for the first time, the four centre midfielders at the squad. It clearly explains the kind of game that Oltra is expecting to meet.
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Another thing that called the attention was that Oltra picked Rodolfo Bodipo, while he left out Xisco, who was even considered as possible starter; perhaps the reason is that Bodipo knows Elche pretty well as he performed there in the past. At the same time, Manuel Pablo was picked for the first time in almost three months as he is recovered from his hamstring injury.

Oltra didn’t give any clue about the possible lineup; the presence of four centre midfielders in the list invites to think in a change of system and even in a triple pivote figure; anyway the major part of the journalists believe that the coach won’t change the 4-2-3-1 tactic, and appoint that the only doubt is if Juan Dominguez will keep playing at midfield after his great match with Celta or if Jesús Vázquez is going to regain the spot.

Daniel Aranzubia will defend the goal, Laure will keep playing at the right-back position, Ayoze Diaz will perform on the left, while Colotto and Aythami will occupy the central positions at defense. Álex Bergantiños should be one of the pivotes, there were rumours that Salomão could be rested, but it’s predicted that he will keep performing on the left wing, while Guardado returns in order to play on the right; Valerón will be the playmaker in the formation, while Lassad will be the central attacker after his great goal before RC Celta.

Saúl Fernandez, who played two seasons at Elche before joining Depor, said before the match that, ”Elche is one of the most complicate rivals in the league; it’s a rival that tightens the things up, and if they steal the ball up front, then it can create a lot of damage. We must go out focused, knowing who we are going to meet and trying to seize our chances. If we want to be at the top then we must demonstrate it in these kinds of matches. There are a few direct confrontations in the matchday and a victory can leave us in a pretty good position.”

Meanwhile, Valerón was remembering that it won’t be easy to achieve the promotion back to Primera, “I do believe we’ve a great team, but aren’t too superior to the rest. There are solid teams at Segunda and don’t share the idea this is going to be a sidewalk to Primera. Segunda is different to Primera; at Primera there’s a clear difference between the top teams and the rest. At Segunda, within the last years, we have saw teams that in December are at the bottom, but later end the season at the top. The ideal thing is to stay up there throughout the season. That’s what we want.”

Finally, Álex Bergantiños was giving his forecast on the game, “It’s a tough game, complicated. Really it’s a hard match, but it’s the perfect match to achieve the three points, because they put a lot of pressure at midfield, and if we can surpass that pressure then we will find more spaces at the back zone.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Colotto, Aythami, Ayoze, Manuel Pablo (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez, Borja Fernandez, Jesús Vázquez, Guardado, Valerón, Salomão, Saúl, Bruno Gama (midfielders); Lassad and Bodipo (strikers)

ELCHE: TRYING TO FIND SOME STABILITY
Alicante-based club Elche CF has spent the last thirteen years at Segunda División, it’s the longest spell among the current twenty-two clubs at Liga Adelante, but this “stability” on the pitch hasn’t been corresponded at the treasury room. The club still owes money to the players from last season and is desperately seeking for individual investors that can contribute between €50,000 and €100,000. There were rumours of Italian investors, and on Saturday it was informed about an initial agreement between president José Sepulcre and businessman Alessandro Gaucci, who could invest enough money to claim the 51% of control over the club.

Two seasons ago, these problems forced the club to sell top-striker Jorge Molina to Real Betis, though later they had problems to collect the €1.9 million as Betis went on administration. Anyhow, the financial problems haven’t affected the results of the team, at least not yet, last season they found striker Ángel Luis Rodríguez, who scored sixteen goals in the regular competition to lead the team to the playoffs, but later they were eliminated by Granada CF.

On this season the team has kept a, sort or less, regular performance that’s keeping them close to the top-positions, this no matter that Ángel is currently passing through a drought period, with only four goals scored so far and with a negative mark of 415 minutes without scoring a goal.

Ahead of the clash with Depor, coach José Bordalás is thinking in just one change compared to the team that drew at FC Cartagena (1-1); and it’s a forced modification as left-back Edu Albacar is suspended, which will allow the return of ex-Real Madrid Castilla Miquel Palanca to the left wing, while ex-Tenerife Gregory Beranger will delay his position from the left wing to the left sector at defense.

The draw is a 4-4-2; with former Villarreal Juan Carlos Sánchez at the goal, ex-Osasuna man Javier Flaño will cover the right-back position, French Beranger will be on the left, while the central defenders will be Sergio Pelegrín and former Athletic man Xabier Etxeita.

Sergio Mantecón and Jose Luis Acciari will perform on the pivote functions; Argentine Acciari should be remembered by Depor’s fans as he was close to be transferred to Depor during the season 2005/06, but the operation was blocked at the last minute.

 Meanwhile Jordi Xumetra will attack from the right wing, he made some curious comments during the week as he said that Depor’s players perform “walking on the pitch”; he already asked for apologies as his words were misinterpreted. Palanca is performing at the left wing, while the duo at the centre of the attack is composed by Ángel Rodriguez and Danish Nicki Niels Bille

Central defender Sergio Pelegrín was commenting the importance of this meeting and also of the derby with Hércules, ”In the next two matches we will possible see our real level; we already played against teams at the top and lost before Valladolid an Almeria, but defeated Celta. Depor and Hércules are two exams in which we will try to do our best.”

Finally, striker Ángel said that, ”It’s going to be a tough match against a rival that will surely return to Primera División, and that has a great coach. Outside home they are failing and we will try to add the three points. It’s a direct rival and must do our best. Surely they are a great team, but we’re capable of defeating them. We’re motivated after adding the latest points, with the exception of the accident at Córdoba.”

List of picked players (20): Juan Carlos, Leandro; Flaño, Héctor Verdés, Carpio, Etxeita, Beranger, Pelegrín; Mantecón, Rúper, Acciari, Luque, Palanca, Xumetra, Luismi Loro, Kike Mateo, Perico (midfielders); Ángel, Linares and Nicki Bille (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Elche: (4-4-2) Juan Carlos - Flaño, Etxeita, Pelegrín, Beranger -, Xumetra, Mantecón, Acciari, Palanca - Nicki Bille, Ángel.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Aythami, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Jesús Vázquez or Juan Dominguez – Guardado, Valerón, Salomão – Lassad.
Referee: Antonio Mariscal Sánchez (37, second year at Segunda)
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Manuel Martinez Valero stadium)
Head-to-head Vs. Elche: 11 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 12 wins for Elche (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Martinez Valero: 4 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 9 wins for Elche (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/11

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