Squad news


18 Dec 2011
Depor targets to end the year at the second place at the standings as Oltra repeats the lineup for the fourth straight time; the rival is the club that uses more youngsters among the teams at Primera and Segunda División.

UD Las Palmas might be at mid-table team, but it’s a rival that shouldn’t be despised, especially when it plays at the Estadio de Gran Canaria. Just to mention the fact that the Canarians have only lost once there (0-1 Vs. Granada, matchday 05); actually they have only allowed four goals at home, which is the best mark in the league. The problem is that they neither score too many goals at home (9, the third worst mark in the league) reason why they have only picked fifteen points in eight home matches.

Meanwhile, Deportivo has improved a lot; Oltra’s team has only lost one of its last seven games in liga, but the team still suffering each times that leaves the Riazor. So far the Galicians have only picked eight points playing away from home, that’s the seventh worst mark in the competition. Without doubt is the pending subject that Depor needs to improve in order to aspire to the top two places.

Besides, Deportivo has always faced problems during its visits to Las Palmas (Canary Islands), this is the first visit to Estadio Gran Canaria (built up in 2003, capacity for 31,250 spectators), but in the previous 17 liga matches played at the old Estadio Insular the Galicians only picked three wins, the last one occurred ten years ago as Irureta’s Depor clinched a 1-0 win on the liga season 2001/02, with a goal scored by Fran. There are two survivors at Depor’s team from that game: Manuel Pablo and Valerón, and both are familiar faces for Las Palmas as they are homegrown players at the Canarian club.

Depor has only won two away games on this season and coach José Luis Oltra knows that it’s important to pick up the points in the road in order to aspire to the direct promotion spots. The defeat of Hércules CF at CD Numancia (1-2), means that a victory in this game will allow Depor to reach the second place, which will be a nice Christmas present for the fans.

After the solid presentation in Copa many people was expecting to see some novelties in the list of players for this game, especially the entry of Saul Fernandez, who scored a brace before Levante, but in the end Oltra opted to give continuity to the players that are normally performing in liga; in this sense there’s only one change comparing the list for this game with one for the past liga clash with Numancia; that change is the entry of centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez for right winger Pablo Álvarez, who curiously was the other scorer in Copa Del Rey.

It’s expected that Oltra will repeat the lineup in liga for the fourth straight time, so Daniel Aranzubia will be at the goal, Laureano Sanabria ´Laure’ will play at the right-back position, former Tenerife man Ayoze Diaz will have a special meeting as he will perform on the left side, while the central defenders will be Diego Colotto and Ze Castro.

One more time the centre of the pitch will have a Galician flavor as Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños will perform on the pivote functions. Mexican Andrés Guardado will attack from the left wing, while Portuguese Bruno Gama will do it from the right.

Juan Carlos Valerón is the second Canarian that will be on the pitch performing for Depor, it will be special game for him as he debuted here in 1995 at Segunda División. El Flaco is the playmaker in the scheme of Oltra, while Lassad Nouioui will be at the centre of the attack; the Tunisian striker is living a solid moment with five goals scored within the last seven liga matches.

Rodolfo Bodipo wasn’t able to surpass a knee problem picked in the clash with Levante UD, so he is the third player at the injury room alongside Xisco and Claudio Morel, finally the discards for tactical reasons are side defender Diego Seoane, central defender David Rochela, plus right wingers Saul Fernandez and Pablo Álvarez.

Lassad Nouioui talked to reporters before the trip to the Canary Islands; he is convinced that Depor has improved when it plays outside the Riazor, "We are going there to prove that we are not only good at home. Away from home the team has improved a lot, but it isn’t useful if we don’t win. We can make an important step and leave a positive impression. The coach told us that this is a good rival, especially at home. In France is very difficult to win at Ajaccio (Corsica). We must go there and play our football.”

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

The Canarians have suffered a lot within the last decade, from a bankruptcy situation to the torment of Segunda B, but little by little they are fighting in order to regain the glory of the 1970’s, time when they even ended fourth at Primera División. And they are doing it through a simple solution: to trust in the youngsters coming out from its youth system.

Currently fifteen of the twenty-six players at the first team (58% of the total) are coming out from the youth teams, which is the highest percentage at Primera or Segunda División. As a way of comparison, at Deportivo only eight of the twenty-six players at the first team played before for Fabril (31% of the total). Clearly it’s the pillar of a club that targets the promotion to Primera in the mid-term.

And there are promising players currently performing for Las Palmas, as 24-year-old midfielder Sergio Suárez, who is the best assistor at Segunda (6), or 22-year-old playmaker Jonathan Viera, who is the top-scorer at the team with six goals added to his tally.

For the match with Depor the big problem of coach Juan Manuel Rodríguez is the suspension of four of his players, starting with veteran striker Javi Guerrero, who has scored eight goals in the past against Depor. Left-back Enrique Corrales is also out of the clash, the same goes for the twin brothers Sergio Suárez and Francis Suárez. The first three are important casualties as they are normal starters at the Canarian team. At least Jonathan Viera is returning from suspension.

The expected lineup for the clash is a 4-2-3-1 figure; with Argentine Mariano Barbosa defending the goal, veteran Frenchman Stephane Pignol will play at the right-back position, Ruymán Jesús Hernández will cover the left sector, while the central defenders will be David García Santana and Víctor Laguardia.

At midfield, Javier Castellano and David González will perform on the pivote function, Roque Mesa Quevedo will attack from the right wing, Víctor Machín Pérez ‘Vitolo’ will do it from the left flank, Jonathan Viera will be the playmaker in the formation, while the central attacker will be ex-Real Madrid Javier Portillo, who has scored three goals on this Segunda season.

Defender Stephane Pignol was talking of the importance of a victory in this game, ”We are fine right now, but we could be better and will try. We are close to the promotion zone, though I believe we are just seeing the short term. The game with Deportivo arrives in an important moment as we could go to vacations close to the top places.”

Jonathan Viera was talking of the “greatness” of Deportivo, ”They are a great team, because they have players of Primera that for some circumstances are at Segunda. We all know that they are a team made up to achieve the promotion and that also have Canarian players like Manuel Pablo and Juan Carlos Valerón, who is one of the best Canarian players, if not the best one, so we are facing them with the greatest respect.”

Finally, captain David Garcia was warning of Depor’s potential, ”They will come morally reinforced; almost all of their players belong to Primera, which makes them more fearsome; it will be a pretty game and let’s hope the stadium will be full, but it will be tough as they are living a good moment. For us it would be important to achieve a victory; we are fine at home, but now are aware of the rival’s quality.”

List of picked players: The coach decided to pick all the players for the game; he will just decide who will be the starters and who will be on the bench minutes before the kick-off

Las Palmas: (4-2-3-1) Barbosa – Pignol, David Garcia, Laguardia, Ruyman – Javi Castellano, David Gónzalez – Roque, Jonathan Viera, Vitolo - Portillo
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1)
Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Guardado – Lassad
Referee: José Luis Lesma López (35, third year at Segunda)
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Estadio de Gran Canaria)
Head-to-head Vs UD Las Palmas: 13 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 15 wins for Las Palmas (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Canarias: 3 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 12 wins for Las Palmas (Primera & Segunda)



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