Squad news


07 Jan 2012
Depor searches its sixth straight win at home and Oltra does it repeating the lineup for the fifth time; Xérez arrives willing to give a surprise, but with the Andalusian club living a complicate moment.

Xérez CD has always faced problems during its visits to the Riazor, and it’s that after eight visits to La Coruña the Andalusians have only clinched two goalless draws (seasons 1987/88 and 1988/89). Actually, they have only scored three goals in those eight matches ending scoreless in five opportunities.

Deportivo is the best local team in the league, with the same 22 points added by Real Valladolid playing on this condition, but with a better goal difference (+11 against +7). But Xérez had added more points on the road than at home, actually they have added the same number of points than Deportivo playing away from the Riazor (11).

Depor is second at the standings, while Xérez is 16th; but the differences at the table aren’t so evident judging the recent form of both teams; the Galicians are growing and haven’t been defeated within the last four games, adding ten of the last fifteen points in dispute, while Xérez has added seven point in the period, actually two of their five wins on the season have been achieved within the last four matches.

The three of four matches in January that Deportivo will dispute at the Riazor means a big opportunity to strengthen the promotion options of Oltra’s team, especially since the Riazor has been a fortress on this season, with only five of twenty-seven points flying away from A Coruña so far. Depor has won the last four home meetings in the league competition, number extended to five considering the Copa win before Levante UD.

So, a new win at home will mean the sixth in a row during official matches; the last time that Depor won six straight matches was three years ago as Lotina’s Deportivo ended the season 2007/08 at the top adding the three points in the last six liga meetings played at the Riazor, which included wins over Sevilla CF (2-1), Real Madrid CF (1-0) and FC Barcelona (2-0).

For the game coach José Luis Oltra has three men at the injury room: Manuel Pablo, Morel and Aythami Artiles, this last one is a last-minute casualty due to a gastric problem; meanwhile centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez striker Xisco and right winger Saul Fernandez are out for tactical reasons.

In the end it’s expected that the Valencian coach will repeat the same starting eleven of the past five liga encounters; with Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Laureano Sanabria ´Laure´ performing at the right-back position, Ayoze Diaz on the left sector, while Argentine Diego Colotto and Portuguese Ze Castro will cover the central positions.

At midfield, Galicians Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños will cover the centre of the pitch, Bruno Gama attacks from the right wing, Mexican Andrés Guardado does it at the left, Juan Carlos Valerón is the playmaker in the formation and Tunisian Lassad Nouioui is the central attacker.

Borja Fernandez talked during the week and said that Depor can’t despise the games in January no matter that three of the meetings will be played at the Riazor, ”We already learned the lesson, I believe. We need to sweat. It would be wrong to think that we already won the three games to be played at home. At the beginning of the season people thought that it was going to be easy and it was seen that it isn’t like that. We don’t need to adapt, but to sweat on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Álex Bergantiños, who played loaned at Xérez in the past, was saying that, ”At home we like to have the ball possession, the initiative and the weight of the match. We’ve completed great games at home, though our main defect is to have allowed a lot of goals, especially at the beginning of la liga. Now we are trying to improve, little by little, and we need to find a balance between scoring goals and prevent those easy goals as it happened in the first matches.”

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

Andalusian club Xérez CD completed its first and only appearance at Primera División during the season 2009/10, and that’s the last good memories that the fans had of their club, because Los Azulinos just lasted one year at the elite and since then everything has been chaotic; the club is currently under administration, though it still reported losses at the end of 2011-around two million Euros-. Besides, there’s a war between president Antonio Millán and a group of shareholders and there are big rumours that the club is about to be sold, the latest is that the buyer is a group of entrepreneurs from Madrid, Sevilla and Córdoba.

Neither things have been stable inside the pitch, in June the players and the fans were talking of fighting for a spot at the promotion zone, but during the summer the team lost two important players as strikers Mario Bermejo and Antoñito decided to leave, while former coach Esteban Vigo refused to take the team that he promoted to Primera. And six months later the team is just two points above the pit, with three coaches passing through the bench in 2011, and with a negative record of 42 matches played in the year, only achieving 14 wins, 11 draws and losing 18 matches.

So, the environment is pessimistic ahead of 2012, which has been increased with the doubts inside the squad; former Depor man and current sporting director of the club, Emilio Viqueira, is searching for reinforcements at the market, more precisely a central defender, a left winger and a striker, but there’s no money to hire anyone, and instead the team lost right-back Raúl Llorente and winger Oscar Díaz, duo that left the club on the past week in order to sign for other clubs.

This is what new coach Vicente Moreno has found at the club; he was promoted to the role of head coach after Juan Merino was fired early on December. Moreno knows pretty well the club as he spent eleven years playing for the club, but this is a new experience for him and must reconstruct the morale of a team that, despite everything, it has one key aspect: experience.

And it’s that Xérez is full of veterans with experience at Primera División, ten of the twenty-two players at the first team already passed the 30’s and more than the half of them already performed at the elite of Spanish football. In the end goalkeeper José María Jiménez ´Chema’ (knee ligament) and centre midfielder Rafael Barber (sciatica) didn’t recover on time and are out of the clash. For the visit to the Riazor it is expected that Vicente Moreno will present the same 4-2-3-1 formation that trashed FC Cartagena in the last matchday of 2011.

On loan keeper from Real Zaragoza Toni Doblas will be defending the goal despite the rumours appointing his exit; former Mallorca man Alejandro Campano will perform at the right-back position, captain Jesús Mendoza , who has spent eleven seasons at the club, will play at the left sector, while veteran Gerard Autet joins young David Lombán at the central positions.

At midfield, former Sevilla/Murcia man Bruno Herrero and ex-Valladolid José Luis Capdevila are covering the pivote spots; later ex-Betis Jesús Capitán Prada ‘Capi’ appears as the playmaker in the formation. Moreno uses two defensive players at the wings, mainly to hemp to contain the game of the rival, so centre midfielder José Manuel Rueda and side defender Raúl Cámara are playing on the sides; finally the centre of the attack is for Iñigo Vélez, the ex-attacker of Real Sociedad that’s the current top-scorer at the team with four after adding a brace against Cartagena.

List of picked players (18): Toni Lechuga, Toni Doblas (goalkeepers); Campano, Mendoza, David Lombán, Gerard Autet, Raúl Cámara, Robusté; Bruno Herrero, Cordero, Capi, Israel, Rueda, Pablo Redondo, Capdevila; Tato, Íñigo Vélez and José Mari

Keeper José María Giménez ‘Chema’  wasn’t picked for the game due to injury reasons, before the clash he said that, ”Riazor is the most complicate stadium in the league; this for the environment, the game of the team… besides it’s an historic club in football. Riazor is a talisman for them. It is going to be a complicate match.”

Midfielder José Manuel Rueda thinks the same, but it’s optimistic about the chances for his team, ”There are no invincible teams, though they are pretty strong at their stadium and usually score a lot of goals. In order to win, that’s for sure, we need to be plugged and concentrated during the whole ninety minutes, football is capricious and anything can happen. Actually, more than one team already put things difficult and surprised them. Our goal is to win at the Riazor, something that isn’t impossible, especially taking in mind the way I see the group.”

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Álex, Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Guardado – Lassad.
Xérez CD: (4-2-3-1) Toni Doblas - Campano, Lombán, Gerard Autet, Mendoza - Bruno Herrero, Capdevila - Rueda, Capi, Raúl Cámara - Íñigo Vélez
Referee: Eduardo Prieto Iglesias (30, second year at Segunda)
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Xérez CD: 9 wins for Depor, 3 draws, 4 wins for Xérez (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 6 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 0 wins for Xérez (Primera & Segunda)



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