Squad news

PREVIEW: HERCULES – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

12 Feb 2012
Depor defends the leadership against a direct rival for the promotion spots; Oltra recovers several of the injured players and plans some changes at the starting team. The rival sees the game as a final and relies on its two keys.

STATISTICS: THE ‘NARROW-WIN’ TEAMS
Deportivo and Hércules CF have a common thing on this season: both teams love to win their games with narrow scores. Depor has won 15 matches on the Segunda season, and 10 of those triumphs were achieved by a narrow advantage. It’s exactly the same number of narrow wins of Hércules, with the difference that the Valencians have only won 13 matches. Both are the highest mark at Liga Adelante 2011/12.

Besides, there’s a lot of expectation with the fact that Deportivo is searching for its eighth straight victory in liga, which will be a record in the centenary history of the club, but it isn’t the best mark of the season, actually there are twelve teams between the four main division in Spain that have clinched a better mark: Atlético Sanluqueño CF (11 straight wins, Tercera), Real Madrid (10, Primera), Aroyo CP (10, Tercera), Yeclano Deportivo (10, Tercera), CD Varea (10, Tercera), CD Anguiano (9, Tercera), UD Multilvera (9, Tercera), Caudal (8, Tercera), Logroñes (8, Tercera), Haro (8, Tercera), Mar Menor (8, Tercera) and Cultural Leonesa (8, Tercera).

Besides, there are other seven Spanish clubs that already had a winning streak of seven matches: UD Levante (Primera), Hospitalet (Segunda B), SD Noja (Tercera), CF Fuenlabrada (Tercera), Aguilas (Tercera), Peña Sport (Tercera) and Villarrobledo (Tercera).

It’s true that on this season Hércules already lost four matches at home, but Depor has always had troubles visiting Alicante, actually it only won two of the thirteen matches played at the Rico Pérez stadium; the last one was a 3-1 victory back on the Primera season 1996/97 with two goals of Martins and one from Rivaldo.

DEPORTIVO: BREAKING BARRIERS
Oltra’s Depor is not only trying to establish a new record at the club in terms of more consecutive victories, but it’s also trying to break the odds defeating a direct rival for the promotion, a result that could finally open a gap with the chasers in the league. Deportivo’s coach knows this and, despite giving as good a possible draw, he dream with the possibility of adding three points that, perhaps, could be the most important so far on the season.

In this sense the Galician team has been boosted by the fact that almost all the injured players are back, if last week Oltra only had 18 men for the clash with RC Recreativo, he now has 21 players for the trip to Alicante, meaning that the Valencian man had to discard three men due to tactical reasons –Manuel Pablo, Saúl and Rochela-

Still, Oltra faces some problems  as he’s traveling to Alicante with only one striker, the coach was planning to pick Lassad Nouioui, but the doctors detected on Friday that the wound of his muscular injury wasn't heal, so they recommended to keep the Tunisian out of the game, in the end Oltra only counts with Riki for the job, this since the other two strikers at the team –Xisco and Bodipo- are at the injury room. For this reason Oltra picked winger Pablo Álvarez, who will be the emergency solution on the bench.

The other casualty for the game is Laure, who is suspended. And with Manuel Pablo out the spot at the right-back position will be for Diego Seoane, the ex-Fabril is making his fourth appearance as starter on the Segunda season. Another novelty is that Ze Castro is returning in order to play alongside Diego Colotto at the centre of the defense.

The big question is who will perform on the left side of the defense, Ayoze has been the undisputed starter on the season, but the great game of Claudio Morel before RC Recreativo may be rewarded with a new opportunity. Dani Aranzubia completes the defensive line as he will be the starting goalkeeper.

Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños will cover the pivote functions, therefore midfield territory is the only sector without novelties as Juan Carlos Valerón should be performing as the playmaker in the scheme.

Another good news for Oltra is that Bruno Gama is fit to play; it brings more depth to the squad for the wingers position. Still, it is expected that Oltra will keep playing with Andrés Guardado on the right and Diogo Salomão on the left. Finally, Riki is the central attacker in the formation.

Dani Aranzubia was saying that the key ahead of this clash is to clinch a clean sheet, ”Each day we are more solid and the team is seen as a group that’s difficult to beat. This is the path to follow, because the fact of not allowing goals secures to add points, and fortunately in recent games we’ve added the three points.”

Meanwhile, Juan Dominguez was saying that this meeting could be crucial for Deportivo, ”It’s going to be highly disputed from here to the end. We must be at one hundred per cent. If you relax then the rivals can displace you from the top positions. They are playing at home, the fans are with them, so they will be pretty motivated. Besides, they have a strong team and it won’t be easy.”

Finally, Diego Seoane was satisfied as he will be a starter in this game, he commented that, ”When I have to play I do what I have to do, I don’t assume the games as a test. Until now I’m happy for what I have been doing. In the major part of the matches the coach has congratulated me, though evidently we all commit mistakes.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Colotto, Aythami, Ze Castro, Morel, Seoane, Ayoze (defenders); Juan Dominguez, Álex Bergantiños, Borja, Valerón, Guardado, Jesús Vázquez, Pablo Álvarez, Salomão, Bruno Gama (midfielders) and Riki (striker).

HERCULES: THE KEYS ARE THE GROUP AND THE DEFENSE
It might look that Hércules CF is an unstable team since November, a squad that has been unable to spent three straight matches without been defeated, at least within the last three months, but it’s also true that the Valencians are a clear candidate for the promotion spots, the better proof is the fact of been the fifth place at the standings at this point of the season, and the two main explanations for their success are the collective effort to score the goals and the defensive effectiveness.

Hércules, together with Recreativo and Las Palmas, are the teams with more different goal-scorers on the Segunda season: 12. That’s a radical chance as on the past season the goals were focused on Trezeguet and Nelson Váldez, now the goals are well distributed as the four strikers at the team already scored, at least once, the same goes for six of the ten midfielders at the team, emphasizing the contribution of ex-Depor playmaker Michel Herero, who is the current Pichichi at the team with six goals in favour.

The other key factor on the season has been the strong behavior of the defense; Hércules is currently the second best defense in the league with only 18 goals allowed, only one more than Córdoba CF, actually goalkeeper Ismael Falcón is the current Zamora at Liga Adelante with an average of 0.78 goals per match.

In this sense coach Juan Carlos Mandiá is trying to seize these strengths and take advantage of the good feelings after the convincing victory over FC Cartagena (3-0), so he is naming almost the same team for the match with Depor. Ex-Celta Falcón will be defending the goal; Juan Ramón Cabrero ´Juanra’ covers the right-back position, Francisco Peña plays at the left side, while the central defenders are José Francisco Mora and Samuel Llorca, this last player is returning from suspension in order to take the spot of Anaitz Arbilla, who even scored a goal in the past game.

The 4-2-3-1 figure continues with the couple Abel Aguilar-Tiago Gómez at midfield, one of the most solid combinations in the league. One of the doubts is who will play at the right wing, Felipe Sanchón has been the regular starter so far, but the arrival of ex-Nastic Gilvan Gomes might change the roles, he already played as a substitute before FC Cartagena.

Michel is the playmaker in the formation and Carlos Calvo plays on the left wing, the ex-Granada man is the second best scorer at the team with five goals added to his tally. Finally, Basque Urko Vera Mateos will be the central striker, the former attacker of Athletic Bilbao has scored four times on the Segunda season.

Portuguese Tiago didn’t want to define the clash as a final, ”A lot still ahead, it will be complicated, but not definitive. At Cartagena we achieved an important victory ahead of the clash with Depor, a game that’s going to be difficult. But we are on shape and believe that we can make a great game before our fans.”

Different was the opinion of Michel, ”This is the most important game so far; I sign to win 1-0 with a last-minute goal. It doesn’t matter how the victory arrives as the important thing are the three points; it’s vital to cut the gap with Deportivo, though later a lot of things can happen in liga. Anyway, we can’t get mad, we must do our game. If we can score, the better, but the most important thing is to keep a clean sheet.”

List of picked players (18): Ismael Falcón, Juan Carlos (goalkeepers); Paco Peña, Juanra, Pepe Mora, Samuel, Arbilla (defenders); Diego Rivas, Tiago Gomes, Abel Aguilar, Carlos Calvo, Michel, Gilvan Gomes, Juanmi Callejón, Felipe Sanchón (midfielders); Tote, Adrián Sardinero and Urko Vera (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Hércules: (4-2-3-1) Falcón - Juanra, Mora, Samuel, Peña - Abel Aguilar, Tiago Gomes - Felipe Sanchón or Gilvan, Míchel, Carlos Calvo - Urko Vera.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Seoane, Colotto, Ze Castro, Ayoze or Morel – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Guardado, Valerón, Salomão – Riki.
Referee: Eduardo Prieto Iglesias (5 games on the season, only 1 win for the visitor)
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Rico Pérez)
Head-to-head Vs. Hercules: 13 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 12 wins for Hercules (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Alicante: 2 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 10 wins for Hercules (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/11

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