Squad news


31 Mar 2012
Depor is touching Primera with the fingertips, but the team wants to focus in the philosophy of going game after game. Oltra has problems at midfield as Juan Dominguez is suspended; the rival is at the edge of total collapse.

Deportivo is the best defense at Segunda División during 2012; the Galicians have only allowed seven goals in the three months of the year and haven’t conceded more than a goal in one single game since the 2-3 defeat at Elche CF (20 Nov). Meanwhile, Girona FC has leaked 18 goals in 2012; reason why the Catalans are the fourth worst defense in the new year, just behind CD Guadalajara (29), CD Alcoyano (24) and Real Murcia (20).

A curiosity is that on this season Depor has only made three comebacks in the scoresheet, and two of them were against Girona FC. The first in Copa Del Rey as the Galicians turned a 0-1 into a demolishing 5-1 victory; later, in liga, Oltra’s team turned upside down a 0-1 disadvantage into a 3-2 win, though both games were played at the Riazor, while this one will be played at Montilivi, a stadium where Los Albirrojos have only lost four games.

Precisely Depor can’t despite the current situation of Girona; the Catalans have only won five games on this season and have spent 24 of the 30 matchdays played so far living inside the relegation zone, but the fact is that their five victories on the season occurred at their stadium, place where they are strong; just to mention the fact that the other teams at the top have suffered on here. Celta and Almeria could only achieve 0-1 wins, Valladolid only rescued a 1-1 draw, while Hércules CF was defeated 1-0. The only top team that clinched a big score was Elche CF, a 1-4 victory achieved on matchday 02.

Finally, an interesting stat: If Depor achieves the victory in this game it will mean the third official win over Girona on this season; the last time Deportivo achieved three official victories before the same rival in one single season took place in the campaign 2002/03; it was over Valencia CF (3-0 & 1-0 for the Super Copa, plus 1-0 at Mestalla in liga).

Only twelve matchdays are remaining in the Segunda season and Deportivo is each day closer to return to Primera División. The Galicians have won 13 of the last 14 matches in the competition and everybody, including the coaches of other teams, already believes that Depor is promoted and even sees the Blanquiazules as the league champions, but coach Oltra and the players know that this is a double-edged sword and want to avoid overconfidence and now target to face the final stretch on the season highly focused.

It’s the famous philosophy of facing the final part going “game after game”, something repeated in all the press conferences at Abegondo; Oltra has been preaching this philosophy within the last weeks; one month ago, two days before visiting CD Guadalajara, he said that, “Football doesn’t have past and neither future, it just has a present and our present is Guadalajara; the goal is always to win the next game, which is the only thing in our minds; that’s our way to live and that’s how I see the things, therefore our only target is the match against Guadalajara. Our philosophy is going game after game”

And now the players are following the same path; as striker Xisco talked of the subject at the press room, “We don’t think of Balaídos, neither of Celta. We don’t think of other thing than Girona. Our only thought is to add the three points, it’s the only way to clinch the promotion. The game at Murcia is far, and more far is the game with Celta, so we only think of the next game. It’s the reality; we face Girona and not Celta. We can’t get confused with other stuff; we are mentalized in going game after game and it’s the way that has worked for us so far.”

For the match at the Montilivi stadium, Oltra is having a small problem at midfield; this since Juan Dominguez is suspended and Jesús Vázquez is out injured, so the Valencian trainer only has two centre midfielders available for the game: Álex Bergantiños and Borja Fernández; for this reason he decided to pick Juan Carlos Real from Deportivo B; the 21-year-old playmaker already debuted with the first team in Copa Del Rey, but still searching for his first minutes in liga.

Another novelty is the return of centre back Diego Colotto, the Argentine was suspended for the past game before Córdoba CF and is now joining Portuguese Ze Castro at the centre of the defense. Daniel Aranzubia remains defending the goal, while Laureano Sanabria ´Laure´ performs at the right-back position and Paraguayan Claudio Morel covers the left sector.

Juan Carlos Valerón will be the guide in attack as he will perform at the playmaking function; Portuguese Bruno Gama will attack from the right wing, while Mexican Andrés Guardado does it from the left. The big doubt is who will be the central attacker. Oltra has, once again, picked the three available strikers: Riki, Lassad and Xisco.

Xisco was the starter within the last two games; he didn’t score any goal, but made a decent job. However, Riki seems to be taking the lead in the race for the starting spot; he’s the Pichichi at the team with ten goals on the season. Lassad also has his chances, after all he’s the attacker with more appearances at the starting formation (15). The true is that not even the players knew who was going to play, as Xisco explained it on Friday, “I don’t know if I will be a starter tomorrow; the coach hasn’t told me anything, buy anyone playing will surely do a great job.”

There are only two players at the injury room: centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez and striker Rodolfo Bodipo. Meanwhile, the four discards for tactical reasons are central defender David Rochela, left-back Ayoze Díaz, right winger Pablo Álvarez and right-back Diego Seoane.

Ze Castro talked before the game, “We are the leaders, and we know that if we continue the same, then we are going to achieve the goal. They are also playing for their life, just like us; if we aren’t fine then we are going to lose, that’s clear. We have added 66 points and it can’t be just good luck; you need more than good luck in order to reach this mark. Our goal is to try to win all the games, we can’t relax; we know that we have a seven-point gap, and if we win all the games, then we are going to be the champions.”

Finally, Valerón was warning of the difficulty in this meeting, ”The coach has warned us that Girona is pretty strong at home; they have quality players, so we are conscious of the difficulty of the game. You need to be prepared, knowing what you could find out there and only thinking of the rival. Since that point we need to make a solid game.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Ze Castro, Aythami, Colotto, Morel, Manuel Pablo (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Borja Fernández, Valerón, Juan Carlos, Guardado, Salomão, Bruno Gama (midfielders); Xisco, Riki and Lassad (strikers).

Football is a fun and sometimes strange game that can change an entire picture in a short period of time, twisting the expectations and desires of a whole city, and that’s what has happened to Catalan club Girona FC and the city of the same name. In September of 2011, and as part of the preview for the Copa clash, RCDLC.com was talking of the "miracle of the Montilivi”, a phenomenal describing a reborn club that woke up from nowhere and that suddenly reached Segunda División to end the season 2010/11 at the11th spot, their highest position since the campaign 1957/58.

Now everything has been erased in a stroke of a pen; the club lost potential for this season and has only achieved ten victories within the last forty-six matches at Liga Adelante; for this reason they have spent almost the entire season living at the relegation zone and already changed the coach in three opportunities, the previous trainer, Jose Uribe, was sacked after just three months in the job and the replacement, Javier Salamero, is just making his debut before Deportivo. The newest victim of the crisis was sporting director, Mario Barrera, who was fired on Tuesday as he didn’t agree with the destitution of Uribe.

If that’s not enough, to remind that a few weeks ago the president of the club, Josep Delgado, announced that he was ready to sell the club for the symbolic price of one Euro; then he changed his mind and the rumour is that he menaced the players with not paying their salaries until they were able to win three straight matches. At this point it’s known that the players haven’t been paid in February and March.
So, Deportivo is meeting a desperate rival that needs results as soon as possible in order to avoid the total debacle.

Taking in mind that Salamero is just arriving it’s a little complicate to understand his tactical plans, mainly as during this week he trained behind closed doors; Oltra already admitted that he has no idea of what to expect. Therefore it’s risky to predict the lineup that the Aragonian coach will use, actually the first surprise came on Friday as Argentine Jose Luis Acciari was left out of the list of picked players, the midfielder started the season at Elche CF and even scored a goal in the penultimate loss of Deportivo in liga (2-3, November 20), but he was transferred to Girona FC during the winter window.

The media in Catalonia believes that the coach will end using a 4-2-3-1 figure. It’s pretty clear that ex-Depor Dani Mallo will be at the goal this since Roberto Santamaría has been injured lately; actually Juvenil A goalie Albert Quintanas was picked for the match and will be the alternative on the bench, he’s only 20.

The rest of the team is uncertain, but it can be said that José Antonio Martinez should be defending the right-back position, ex-Espanyol David García is performing at the left side, while the centre backs are ex-Nástic Dani Tortolero and Miguel Ángel Gónzalez ‘Migue´. At midfield, Albert Dorca performs as one of the pivotes; his partner could be Argentine Matías Ballini, who joined Girona during the winter window coming loaned from Rosario Central.

The main danger in attack is coming with the couple composed by ex-Espanyol Ferrán Corominas and former Celta man Alejandro Castro ´Jandro’, combined this two players have scored 16 of the 34 goals conquered by the Catalans on this liga season (47% of the total). ´Coro´ will attack from the right wing, while Jandro is the playmaker in the formation.

Ex-Osasuna Mohamed El Yaagoubi ´Moha´ attacks from the left wing; it was expected that Paraguayan Carlos Javier Acuña was going to be the central attacker, but he's a last-minute casualty due to injury reasons; so the starter should be ex- Barca B Benjamin Martinez ´Benja', who has scored three times in liga.

Acciari talked before the game and before been discarded; for him Depor is the big favourite to clinch the promotion, ”Depor is the big favourite for the promotion. I hope they will go up, because I feel a special love for this club. Depor might play bad or good, but it wins, which is the important thing. They have quality players.”

He also talked of his failed transfer to Deportivo, ”I remember when I almost signed for Depor; all the paperwork was done, but Murcia didn’t allow my exit. Surely my career would have been different if I would have signed for Depor.

Dani Mallo talked before the game and explained the importance of this meeting, ”A great part of our season passes through Montilivi, because we have carried away with the latest matches played at home. We respect everybody, but we know our strengths; we have played twice before Depor and they also have some cracks. Their streak is great, but aren’t unbeatable, because if not then the best would be to not play on Saturday. We can’t speculate, not even to think of the draw; we must go out since the beginning for the game.”

Finally, he was talking of his stage at Depor, ”It was a pretty phase in my life and surely would have loved to have more opportunities, but it wasn’t the same situation of my present. We were playing for high goals like the Champions League, with players bought with the checkbook. My rivals at the goal were international players and it was tough. I gave everything, but it was too much demanding, there was no patience and neither the need to give a chance to a youngster.”

List of picked players (18): Dani Mallo, Quintanas (goalkeepers); José Martinez, Tortolero, Juanlu. Migue, David Garcia (defenders); Dorca,Óscar Diáz, Moha, Jandro, Ballini, Marcos Tébar (midfielders); Benjamin Martinez ‘Benja’, Corominas, Gaizka Gaizar, David Juncá and Dani Nieto (strikers).

Girona: (4-2-3-1) Dani Mallo – José Martinez, Tortolero, Migue, David García – Dorca, Ballini – Corominas, Jandro, Moha - Benja.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Morel – Álex Bergantiños, Borja – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Guardado – Riki.
Referee:Daniel Ocón Arráiz (5 games on the season, only 1 win for the visiting team)
Kickoff: 16h00 (Montilivi)
Head-to-head Vs. Girona: 2 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 2 wins for Girona (Segunda)
Record at Girona: 0 wins for Depor, 0 draws, 2 wins for Girona (Segunda)



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