Squad news

PREVIEW: UD ALMERIA – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

28 Apr 2012
Oltra is losing Guardado and Ze Castro for the dangerous visit to Almeria, a rival that needs the three points after spending nine matchdays without achieving a victory. Rochela will have his first chance as a starter on the present liga tournament.

STATISTICS: THE TWO HALVES OF ALMERIA
Football matches have two halves, any fan knows this, and sometimes there are teams that have a very different behavior on each one of these halves, one of those teams is the UD Almeria of the present season. And it’s that, if the games would only last 45 minutes, UD Almeria would be third at the standings (59 points), just behind Depor (65) and Real Valladolid (59).

The big problem for the Andalusians is the number of goals allowed in the second parts, Los Rojiblancos have leaked 27 of their 39 allowed goals within the final 45 minutes, it means 69.23% of the total, that’s the highest percentage at Segunda División. Still, Almeria was looking solvent enough to reach the playoff zone and even to fight for one of the two automatic spots to Primera, but their current negative streak of nine straight games without adding the three points is endangering the future, reason why former coach Lucas Alcaraz was fired.

UD Almeria is a recently-founded club (1989), so there are only a few meetings with Deportivo visiting them playing in a league tournament, more precisely only four games at Estadio de Los Juegos Mediterráneos. The curious thing is that in all of those four games both teams have missed to score more than one goal; on the Primera season 2007/08 the Andalusian side won 1-0, one season later it was Depor the team that succeeded through the same score, and in the last two meetings the score was 1-1, the match of the past season will always be remembered as the game in which goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia scored a goal through a header to bring a late-minute equalizer for the Galicians.

DEPORTIVO: ZE CASTRO AND GUARDADO OUT
Friday was a day of surprises, all of them negative, because coach Jose Luis Oltra lost two starters: Central defender Ze Castro and left winger Andrés Guardado. Things didn’t start well as the Portuguese defender didn’t start the last training before the trip to Andalusia; actually Fabril’s Uxio Marcos was called in order to complete the session with the first team. It was the first hint pointing that the Portuguese wasn’t fit to play.

Ze Castro picked an ankle sprain during the past match against Elche CF and he was doubtful throughout the week, but the doctors were expecting to have him fit for the match at UD Almeria. In the end he wasn’t ready and was ruled out from the clash. Aythami Artiles is also out due to a muscular problem.

Therefore Oltra only has two available central defenders for the game: Diego Colotto and David Rochela, this last one had only played fourteen minutes on this season and his last appearance as a starter in a liga clash was the 2-1 win at the Riazor against Real Sociedad (07/Mar/2011). Nevertheless, Rochela played the full ninety minutes in the four Copa Del Rey matches disputed on this season. 19-year-old Uxio wasn’t picked despite completing the session with the first team, therefore there won’t be a centre back on the bench.

Rochela talked to reporters before traveling to Andalusia, and he sad that, “This isn’t a test or anything like that. For me it’s helping the team as the rest of players. I don’t have anything to prove, because the coach knows what I can do. This week has been normal to me, you have to work hard no matter you play or don’t.”

But the bad news with the injuries weren’t over yet, because at the end of the session Andrés Guardado sustained a hamstring injury and was ruled out from the match. It’s the first time the Mexican player is out of a game on this season due to an injury; he only missed four matches due to international action. So, the men staying at the injury room are five: Jesús Vázquez, Riki, Aythami Artiles, Ze Castro and Andrés Guardado.

The lineup will continue to be a 4-2-3-1, but of course with several novelties; Dani Aranzubia returns to the place in which he made history as the only goalkeeper in la liga that scored a goal through a header. The ex-Athletic man will defend the goal, Laureano Sanabria ´Laure´ will perform at the right-back position, Claudio Morel is fit to play after having muscular problems throughout the week and will cover the left sector, then Rochela will join Colotto at the central positions.

Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños will be the two pivotes in the formation, Portuguese Bruno Gama arrives after completing one of his best games at Depor scoring a brace and giving an assist in the 4-3 victory over Elche CF.

His compatriot Diogo Salomão is claiming the spot at the left wing; the fast winger was a normal starter at the beginning of the liga season, but he lost the spot precisely before Gama. Salomão has only played two times as starter in 2012, the last one in the 2-1 victory over AD Alcorcón (March 02); he has scored four goals giving three assists so far on the liga tournament.

Juan Carlos Valerón will continue to guide the attacks as the Canarian will be the playmaker in the formation; finally Lassad Nouioui will be the central attacker. The Tunisian is completing his appearance number 100 at Depor’s first team and will try to increase his tally of ten goals in liga.

Valerón talked before the trip to Almeria; the Canarian was remembering that the promotion hasn’t been achieved yet, ”We´ve been working hard since the beginning in order to achieve a goal, and now there’s no room for relaxation. We want to fulfill our duties and the job isn’t over yet. We need to be prudent.”

List of picked players: (18) Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Rochela, Colotto, Morel, Ayoze, Manuel Pablo (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Borja Fernández, Valerón, Juan Domínguez, Salomão, Bruno Gama, Pablo Álvarez, Saúl (midfielders); Xisco and Lassad (strikers)

ALMERIA: THOSE FATAL FINAL MINUTES
In the statistics section it was already explained the problems of Almeria during the second part of the matches, and there’s another interesting situation that explains why the Andalusians are no longer fighting for the direct seats to Primera División: the goals allowed at the last minutes. On the current season the Andalusians have allowed eleven goals within the last twelve minutes of the matches, five of them during the stoppage time –the highest number at Segunda-

And those eleven goals cost thirteen points, which is exactly the difference with second place Real Valladolid; so it can be said that the last minutes of the matches are costing to Almeria a seat among the best two teams in the league. As example what happened on the past weekend; Almeria was visiting FC Cartagena and took the lead at minute 50, only to drop two points at the last minute after a penalty was awarded to the Murcians (88’).

This bleeding, combined with the negative streak of nine straight games without achieving the victory, cost the job to former coach Lucas Alcaraz, who was replaced three weeks ago by experienced man Esteban Vigo. But Almeria is a team that shouldn’t be despised, because it has enough potential in attack to damage any rival, just to remember the presence of striker José Leonardo Ulloa, the Argentine man is the current Pichichi at Segunda with 24 goal in favour.

Actually, Ulloa and Juanma Ortiz, who rejoined the team during the winter window, represent the most profitable couple at Segunda, because their goals have meant 25 of the 54 points added in the competition, which means 46.30% of the total, the highest contribution by a couple in the league.

Esteban Vigo has been playing with a 4-2-3-1 figure, and for the game before Depor it’s expected that he will keep the draw; actually it should be the same lineup of the past week against FC Cartagena. Ex-Celta Esteban Suárez defends the goal; ex-Recre Rafael Ramos ‘Rafita´ performs at the right-back position, former Sevilla Dani Bautista covers the left sector, while the centre backs are veteran Carlos Garcia and Danish Michael Jakobsen, this last player is a left-back reconverted into a central defender.

The two pivotes at midfield are Argentine Hernán Bernardello and Valencian José Antonio García ´Verza’, this last man is a former offensive midfielder of Albacete that was linked with Depor during the summer.

Later Juanma Ortiz attacks from the right wing, he is one of the best signings of the winter market and already scored four goals, then Catalan Aleix Vidal Parreu attacks from the left flank, the 22-year-old player, promoted from Almeria B during the summer, is one of the revelations on the league scoring seven goals so far.

The playmaker in the scheme is Miguel Ángel García ‘Corona’, and the central attacker is Leonardo Ulloa. The Argentine has scored 24 goals on the season, eight goals less than Jonathan Soriano, the Pichichi of the past season, and nine goals under the historical mark at Segunda established by Joaquín Sierra Vallejo ‘Quino’ on the campaign 1968/69.

Esteban Vigo has two casualties for the game: striker Henok Goitom (back) and midfielder Fernando Soriano (knee), for this reason he had to pick two players from Almeria B: midfielder Alberto Romo and Burkina Faso-born striker Jonathan Sundy

Midfielder Verza talked before the game; he still hopeful of the chances to reach Primera, ”This is a great opportunity to rejoin the path of the victory. A win will bring three vital points and will be a moral boost. I’m convinced of our chances as neither we were so good before nor are so bad right now. I don’t think we are going to meet a relaxed Deportivo, because they’ll keep pushing until achieving the goal.”

Argentine Bernardello was talking of ‘revenge’ after the goal of Aranzubia on the past season, ”We have a thorn from the past season; the goal of Aranzubia was historic and it was a hard it for us as we were battling for the permanence. That was the turning point for us, although I don’t want to say that we went down for that goal, but it affected our morale. It’s a pretty game and we must win, though we know this is a hard rival, a team that everybody sees at Primera.

Finally, playmaker Corona was praising Deportivo, ”Depor is fulfilling its duties and doing what it was expected. I remember when José Luis Oltra told that they were the Madrid or Barca on this league. They’re doing it. It isn’t easy and we must recognize it, they are fulfilling the obligation, and of course it means an uncomfortable rival for us. They’re passing through a positive streak, everything works out for them, and they are even winning the games at the last minutes, while for us it´s a vital and very important game.”

List of picked players: (18) Esteban, Diego García (goalkeepers); Michel, Rafita, Jakobsen, Acasiete, Carlos García, Dani Bautista (defenders); Bernardello, Verza, Corona, Alberto, Aleix Vidal, Aarón, Ortiz Bernal, Juanma Ortiz (midfielders); Ulloa and Jonathan (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
UD Almeria: (4-2-3-1) Esteban - Rafita, Carlos García, Jakobsen, Dani Bautista - Verza, Bernardello - Juanma Ortiz, Corona, Aleix Vidal - Ulloa.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Rochela, Morel – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Salomão – Lassad.
Referee Pedro Sureda Cuenca (19 games on the season, only 2 wins for the visiting team)
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (Estadio de Los Juego Mediterráneos)
Head-to-head Vs. UD Almeria:  3 wins for Depor, 3 draws, 3 wins for Almeria (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Almeria: 1 win for Depor, 2 draws, 1 win for Almeria (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/11

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