Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – VALLADOLID (LIGA)

06 May 2012
Depor lives a final that could define the dream of the promotion, but Oltra is having a nightmare with the casualties; he is missing eight players, reason why he is improvising at the centre of the defense and even picking two men from Fabril.

STATISTICS: THE BEST DEFENSE AT SEGUNDA
If there’s something distinguishing the current season of Real Valladolid is its solid defense, after 39 matches Los Pucelanos have only allowed 29 goals, reason why they are the best defense at Liga Adelante. Djukic’s team has only allowed three goals in one single game; it was during the 1-3 loss at home against Real Murcia (matchday 05), then they only leaked two goals in five opportunities and in the rest of matches they reduced the rival to just one goal or to end scoreless (thirteen clean sheets on the season).

But Deportivo can also presume of its ability to score goals, something that was missed in previous seasons and that ended causing the relegation. Currently the Galicians are the second best scorer at Segunda with 62 goals in favour, just two less than RC Celta. Real Valladolid has its merits too and it’s third in this department with 59 goals in favour.

Another interesting stat is that Deportivo is the best local team at Segunda, and actually it’s the third best local outfit among the ten Second tier championships in Europe, while Real Valladolid is the best visitor at Liga Adelante, though they have only achieved one victory visiting  the favorite teams for the promotion spots; their only win in this kind of confrontation was at Elche CF (1-2, matchday 28).

This match is considered as a final, not only for the automatic spots to Primera, but also for the title on the league. After all, both teams are the most regular ones in the season and also are among the most in-form sides in the tournament. Depor is not only the leader, but also the best team in the second round with 36 points added in the period, Valladolid (31) is third in this department just behind AD Alcorcón (32) and arrives to the Riazor living its best moment, chaining six straight victories.

Valladolid never won at the Riazor playing at Segunda División, this after 15 presentations, but won four times within the last eleven visits playing for Primera; the last one was the 0-2 of the season 2009/10 with goals scored by Nauzet Aleman and Medunjanin, a result that, at the time, pulled down Depor from the European zone.

DEPORTIVO: BACKUPS TO THE RESCUE
The casualties are hitting Deportivo, just at the most important moment on the season, time when Oltra’s outfit is close to achieve the promotion back to Primera, and just when Depor is about to face the last direct rival on the season, perhaps the most dangers one: Real Valladolid. And it’s that Oltra is having eight casualties, six injured men plus two suspensions, the last one to join the list is central defender David Rochela, who picked an hamstring injury during Saturday’s training.

These problems are forcing the coach to rely in three players that have been in shadows all season long. First German Lux, the Argentine keeper is the only player at the squad that hasn’t played yet in liga, all because Aranzubia has been in great form, but now the Riojano is out due to an Achilles injury, so the ex-Mallorca man is called to defend the goal of Deportivo against the third best offensive line in the league.

He talked to reporters about his first appearance as a starter, ”As I always do I´m going to enjoy the game, without feeling any pressure, though we all know the meaning of having a player like Aranzubia. It would be important to pick up the three points.”

The next case is Borja Fernandez, the Galician midfielder arrived injured during the summer and has been used more as a substitute. He has only played three times as a starter and had his moment of glory scoring the winning goal in the Galician derby; now he will have to perform as a central defender, this since Diego Colotto is suspended, while Rochela and Aythami are injured. Borja played a few minutes as a centre back during the home clash against Elche, this after he replaced Ze Castro.

The former Valladolid man said before the clash that Deportivo must understand that the promotion hasn’t been achieved yet, ”“The fact of been facing Valladolid isn’t passing through my mind; I just want to win. There’s the feeling that we are deciding the tournament with every victory or that we are already promoted, but after the last defeat we realized that not everything is done, not yet. Until the mathematics doesn’t say otherwise we must keep winning games.”

Saul Fernandez is the third forgotten men looking for glory; the Asturian has been under the shadow of Bruno Gama and Diogo Salomão, but now the first man is suspended and his compatriot is injured, so he will be a starter for the third time on the liga tournament, the first time in five months. He has only played as a starter in the derby of the first round before RC Celta and in the visit to Elche CF. More specifically Saul has only played 40 minutes in the whole year 2012.

Saul talked after Thursday training and said that “Let’s hope, if I have the chance to play, I could make a good game. These two years haven’t been good for me at Deportivo, and let’s see what happens. This year has been complicated because I have been under shadows, training at the top, but staying outside the plans. I want to play and dispute these games, let’s hope the coach will give me a chance. The three points will be important in the road back to Primera. I am willing to play. Who knows, maybe this last part on the season could be good for me and it could turn to be a more enjoyable season for me. “

Oltra will keep using a 4-2-3-1 lineup; with Lux defending the goal, Laure performs at the right-back position, Claudio Morel still defending the left sector, while Ze Castro is returning from his injury in order to join Borja Fernandez at the central positions.

Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez will be the two pivotes at midfield, Saul plays at the right wing, Andrés Guardado also returns from an injury and attacks from the left flank, Juan Carlos Valerón is the playmaker in the formation and Lassad Nouioui is the central attacker.

The players staying at the injury room are keeper Aranzubia, central defenders Aythami Artiles and Rochela, centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez, left winger Salomão and striker Riki. Attacker Rodolfo Bodipo is the only man staying out for tactical reasons, why Deportivo B goalie Marc Martinez and defender Uxio Marcos have been picked for the first time to a liga meeting, this in order to fill the gaps.

Laure talked before the match and said that the team is strong enough to cover any casualty, ”The feeling that we have is that, when someone is missing, then another one comes out and makes the same or even a better job. If someone is out then another player enters and competes at the same level. I believe we´re a balanced t and compensated team in all the lines, and you notice this throughout the competition.”

Finally, 19-year-old Uxio Marcos was explaining his feelings after been picked for the first time, "I wasn't expecting for this; I trained with the team during the week and am hopeful. This is what I dreamed since been a child, since arriving to Deportivo. My call arrives in an important game for Deportivo, but it didn't matter if it was it in another game. I am nervous as it´s the first team, but I´m also hopeful."

List of picked players (18): Lux, Marc Martinez (goalkeepers); Laure, Uxio, Ze Castro, Morel, Seoane, Ayoze, Manuel Pablo (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Borja Fernández, Valerón, Juan Domínguez, Guardado, Pablo Álvarez, Saúl (midfielders); Xisco and Lassad (strikers)

VALLADOLID: A LETHAL COMBINATION
Truly the defense of Valladolid has been hailed due to its solidity and it’s considered as the main reason why the team is so close to the goal of promotion, but it’s also true that the Violet team has a lot of punch in attack. In a season where all eyes have been over Almeria’s Leo Ulloa there’s a lethal combination of players at Valladolid that can’t be despised.

Starting with the partnership Javi Guerra-Óscar Gónzalez, together this couple has scored 26 of the 59 goals on the season (44% of the total), actually both have scored at least ten goals so far, meaning that Valladolid, Celta and Deportivo are the only clubs in the league that can presume of having two players passing the ten-goal mark. Besides, both men are in-form as at least one of them has scored a goal in seven of the last nine matches disputed in the league.

And the offensive power of the team isn’t reduced to these players, because coach Djukic has other resources like Nauzet Aleman, who has scored three goals within the last five matches, or attacker Alberto Bueno, who has scored six times, curiously three braces.  Without forgetting Víctor Pérez, a centre midfielder has scored six goals, five of them during the second round in the tournament.

For the game at the Riazor ex-Depor Miroslav Djukic will present the 4-2-3-1 formation used during the past match before FC Cartagena with one novelty; Sisinio González ‘Sisi’ was the improvised right-back, now he´s out due to a shoulder injury, but on-loan man from Athletic Bilbao Mikel Balenziaga is returning from suspension and will claim the spot. Jaime Jiménez is the starting goalie, ex-Recreativo Carlos Peña performs at the left-back position, and the couple of central defenders is composed by Catalan Marc Valiente and Jesús Rueda.

The two centre midfielder are Victor Pérez and veteran Álvaro Rubio; Nauzet Alemán will attack from the right wing; the Canarian has always been a nightmare for Deportivo as he already scored three times against the Galicians, including a goal in the last victory of Valladolid at the Riazor.

Former Real Madrid Castilla Alberto Bueno will attack from the left flank, then former Olympiakos Óscar Javier González will be the playmaker in the scheme, and finally Javi Guerra is the central attacker; to mention that Guerra was doubtful on Friday due to a muscular problem, but managed to enter into the list, though he isn’t at 100%.

It must be understand as a pretty dangerous quartet in attack, after all the four men up front combined have scored 38 goals, and they also have Congolese Mateus Alberto Contreiras ‘Manucho’  (6 goals on the season) on the bench.

Defender Mikel Balenziaga talked before the meeting; he was warning of Depor’s potential, ”We know they’re pretty strong, they are a powerful team, especially in attack, but we need to be faithful to our style and go out for the victory. It’s a very important match for us. We are going there for the victory.”

Playmaker Óscar was saying that the key for the game is to cover Valerón, ”As it happened in the game played in the first round if he doesn’t touch the ball, then Deportivo suffers a lot. The side having the ball possession and having more calmness will claim the match. If we win then we will be two points behind them; we must think of haunting Deportivo.”

List of picked players (18): Jaime, Dani Hernandez (goalkeepers); Balenziaga, Peña, Juanito, Valiente, Jesús Rueda (defenders);Nauzet, Jofre, Marquitos, Álvaro Rubio, Nafti, Baraja, Víctor Pérez, Óscar (midfielders); Bueno, Manucho and Javi Guerra (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laure, Borja, Ze Castro, Morel – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Saúl, Valerón, Guardado – Lassad.
Valladolid: (4-2-3-1) Jaime - Balenziaga, Jesús Rueda, Marc Valiente, Peña - Rubio, Víctor Pérez - Nauzet, Óscar, Bueno - Javi Guerra.
Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández (20 games on the season, 8 wins for the local team)
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Valladolid: 30 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 31 wins for Valladolid (Primera, Segunda & Tercera)
Record at the Riazor: 26 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 6 wins for Valladolid (Primera, Segunda & Tercera)

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