Competition news

PREVIEW: CD NUMANCIA – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

12 May 2012
Depor needs to start adding points playing away from home in order to secure the promotion; Oltra is missing Aranzubia and Morel, but recovers other important players like Colotto or Bruno Gama. The rival is playing for nothing.

STATISTICS: THE TWO FACES OF NUMANCIA
CD Numancia has two statistical facets that can resume its current season at Segunda. The good one is their record at home, because Los Rojillos are the sixth best home team in the league clinching 37 points in the 18 games played at Los Pajaritos stadium, they are just below five clubs fighting for the promotion spots: Depor (50), Valladolid (39), Cordoba (39), Alcorcón (38) and Celta (37).

The darkest facet of this team is the performance during the second round, because 7 of the 12 losses on the season came in the final part of the Segunda tournament, including the last two matches played at home: 1-4 Vs. Valladolid (matchday 31) and 0-1 Vs. Villarreal B ((matchday 36). Actually, Los Numantinos are the eighth worst team in the second round with only 18 points added in the period, just above Sabadell (17), Recreativo (17), Guadalajara (13), Gimnástic (12), Alcoyano (12), Murcia (9) and Cartagena (9). To emphasize that Numancia hasn’t achieved a victory since March 30 and they are arriving to the clash after losing its last three games on the competition, something that’s happening for the first time on the season.

Meanwhile, Deportivo is living its second lower point in its impressive season at Segunda División; the Galicians have only added one of the last six points in dispute, just tying what happened at the beginning of October after losing at CD Alcoyano (0-2, matchday 08) and later only getting a point against Gimnástic Tarragona (2-2, matchday 09).

This is the fifth visit of Deportivo to Los Pajaritos; and Depor won two of the previous four matches (2-1 on the season 2000/01 and 1-0 on the campaign 2008/09). The only defeat of the Galicians there was a polemic 0-1 on the season 1999/00; it was polemic because the referee disallowed a last-minute goal of goalkeeper Jacques Songo’o due to a foul that never existed.

DEPORTIVO: OUTSIDE GLORY
With only six matchdays remaining in the calendar Depor needs three or four more victories -perhaps two more will be enough- to secure the promotion, but the point is that four of the last six games will be played away from the Riazor, just the weak point of this Deportivo throughout the season, after all seven of the eight defeats suffered on the liga tournament occurred with the team performing in this condition, so Oltra’s men need to scratch one or two away wins on order to seal the deal.

The Galician outfit must also overcome an old ghost that has chased the team in recent times: the injuries. For the match  Oltra is having four players at the injury room: keeper Daniel Aranzubia centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez, left winger Diogo Salomão and left-back defender Claudio Morel. Besides, centre midfielder Borja Fernandez is suspended.

But the Valencian coach is also recovering important people, the Pichichi of the team, Riki, and central defender Aythami Artiles are no longer injured, while central defender Diego Colotto and right winger Bruno Gama are returning from suspension. Also, Guardado was training normally on Friday and was included in the list after sustaining a hamstring injury on the day before.

The draw will continue to be a 4-2-3-1; with goalkeeper German Lux making a second appearance as a starter on this liga season.  Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ covers the right side of the defense, the left sector is for Ayoze Diaz, the Canarian is a starter for the first time in a month. The central positions are for Colotto and Portuguese Ze Castro.

Midfielder will continue to be the territory for Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez; it’s their 22th appearance as the duo of pivotes since the Galician derby of the first round. Juan Carlos Valerón will be the playmaker in the formation.

Portuguese Bruno Gama returns to the right wing, while Andrés Guardado attacks from the left flank; the doubt is who will be the central attacker. Riki should be on the bench as he is returning from an injury, but Oltra could surprise putting the Madrilenian at the starting formation. Still, Tunisian Lassad Nouioui has more options of been the starting choice. The three players discarded for tactical reasons are centre back David Rochela, right-back Diego Seoane and attacker Rodolfo Bodipo. Fabril’s Marc Martinez is part of the list for the second time; the 22-year-old goalie will be the alternative on the bench.

Ze Castro believes that a victory in this meeting could be crucial for Deportivo, ”I’m convinced that if we win this game then we´ll gain more confidence and it would be harder to stop us. Eighteen points are remaining and it means a lot to have a seven-point gap at the moment. If we add six points then surely we will end at Primera. If we add five then we will also reach Primera… We depend on ourselves. It’s our challenge, our goal.”

Goalkeeper German Lux was remembering that this is a tough visit, ”It’s a complicate stadium where Numancia has only lost a few matches, and despite they are playing for nothing we are playing for a lot of things. We haven’t achieved anything yet and must be at the top for these last games; we need to be focused and playing at one hundred percent.”

List of picked players (18): Lux, Marc Martinez (goalkeepers); Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Aythami, Ayoze, Manuel Pablo (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Valerón, Juan Domínguez, Guardado, Bruno Gama, Pablo Álvarez, Saúl (midfielders); Riki, Xisco and Lassad (strikers).

 NUMANCIA: SEASON OVER?
The best part of Depor’s remaining games on the season is that the six pending rivals are practically playing for nothing, and the first team in the list is CD Numancia. A team that has virtually ended its season as it lies ten points behind the promotion and thirteen above the relegation. The team has lost three straight games for the first time on the season, so the fans and part of the media are unhappy.

The detonator was last weekend’s loss against last place FC Cartagena, a paper in Soria even described the performance of Los Rojillos as “total laziness” because Numancia was a broken toy in the hands of a rival in need. Coach Pablo Machín, despite been recently renewed, has been hardly criticized as he already started to make rotations, which is interpreted as an early attempt to “throw the towel”.

It’s also true that the team has had several casualties in recent games, in the past week they missed six men, four were injured and two were suspended. The four injured men stay in the sidelines: Defender Adrián Ripa (quadriceps) striker Juan José Expósito "Juanjo" (nose fracture), midfielder Gorka Larrea (muscular) and attacker Javier del Pino (groin). At least winger Miguel Bedoya and central defender Leandro Cabrera are returning from suspension.

Taking in mind this environment, and mainly the rotations launched by the coach, it’s hard to predict the starting formation that will face Deportivo; the media in Soria believes it could a 4-2-3-1 figure. One of the doubts is who will be the goalkeeper, because Machin has used both Eduardo Navarro and Ignacio Zabal throughout the season.

Veteran Unai Expósito should be covering the right-back position, Fernando Macedo ‘Nano’, who during the week as been linked with a move to Osasuna, will defend the left side, while the centre backs are Manuel Pavón and Uruguayan Leandro Cabrera.

At midfield, ex-Atletico Madrid Domingo Nagore and former Valencia man Sunday Stephen ´Sunny’ are the two pivotes, Congolese Cedric Mabwati attacks from the right wing, Madrilenian Miguel Bedoya does the same from the left flank, Venezuelan Julio Álvarez, who has scored eight times on the season, is the playmaker in the scheme and former Almeria man Natalio Lorenzo is the central attacker.

Captain Nagore talked during the week; he asked for apologies to the fans as the team has had poor results within the last games, ”We´ve played badly in recent games and for now what I want is to end the league in the best possible way, at least to improve what we have done, and later we’ll see as six games are remaining and lot of things can still happen.”

Nano was also referring to the recent protest of the public towards the poor performance of the team, ”The players don’t want to left that poor impression; the fans are right to be unhappy. In the last games we haven’t played as we did before. It seems we are missing attitude and more will. We’ve talked about it; we are all meditating on how every player was performing. We want to leave a positive impression in the remaining games. We are aware the calendar is tough, difficult teams are coming and if we aren’t ready, then they will screw us. We must wake up.”

Finally, Bedoya was saying that the team must recover his game before the leader in the competition, ”The match is complicated, because the leader is visiting us. I hope we could change the dynamic of the past matchdays and bring joy to the fans. Against the biggest teams we have always made very solid matches, what happens is that we are coming after a negative streak and things are now harder. I hope we can change on Saturday.”

List of picked players (18): Edu Navarro, Nacho Zabal (goalkeepers); Iván Malón, Cabrera, Nano, Unai Expósito, Pavón, Culebras (defenders); Sunny, Julio Álvarez, Nagore, Nieto, Cedric, Bedoya, Víctor Andrés (midfielders); Díaz de Cerio, Lago Junior and Natalio (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
CD Numancia: (4-2-3-1) Navarro or Zabal - Unai, Pavón, Cabrera, Nano – Nagore, Sunny - Cedrick, Julio Álvarez, Bedoya – Natalio.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Guardado – Lassad.
Referee: Dámaso Arcediano Monescillo (20 games on the season, 4 wins for the visiting team)
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (Los Pajaritos)
Head-to-head Vs. Numancia: 5 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 2 wins for Numancia (Primera)
Record at Los Pajaritos: 2 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 1 win for Numancia (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/11

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