Competition news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – SEVILLA (LIGA)

24 Sep 2012
Important game for a Deportivo that begins a complicate month; Oltra has a full squad available and will make changes, starting with the return of Valerón. Sevilla lands at the Riazor presenting the same lineup and targeting the Champions League.

STATISTICS: UNBEATABLE
Deportivo is arriving to this matchday undefeated after four matchdays at Liga BBVA; this is the best start since the season 2005/06, the first one with Caparrós on board. On that campaign the team was undefeated within the first five matchdays adding two victories and three draws. Besides, the Galician outfit continues expanding its unbeatable run at the Riazor as it now accumulates 386 days without a loss at home: 23 meetings (20 in liga and 3 in Copa Del Rey).

But on this opportunity Depor is finding in the way another unbeatable team in the league: Sevilla FC. The Andalusians have clinched two victories and two draws, including one over giants Real Madrid (1-0). It’s the same outcome of the past liga season -2 wins and 2 draws in the first 4 matches-  that led the team to a run of nine straight games without a loss, though later the team fell down throughout the season even ending outside of the European zone.

Sevilla FC was a regular ‘victim’ of the Riazor during the nineties, even chaining ten straight defeats in the period, but in recent times it has been a tougher opponent, and it’s that, within the last seven visits of the Andalusians to a Coruña, Depor was only able to win in two opportunities: 2-1 (2007/08) and 1-0 (2009/10).

DEPORTIVO: THE BIG MONTH
Monday’s game marks the beginning of an important month for Deportivo; period in which the Galician outfit will face both candidates to the title, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF, plus the Galician derby against RC Celta and this match against Sevilla CF, a clear candidate to the European positions. It’s a tough test to measure the potential of a team that’s undefeated on the season and that haven’t lost at the Riazor within the last twelve months.

The good thing for coach Oltra is that he has a full squad available to face the  challenge; centre back Ze Castro and left winger Diogo Salomão received the medical okay at the beginning of the week, though this last player was ruled out of this meeting. Forward Riki wears a special mask in the face after sustaining a nose fracture in the clash against Granada, while winger Javi Camuñas is part of the game after surpassing an adductor problem.

Oltra will make changes compared to the lineup that played at Los Cármenes, starting with the return of Juan Carlos Valerón, who regains the playmaker’s role. There are two doubts still to be clarified by Depor’s tactician. The first is if Aythami Artiles will keep playing at the centre of the defense or if instead Ze Castro will have a chance to play alongside Carlos Marchena.

At this point it seems that the Canarian has the advantage as the Portuguese man was out of action for the whole pre-season. The second doubt is related to the centre of the attack, both Riki and Nélson Oliveira seem to have the same chances to be starters. Both men have scored twice and have also demonstrated that they can lead the attacking zone.

The rest of the team should be the same one of the past clash with Granada, with Daniel Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo playing on the right-back position and Evaldo Fabiano performing at the left side of the defense. Abel Aguilar and Juan Dominguez command midfield territory, while Bruno Gama and Pizzi cover the wings.

Tiago Pinto wasn’t included in the list for the game; the last signing of Depor will have to wait for his debut in liga. The other players out due to tactical reasons are wingers Saúl Fernández and Diogo Salomão, right-back Diego Seoane, centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez, centre back Roderick Miranda and striker Rodolfo Bodipo.

Marchena explained wait he’s expecting from Sevilla, ”They will surely have one less point of adrenaline, because at home their fans are pushing a lot and besides they were facing Madrid, but it will be similar on here, because it’s a warrior team, a strong rival that defends and attacks pretty well. Let’s hope we can win, but it will be a difficult task.”

Meanwhile, Aythami was emphasizing the strong self-stem of Sevilla after their previous win, ”They have been boosted after achieving the victory over Real Madrid, but we are more motivated than them. We are coming from Segunda and are hopeful, and nobody can beat us on this subject. We don’t want to live another year at Segunda; we’ve a lot of young people and the intention is to make a strong season.”

Juan Dominguez stated that "Sevilla have a great squad is currently in-form, but we have enough team to compete and win the game, which is our target. We will try to win the game, always being faithful to our style.”

Finally, Valerón understands that it will be important to achieve a victory in this game, “We are undefeated; after a victory and three draws it will be pretty good if we defeat Sevilla, but if not then things will turn to be too short taking in mind the calendar, because we will face tough matches. We must remain calm, working hard game after game and trying to surpass all these meetings. The demands are high in matches like this one and we all need to be at100%. I don’t know if Sevilla will show the same intensity of the past clash, but it’s a strong team and should be feeling motivated after defeating Madrid.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Ze Castro, Marchena, Aythami, Ayoze, Evaldo (defenders); André Santos, Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, Abel Aguilar, Bruno Gama, Pizzi, Camuñas, Valerón (midfielders); Riki & Nélson Oliveira (strikers).

SEVILLA: THE REBORN?
Things were looking complicated for Sevilla CF at the beginning of the season; the Andalusian team had mediocre results in previous years, especially on last season as the team could only end ninth, ending with a streak of eight straight qualifications to European competitions. Besides, coach Michel stayed at the bench despite the criticism of the fans and there were no big signings during the summer window.

But somehow the team has managed to reborn and displays a solid performance that keeps them as one of the six unbeaten outfits in la liga; new signing Alex Sandro Mendonça ‘Cicinho’ has been impressing and players that seemed out of form like Piotr Trochowski are suddenly back on the right track.

Despite the 0-0 draw visiting Rayo Vallecano, game in which the Sevillans wasted two penalties, the team was boosted by the latest triumph at home against Real Madrid (1-0). Now everybody sees the future with optimism and focusing in qualifying to the UEFA Champions League.

But the current results shouldn’t block the minds of the players and fans, because last year it happened something similar as the team spent undefeated within the first nine matchdays only to end losing seven of the eight games in the middle of the tournament, something that cost the job to Marcelino Toral. Therefore the Sevillismo should learn from the past in order to avoid the same mistakes.

For the visit to the Riazor, Michel has a full squad available, this since both wingers Jose Antonio Reyes (shoulder) and Diego Perotti (Soleus) have surpassed their injuries. In any case both men weren’t picked for the game as the Madrilenian tactician is relying on the same players that defeated Real Madrid.

It’s expected that Michel is going to repeat the same 4-2-3-1 scheme used against Real Madrid, perhaps the only doubt is to see if Andrés Palop will stay at the goal after his solid game against the Madrilenians or if ex-Villarreal Diego López will regain the spot after been sent off in the previous visit to Granada CF.

Cicinho will be covering the right-back position, Fernando Navarro plays on the left, while Alberto Botia and Croatian Emir Spahić performs at the centre of the defense.  Chilean Gary Medel and Dutchman Hedwiges Maduro play at the centre of midfield.

Skillful winger Jesús Navas attacks from the right wing, Swiss Ivan Rakitić does it from the left, Polish-born Piotr Trochowski is the playmaker in the formation and Álvaro Negredo is the central attacker. The ex-attacker of Almeria already scored four times against Depor, three of them wearing the shirt of Sevilla (two in liga and one in Copa).

Botia was trying to remain calm after the huge win over Real Madrid, “We beat Madrid, yes, but a lot still ahead. This is just beginning and we must go on. We’ve only played a few liga games and we must follow the same path and reach the final stretch of the season having this defensive solidity and improving our attacking line. We beat Madrid, but we have both feet on the ground, knowing that we play on Monday against Depor and we must continue adding.”

Meanwhile, Gary Medel was explaining the goals of the team for the season, ”We are fighting in order to end among the first four places; that’s the goal: to dispute the next Champions League. The victory against Real Madrid is part of the past and now we can only think of adding the three points against Deportivo, it’s important.”

List of picked players (19): Palop, Diego López (goalkeepers); Spahic, Fernando Navarro, Luna, Botía, Fazio, Cicinho (defenders) Cala, Medel, Trochowski, Maduro, Kondogbia, Rakitic, Campaña, Jesús Navas (midfielders); Negredo, Baba & Manu del Moral (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Aythami, Marchena, Evaldo – Abel Aguilar, Juan Domínguez . Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki or Nélson Oliveira.
Sevilla: (4-2-3-1) Palop - Cicinho, Botía, Spahic, Fernando Navarro - Medel, Maduro – Jesús Navas, Trochowski, Rakitic – Negredo.
Referee: José Luis González González
Kick-off: 21h30 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Sevilla: 35 wins for Depor, 22 draws, 29 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 27 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 5 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS SEPT/12

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