Squad news

PREVIEW: REAL MADRID – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

30 Sep 2012
Tough task for a Deportivo that’s arriving after losing its first game on the season; Oltra’s will probably make some changes but will keep the ‘defensive’ approach of the game with Sevilla. Real Madrid are trying to bounce back after a poor start.

STATISTICS: FOUR YEARS WITHOUT DEFEATING MADRID
The last time Deportivo defeated Real Madrid was on August 31st, 2008 as the Galicians were opening the season 2008/09 with a 2-1 win at the Riazor thanks to the goals of Lopo and Mista. Since that day there were five meetings between both clubs with a balance of four victories for the Madrilenians, including a 1-6 loss in the last visit to the Santiago Bernabéu, plus a draw held at the Riazor.

And it’s that the Bernabéu represents the toughest stadium for Depor playing in a league competition, because after 41 liga matches played there the Blanquiazul outfit has only grabbed seven positive results (five draws and two draws). The last victory of Deportivo playing there was the 0-1 of the campaign 2004/05 with a goal scored by Albert Luque (October 3, 2004).

Deportivo is coming after losing its unbeaten condition in this beginning in liga and also after breaking the spell of the Riazor as the Galicians spent one year without losing at home; Oltra’s team also broke a streak of ten straight league matchdays scoring at least once. The last goalless game of Depor was the 0-2 defeat at UD Almeria (28 April).

Meanwhile, Despite the latest triumph at Rayo Vallecano (0-2), the true is that the beginning of the season hasn’t been so positive for Real Madrid as Los Blancos have suffered two defeats in the previous four meetings, which represent a negative record in the resume of Mourinho.

DEPORTIVO: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?
After one year exiled Depor returned to Primera and is now facing the first of the two giants in the league, which in recent times it has meant a lot of problems for any la liga outfit. In the case of Deportivo it has meant to lose 30 of the last 36 points disputed in the matches against Real Madrid and Barcelona; for these reasons many people believe that the best is to not take so seriously these clashes as this isn’t the league of Depor.

But Oltra and the players are trying to remain focused and, despite the difficulty of the task, they are trying to assume the game naturally, accepting the challenge and believing in their chances, keeper Dani Aranzubia explained the feelings of the players inside the changing room, ”It’s difficult, but we can’t say that it would be a miracle to win at the Bernabéu. We’ll try to do our best and put things difficult to them. The team is feeling comfortable and we’re going there for the win.”

For the trip to Madrid there are no injuries at the team and there’s only one change in the list of 18 players: right-back Laureano Sanabria ´Laure´. The Madrilenian has been picked for the first time after been on the sidelines since the pre-season due to a shoulder problem; he’s taking the spot of Ayoze Diaz. Precisely the sides are the main concern in this start of season as the defense has faced a lot of troubles trying to protect both flanks.

Therefore Oltra will keep playing with a 4-2-3-1 scheme, but using the same philosophy of the clash with Sevilla CF, with both wingers brining aids to the side defenders and with possible changes at midfield trying to emphasize the mark and the ball possession, among the possible changes are the entry of Javier Camuñas and Álex Bergantiños taking the spots of Juan Carlos Valerón and Juan Dominguez.

The rest should be the same starting eleven of past games, with Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo performing at the right-back position, Evaldo Fabiano playing at the left, while the centre backs are Aythami Artiles and Carlos Marchena.

Bruno Gama and Pizzi attack from both wings, Abel Aguilar will be one of the centre midfielders; it isn’t clear who will be the partner of the Colombian at midfield. Camuñas could be the playmaker in the formation and Riki will be the central attacker. The other players ruled out for tactical reasons are left-back Tiago Pinto, wingers Saúl Fernández and Diogo Salomão, right-back Diego Seoane, centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez, centre back Roderick Miranda and striker Rodolfo Bodipo.

Pizzi is feeling motivated as he plays against several compatriots,< i>“For every player facing Real is a special game; it’s good to play against compatriots and especially Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Fabio [Coentrao], they are very good and are doing well in Madrid. It is hard to stop Cristiano, he is a great player does everything well. We must try to stop him and we need everyone’s help, though Madrid are more than just Cristiano.”

Meanwhile, Riki was aware that this is going to be a tough match, “Every point they drop will be an opportunity less for them to catch Barcelona. We know we have to play at 120 per cent to get something out of there and also that they have one of the best players in the world. They’re a very intense team and are pretty strong at home . Everyone knows about Madrid. Their start wasn’t the expected one and we’ll have to try to hurt them, but above all they have very important players and so we’ll have to be very focused. We also have our weapons and it’s a beautiful game to play.”

Finally, Marchena, who already won at the Bernabéu playing for Valencia, was explaining what Depor needs in order to win, I believe you need to have the perfect day, to be highly focused, working at the top and later to be fortunate enough to see them not having their best day. Those are the conditions that you need. The rival has a huge level and we are aware that the team is going to play on a complicate field.”

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

REAL MADRID: LACKING GOALS?It might be shocking, but some journalists in Spain were pointing out to a lack of strength in attack as the reason why Real Madrid have had a slow and unexpected start in la liga, only adding five points in five games and already suffering two defeats. And it’s that Los Blancos have only scored seven goals in liga, not a bad mark as it’s the fourth highest in the league –Depor have scored the same number of goals- but in any case it’s considered to be a low mark taking in mind the potential of the team.

Especially taking in mind that Real Madrid is the Primera team with more shots in the competition (95), mark that’s above the ones of FC Barcelona (82) and Atletico Madrid (80), teams that currently are the first two places at the standings. For some journalists this situation indicates a low effectiveness by the attackers within this start of season, but for others this is just an “accident” that will quickly be solved as soon as the team plays more matches.

One of the persons that remain positive is José Mourinho, this despite he was in the middle of controversy as he stated after the loss against Sevilla CF (0-1) that ”I don’t have a team.”. The true is that he still believing in his men and just seven days later after this loss he was stating after defeating Rayo Vallecano that ”This time we were a real team.” . And before the game against Depor he was “blaming” the rivals, “The goalkeepers of the rivals are playing pretty well and they are stopping everything.” He said on Thursday.

For the game against Deportivo there will be changes compared to the team that defeated Rayo Vallecano, mainly because in midweek the team has to play the UEFA Champions League against Ajax and on next weekend it will be time for the Clásico against FC Barcelona.

It’s predicted a 4-2-3-1 figure, without changes at defense as Iker Casillas defends the goal, ex-Depor Álvaro Arbeloa performs at the right-back position, and Brazilian Marcelo Vieira stays on the left.  The central positions are for Andalusian Sergio Ramos and Portuguese Pepe.

The first modification appears at midfield as German Sami Khedira returns in order to claim a spot alongside ex-Liverpool Xabi Alonso. Argentine Ángel Di Maria keeps playing at the right wing and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo will do it on the left.

Perhaps the big doubt is who will be the playmaker in the formation, Mourinho has been rotating the job between Luka Modrić and Mesut Özil and now it seems that it’s the turn for the German player. The central position in attack is also alternated between two players, so far Argentine Gonzalo Higuaín has been the starter in Champions League and French Karim Benzema in attack. Higuaín has scored once again Depor in the past while Benzema scored a brace in the 1-3 win at the Riazor on the season 2009/10.

List of picked players: It will be released until Sunday.

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Real Madrid: (4-2-3-1) Casillas - Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo – Xabi Alonso, Khedira – Di Maria, Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo – Benzema.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Aythami, Evaldo – Abel Aguilar, Juan Dominguez or Abel Aguilar – Bruno Gama, Camuñas or Valerón, Pizzi – Riki.
Referee: Miguel Ángel Gayza Gámez
Kick-off: 19h50 CET (Santiago Bernabéu)
Head-to-head Vs. Real Madrid: 18 wins for Depor, 19 draws, 45 wins for Real Madrid (Primera)
Record at the Bernabéu: 2 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 34 wins for Real Madrid (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS SEPT/12

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