Competition news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO - MALLORCA (COPA)

01 Nov 2012
Depor returns to Copa Del Rey with Oltra changing the entire squad compared to the Galician derby; up to four men are debuting in an official competition on this season. At Mallorca, Caparrós is not making rotations due to the injuries.

STATISTICS: PATERNITY OVER MALLORCA
It’s the seventh time Deportivo is meeting RCD Mallorca playing for Copa Del Rey; in five of the previous six opportunities the Galicians eliminated the Majorcans. The first series took place back on the season 1988/89 with the Blanquiazul outfit clinching a 4-2 aggregate score (quarterfinals). For the season 1991/92 the aggregate score was 3-1 (fourth round).

During the campaign 1996/97 Depor won again the series, this time with a 3-1 aggregate score (second round); two years later the aggregate score was 2-1 (quarterfinals). The only opportunity in which the Majorcans eliminated Depor was on the season 2002/03.

At the time both clubs were facing each other in the semifinals round; in the first-leg the Majorcans were shocking the Riazor with a 0-3 advantage and with Pandiani scoring twice, but two late goals left the final scoresheet in a 2-3, in the returning leg Depor could only pick a 1-1 draw. Later the Majorcans were going to win the title after trashing Recreativo de Huelva in the final (3-0).

The last meeting between these two clubs in Copa Del Rey took place on the season 2006/07 (last-16 round). Depor clinched the pass winning the first-leg 1-2 and then adding a 1-1 draw at the Riazor for a 3-2 aggregate score. Both teams are arriving to this meeting dragging a negative streak in la liga; Deportivo have only added one of the last fifteen points in dispute, while Mallorca have suffered four straight defeats.

DEPORTIVO: TIME FOR THE “SUBSTITUTES”
Copa Del Rey lands in A Coruña and with it the opportunity for the less habitual players in liga, aka the substitutes; coach Oltra is ready to present a totally different lineup compared to the one that played the Galician derby and probably a totally different starting eleven to the team that will face the same rival in liga just four days later.

The draw will be a 4-2-3-1, with Argentine German Lux defending the goal; he’ll be facing his former club, Manuel Pablo returns from a hamstring strain injury in order to perform at the right-back position, Brazilian Evaldo Fabiano returns to the left sector after been a fixed starter at the beginning of the season, Aythami Artiles and Roderick Miranda are the centre backs.

At midfield, André Santos and Jesús Vázquez are the centre midfielders, Saul Fernandez plays at the right wing, Tiago Pinto will perform as the left winger, Javier Camuñas is the playmaker at the scheme and Nélson Oliveira is the performing at the centre of the attack.

Four of these eleven players are debuting in an official game during this season: Roderick, Jesús Vázquez, Saúl and Tiago Pinto. Besides, only four of the players at the starting eleven have been starters in any of the nine liga matches played so far: Evaldo, Manuel Pablo, Aythami and Camuñas. So, this is an opportunity to convince Oltra and gain a spot for future matches.

Left winger Diogo Salomão and centre midfielder Abel Aguilar are the two players at the injury room; the normal starters that are rested for this game are centre back Ze Castro, right-back Laure, left-back Ayoze Diaz, centre midfielder Álex Bergantiños, striker Riki and left winger Pizzi.

The list of eighteen players include right-back Diego Seoane and striker Rodolfo Bodipo, the other men at the list are playmaker Valerón, centre midfielder Juan Dominguez and right winger Bruno Gama- there are no Fabril’s players on the list. Also, only sixteen players can be used according to the rules of the tournament, therefore two of the players will be ruled out before the kick-off.

Roderick said before the game that he isn’t disappointed for not having any opportunity in the beginning of la liga, ”Not too much, because only two months have passed and a lot still ahead. Clearly I wanted to play, but must remain calm, work hard and wait for my chance. It’s difficult, because we all want to play, but the fact is that I must wait for my chance and will do my best when it arrives. We want to win both games; the goal is to do our best in liga and Copa.”

Similar are the thoughts of Tiago Pinto, “All the players want to play. I came here in order to play and not to be a number, but I need to remain calm as I will have my chance. This is a big club and the league is long, so I know I will have a chance and must continue working hard. I just want to play in order to demonstrate that I’m the best. If I can play in Copa then I will play as it was it the game of my life.”

Jesús Vázquez is also anxious in order to get some minutes, ”"The coach hasn't told us anything, but that's my hope: to finally have minutes. We all want to play and we are here for that. These are decisions of the coach and we must respect them. My situation isn't easy, because all the players want to play, but we can only work hard during the trainings and play in Copa. We must try to put things difficult to the coach so he can remember that he can count with us. I can't despair, this is too long and nobody has given me everything for free. Both games are important, though we are more in need in la liga."

Finally, Lux stated that, ”We must be prepared for the Copa; the players that aren’t playing in liga are now having a chance in this competition and we must seize the opportunity. We want to reach the farthest round in Copa. This is an important competition, though our goal is another one. Still, we must seize the opportunity.”

List of picked players: (18): Lux, Aranzubia (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Evaldo, Seoane, Tiago Pinto, Roderick, Marchena, Aythami (defenders); Jesús Vázquez, Juan Dominguez, Andre Santos, Camuñas, Saúl, Valerón, Bruno Gama (midfielders); Nélson Oliveira & Bodipo (strikers)

MALLORCA: TRYING TO BOUNCE BACK
Deportivo and Mallorca are having parallel lives in la liga; both teams had a positive start in the competition, but later fell down. In the case of the Majorcans they have suffered four straight defeats, though their initial victories are keeping them in safer lands. Now they’re trying to bounce back in this double meeting with Deportivo, hoping to return to winning ways and approach to the European zone.

But they remain dragging a big problem: the injuries. Their first team is only composed by 23 players –including three keepers- and currently they have five long-term injuries: centre midfielder João Victor (knee ligaments), left-back Antonio López, captain José Carlos Araújo ‘Nunes’ (both meniscus), centre midfielder Javi Márquez (ankle fracture), and striker Álvaro Giménez (groin).

All of them have been operated and will out for at least a couple of months; the club even had to move fast in the quest for emergency solutions and hired Barca’s centre back Andreu Fontàs in a loan deal; in the end Caparrós was only having 18 available players to face the double meeting with Depor, meaning he wasn’t able to make too many rotations.

Since the team will make one single trip in order to face the games in liga and Copa, Caparrós is traveling to A Coruña with 22 players; in order to fill the gaps five youngsters were picked, four from Mallorca B –defender Pablo Mari, winger Kenechuhwu Uchenwa ‘Uche’, centre midfielder Mark Fernandez plus striker Abdón Prats- and the other one from the Juvenil A squad –striker Brandon Thomas.

At the same time, Caparrós ruled out one of the three keepers - Juan Calatayud- It’s expected that he will play with eight of the eleven starters that were trashed by Real Madrid in liga (0-5), which is logical taking in mind the injuries hitting the squad and the presence of youngsters without experience.

It’s a 4-4-2 draw; Ex-Depor Dudu Aouate remains at the goal, Joaquín Navarro ´Ximo´ performs at the right-back position, new signing Andreu Fontàs, who was a centre midfielder against Real Madrid, is moving back to the centre of the defense joining Brazilian Pedro Geromel, a defender that was close to join Depor during the summer. Meanwhile Pedro Bigas plays at the left-back position.

French Michael Pereira is one of the few novelties at the team, he will attack from the right wing, promising Emilio Nsue will do it from the left, while the centre midfielders are Tomas Pina and veteran José Luis Marti.

In attack Javier Arizmendi returns to A Coruña; he played 50 liga games with Depor netting seven goals; after his exit he played for four different clubs before joining Mallorca during the summer. His partner in attack is dangerous Israeli Tomer Hemed, who already scored six times in la liga.

Midfielder José Luis Martí talked before the trip to A Coruña and said that, ”We must focus and face the situation going game by game; truly on this week we’re playing two games against the same rival in liga and Copa, so we must focus in these two meetings. We want to get a positive result in Copa and then add the three points in liga. After the last defeat with Real Madrid we want to cut the negative streak, the priority is to get a positive result in Copa and then face with more motivation the game in liga.”

Defender Joaquín Navarro ‘Ximo’ said that Mallorca is motivated in playing the Copa, ”The Copa is a pretty competition and we face it with hope. We’re hopeful of getting a positive result on Thursday against Deportivo. Under any concept we are open to throw away the Cup. This team is able to obtain two good results, both in Copa and then on Sunday in la liga. Evidently these teams at the bottom will like to have more points. They surely didn’t have a positive start, but are strong at home, dangerous, so we are aware that it won’t be easy to extract a positive result from there.”

List of picked players: (22) Aouate, Miño (goalkeepers); Anderson, Geromel, Bigas, , Kevin, Fontàs, Ximo, Pablo Marí (defenders); Pina, Pereira, N’Sue, Giovani Dos Santos, Martí, Alfaro, Uche, Mark Fernandez (midfielders); Tomer, Víctor Casadesús, Arizmendi, Abdón and Brandon (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Manuel Pablo, Aythami, Roderick, Evaldo – André Santos, Jesús Vázquez – Saúl, Camuñas, Tiago Pinto – Oliveira.
Mallorca: (4-4-2) Aouate - Ximo, Fontás, Geromel, Bigas - Pereira, Pina, Martí, Nsue - Arizmendi, Hemed.  
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
Kick-off: 21h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Mallorca: 5 wins for Depor, 4 draws, 3 wins for Mallorca (Copa Del Rey)
Record at the Riazor:  4 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 1 win for Mallorca (Copa Del Rey)

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/12

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