Competition news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO - MALLORCA (LIGA)

04 Nov 2012
Second confrontation in a matter of three days between these clubs; Oltra is almost changing the entire squad targeting to get the first victory after more than two months, while Caparrós changes half of the team recalling new star Hemed.

STATISTICS: NEGATIVE STREAKS
Deportivo is currently living in relegation after only adding one point within the last five liga matches, but neither RCD Mallorca is living a good moment in la liga. And it’s that Los Bermellones have lost the last four matches in the competition. So, combined these two clubs have only added four of the last thirty points disputed by them.

RCD Mallorca was a tough visitor at the Riazor in the middle of the past decade, even clinching two straight victories between the seasons 2003/04 (0-2) and 2004/05 (0-3) plus eliminating Depor from the Copa season 2002/03, but things have changed lately as the Majorcans have only grabbed three points from their last six visits to A Coruña. Their last visit to the Riazor was a 1-2 defeat with a great game of Valerón coming out from the bench; in that opportunity the goals were scored by Xisco and Lassad.

Depor is the second worst defense at Primera División with 20 goals allowed, but at the same time it’s the fourth best offense with 14 goals in favour, only behind FC Barcelona (29), Atletico Madrid (22) and Real Madrid (21). The stats of RCD Mallorca are much more balanced as they have scored 10 goals allowing 14; they had a positive balance before last week, but the 0-5 loss against Real Madrid wiped off their numbers.

DEPORTIVO: 76 DAYS WITHOUT A VICTORY
Seventy-six days have passed since Deportivo debuted in liga and it’s the same period that Deportivo have spent winless. Since the 2-0 victory over CA Osasuna in the opening matchday Oltra and his players have only achieved five draws in nine games between la liga and Copa Del Rey; actually Depor is the Primera club with more time without adding a victory to their tally.

So far no one is concern, every sector related to the club is trying to think that this is only an “accident” as the calendar forced to face the first three places of the past tournament –Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Valencia CF- within the first eight matchdays in liga, but there are no more excuses as in the next five weeks the Galician team is facing rivals from the same height. Therefore there’s some kind of pressure over the team in order to bring results and leave the bottom places.

For the second meeting in three days against RCD Mallorca, Oltra is calling back the normal starters in liga; in this sense ten modifications are expected to the team that drew 1-1 in Copa Del Rey. About the other position a player that performed in Copa will keep doing it in la liga, the question is who.

Bruno Gama should be performing on the right wing, but he isn’t showing the same performance of last year and Oltra picked Rodolfo Bodipo for the first time in liga, which could mean that Riki and Nélson Oliveira are going to be starters, with the Portuguese attacker been the reference up front and with the Madrilenian performing on the right wing, always keeping a 4-2-3-1 figure; something that Oltra himself admitted during his press conference.

What’s clear is that Daniel Aranzubia returns to the goal, Laureano Sanabria ´Laure´ is completing his league game number 100 (62 at Primera, 38 at Segunda) covering the right-back position, Ayoze Diaz performs on the left sector, while the central positions at defense are for Ze Castro and Carlos Marchena.

With Abel Aguilar unavailable due to a muscle injury, the pivote positions will be for the same duo that faced the Galician derby: Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez. The playmaking function will continue to be the job for Juan Carlos Valerón.

Pizzi, the current Pichichi at the team with four goals scored, attacks from the left flank and Riki performs whether at the centre of the attack or at the right wing. The Madrilenian had a positive start netting three goals within the first six games, but he has remained scoreless within the last three liga meetings.

Centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez is at home after suffering a concussion in Thursday’s Copa clash, Manuel Pablo, who scored in that match, is also out due to a last-minute muscle problem; the duo is joining left winger Diogo Salomão and centre midfielder Abel Aguilar at the injury room. The players out for tactical reasons are right winger Saul Fernández, right-back Diego Seoane, centre back Roderick Miranda and left-back Tiago Pinto.

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

MALLORCA: A FACTOR CALLED TOMER HEMED
On these days the fans of Spanish football are highly focused watching the growing tally of goals from the trio Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Falcao. But there’s another notorious goal-scorer in la liga: Tomer Hemed. The Israeli striker spent a hard time trying to gain a spot at Maccabi Haifa, but after a notable last season there he called the attention of RCD Mallorca and was signed for free, then he netted ten goals last season (8 at Primera and 2 at Copa Del Rey).

Now, the 25-year-old attacker has already scored six goals in la liga, besides he has scored four of the ten goals netted by Israel in the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers, therefore he’s one of the few strikers in Europe that, at his height on the season, has already conquered ten or more goals. For many people in Spain he remains to be unknown, but already called the attention in the Premier League and is even rumoured a possible move during the winter window.

Undoubtedly Hemed is the main asset of a Mallorca’s team that’s wishing to do more than to simply clinch the permanence. There are two stats that allow understanding his importance for the team: He has scores the 60% of Mallorca’s goals on the season, which brought 5 of the 11 points added until today (45% of the total).

Caparrós has suffered four straight defeats in the competition and faces a serious problem: the injuries. Before Thursday’s game in Copa the Majorcans were dragging five injury cases: 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).

And the team suffered two more cases in the Copa clash against Depor; right-back Joaquín Navarro ´Ximo´ picked an ankle sprain and will remain sidelined for a fortnight. More serious is the case of young winger Kenechuhwu Uchenwa ‘Uche’, who will be off for six months after suffering a meniscus injury.

In the end Caparrós is only having sixteen players available coming from the first team; in order to fill the gaps he will have to choose between the four youth players that traveled with the team for the Copa clash: defender Pablo Mari, centre midfielder Mark Fernandez plus strikers Abdón Prats and Brandon Thomas.

Despite the casualties Caparrós is able to refresh the squad that played in Copa, in this sense only five men are staying at the starting eleven. The first one is ex-Depor keeper Dudu Aouate; with Ximo out it’s expected that winger Emilio Nsue it’s going to perform at the right-back position; he already did it in the 2-3 defeat against Sevilla when Ximo was out suspended.

Portuguese Pedro Geromel, who scored against Depor in Copa, is the second player staying at the starting eleven; he’s joined by Brazilian Anderson Conceição at the centre of the defense. Then Pedro Bigas performs at the left sector.

At midfield, veteran José Luis Martí is staying at the team, this time joined by Catalan Andreu Fontàs, who in Copa Del Rey performed as a centre back. Ex-Depor Javier Arizmendi is the fifth player staying at the starting squad, though this time playing on the right wing, French Michael Pereira attacks from the left wing, while Víctor Casadesús joins Hemed up front to complete the 4-4-2 formation.

List of picked players: (20) Aouate, Miño (goalkeepers); Anderson, Geromel, Bigas, Kevin, Fontàs, Pablo Marí (defenders); Pina, Pereira, N’Sue, Giovani Dos Santos, Martí, Alfaro, Mark Fernandez (midfielders); Tomer Hemed, Víctor Casadesús, Arizmendi, Abdón and Brandon (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Marchena, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez – Riki, Valerón, Pizzi – Oliveira.
Mallorca: (4-4-2) Aouate – Nsue, Conceiçao, Geromel, Bigas – Arizmendi, Martí, Fontás, Pereira – Víctor, Hemed.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
Kick-off: 16h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Mallorca: 16 wins for Depor, 19 draws, 17 wins for Mallorca (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 11 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 4 wins for Mallorca (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS NOV/12

ZAPPING

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