Squad news


10 Nov 2012
Depor search for calm after a tumultuous week; there are two novelties at the starting squad after the injury cases of Marchena & Ayoze. Zaragoza try to avoid the drama of the past two seasons targeting to improve the performance at home.

Deportivo and Real Zaragoza are having an irregular season and now both teams are facing each other trying to fix their weaknesses. The Galicians are one of the six teams at Primera that haven’t achieved yet a victory playing away from home, actually they represent the second team that has spent more time without adding the three points on the road.

And it’s that Depor have been unable to achieve an away victory within the last fifteen matches played at Liga BBVA. The last away win for the Blanquiazul outfit was achieved at San Mamés facing Athletic Bilbao back on the season 2010/11 (1-2, January 2, 2011).  RC Celta is the team with more time without an away triumph playing in this league –negative streak of seven years-

Real Zaragoza, meanwhile, is the fourth worst home team in la liga with only six points added after five matches played at La Romareda. The Aragonians already lost three times playing at home: Real Valladolid (0-1, matchday 01), Malaga CF (0-1, matchday 03) and Getafe CF (0-1, matchday 07).

Deportivo achieved seven victories at La Romareda during the 1990’s and the beginning of the 2000’s, but the Galicians have been unable to win any of the last six games played there, though four of those meetings were draws. Another stat to have in mind is that Zaragoza is the second worst scorer at Primera with only nine goals in favour, only above CA Osasuna (8). Meanwhile, Depor is the fourth best scorer with 15 goals in favour, only below FC Barcelona (32), Real Madrid (25) and Atlético Madrid (22). But Oltra’s team is the second worst defense with 20 goals allowed, only above Rayo Vallecano (23).

It has been a convulsive week for Deportivo, perhaps one of the toughest ones in the two decades with president Lendoiro on board. The foundations of the club were shaken with the announcement that the club is facing deep financial problems that could sink the organisation into the so feared administration figure. There’s also the concern on the player’s wages as they haven’t been paid since the middle of September.

To make things worse the injuries continued to strike the team, the last players to fell down were left-back Ayoze Diaz and central defender Carlos Marchena, this last one a crucial piece at defense and the only player at the first team that has disputed all the minutes in liga. Totally there are six players at the injury room as neither Diogo Salomão, Nélson Oliveira, Jesús Vázquez nor Abel Aguilar are fit to play.

Coach José Luis Oltra must take care that his remaining players aren’t distracted by all the noise, which is essential as the team still living at the edge of the drop zone and can’t afford more failures, mainly as it is facing a direct rival in the quest for salvation. In this sense the match, without been a final, can be described as an escape route from a convulsive week, a road searching for the light at the end of the tunnel.

The players and the club are trying to transmit a message of calm; on Friday two of the three captains addressed the media. Firstly Manuel Pablo assured that the players were aware of the situation since some weeks ago and that the players are facing the situation with calm, "The club has always paid us our wages. We were talking of the situation since some weeks ago, the only thing we didn't know was when the club was going to announce this situation, so nobody is upset."

Then Riki said that, “It was something that we already knew and the president transmitted the message yesterday to the public; it shouldn’t affect us in any sense. As soon as you are on the pitch you forget about other issues. It’s a situation that we don’t like, but well we play tomorrow against an important rival, so we need to step outside of this and focus in order to get the three points. It doesn’t matter the situation of the club, the only responsible for the results are the players.”

It’s expected that Oltra will present the same starting eleven that defeated RCD Mallorca, with the two forced modifications at defense; Daniel Aranzubia will continue defending the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure´ performs at the right-back position, Aythami Artiles returns in order to join Ze Castro at the centre of the defense, while Evaldo Fabiano will have a new opportunity playing a the left side and replacing injured Ayoze.

Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez continue to perform at midfield, Bruno Gama is coming from his best game of the season and performs at the right wing, his compatriot Pizzi continues to be the Pichichi at the team and covers the left flank, Juan Carlos Valerón is the playmaker in the scheme and Riki the central attacker.

Centre back Roderick Miranda and left-back Tiago Pinto have been picked for the game in order to cover the casualties of Marchena and Ayoze. Also, captain Manuel Pablo is returning from a muscle injury. The only two players out for tactical reasons are right-back Diego Seoane and right winger Saul Fernández.

Pizzi talked before the game and assured that the goal of Depor is to not lose this match, ”We are targeting to add the three points at Zaragoza. Our only thought for the next game is the victory, though anything different from a defeat is positive. We’ll try to clinch a clean sheet and then to harm them taking advantage of the great players at our team. We haven’t won yet playing away from home, we know that, but what we want is to add points.”

Valerón was saying that the latest win in liga was refreshing for Deportivo, ”We knew that defeating Mallorca was everything for us. For the situation that we were leaving, and also for how the other teams were playing, it was pretty important. Now, after a victory, you get fresh air and, especially, you are calmer after passing a negative streak, but things are pretty equal and if you lose then you go down, and if you win then you continue breathing. The league is a long race and we must continue winning games.”

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

The fans of Real Zaragoza have suffered a lot in recent times, mainly within the last two years, period in which Los Maños could only clinch the permanence until the last matchday, last year they even had to overcome a gap of fifteen points, which ended to be a record in the history of la liga. Now everyone wants to avoid the emotional exhaustion and the suffering, so the goal is to live in safer lands since early on the season, and the game against Depor is understand as an important clash, first for been facing a “direct rival”, and later because Zaragoza must visit FC Barcelona in the following matchday.

That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising to hear the comments of players like defender Abraham Minero, who described he game as a “final” despite only been matchday 11, ”Now it’s time to face Deportivo, and it is a final for us, so we are going out for the three points, because the team is in a good mood and we want to demonstrate it on Saturday. The three points are vital.” He said.

Zaragoza left a positive impression despite the recent 0-4 loss visiting Real Madrid, but the pending issue for the team coached by Manolo Jimenez are the mediocre results at La Romareda, place where they already lost three of the five matches disputed there. The players out for injury reasons are Italian centre back Maurizio Lanzaro (Achilles) and Serbian left-back Ivan Obradović (knee).

Manolo Jimenez is ready to present his best men in a 4-2-3-1 formation; Roberto Jiménez defends the goal, Romanian Ionuţ Săpunaru covers the right-back position, Catalan Abraham Minero performs at the left, while the central defenders are Dutch Glenn Loovens and Cantabrian Álvaro González.

The two central midfielders are veteran José Maria Movilla and ex-Malaga man Antonio Galdeano ‘Ápoño’. Argentine Franco Zuculini returns in order to perform on the right wing and ex-Alcorcón man Francisco Montañes attacks from the left.

New sensation Víctor Rodríguez is the playmaker in the formation and Portuguese Hélder Postiga is the central attacker. Postiga has been a vital piece in this start of season netting four of the nine goals scored by Zaragoza on the liga tournament (44% of the total)

Veteran striker Carlos Aranda will be on the bench; he commented during the week that Zaragoza is showing a decent level, ”It was a matter of time to see the team adapting, little by little it has been noticed our style of playing.; we must hold on and continue. We can beat anyone as long as we do the right things. Saturday’s game is important, facing a team that’s alongside us. The largest number of teams we can beat and leave behind us, the better, but must go out with both feet on the ground, because we haven’t done anything yet.”

Portuguese Hélder Postiga was talking of the game and of his compatriots at Deportivo, ”They are a good team and last week defeated Mallorca. Their Portuguese players bring a lot of quality, so we must remain alert in order to avoid surprises. We must transform our stadium into a fortress and win the highest number of points, especially when we are facing a rival from our league,”

List of picked players (18): Roberto, Leo Franco (goalkeepers); Paredes, Álvaro, Loovens, Sapunaru, Abraham (defenders); Movilla, Edu Oriol, Apoño, Montañés, Romaric, Wílchez, Zuculini, Pintér, Víctor Rodríguez (midfielders); Aranda & Postiga (strikers).

Zaragoza: (4-2-3-1) Roberto – Sapunaru, Loovens, Álvaro, Abraham – Movilla, Apoño – Zuculini, Víctor Rodriguez, Montañes - Postiga
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Ze Castro, Aythami, Evaldo – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki.
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (La Romareda)
Head-to-head Vs. Zaragoza: 26 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 24 wins for Zaragoza (Primera & Segunda)
Record at La Romareda:  9 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 17 wins for Zaragoza (Primera & Segunda)



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