Squad news


02 Dec 2012
Oltra’s Deportivo returns to the Riazor trying to regain the solidity that allowed the promotion on last season; the only expected change at the squad is the return of Aranzubia. Betis arrive living a sweet moment and with Rubén Castro scoring goals.

Real Betis have been only able to win four of the last twenty-eight liga matches disputed against Deportivo. The Galicians won nine of those meetings scoring 37 goals and only receiving 18. But curiously the Andalusians have only lost in one of their last seven visits to the Riazor. The last victory of Depor at home facing the Verdiblanco outfit was a 1-0 win on the season 2007/08 with the first goal of Andrés Guardado in la liga.

But things are looking different on this season; Betis is fifth at the standings, tied in points with Malaga CF, side that’s occupying the last seat at the UEFA Champions League, while Depor is barely escaping from relegation; the Galicians are out of the pit just because they have scored more goals than Granada CF.

In any case, both sides have a similar mark of goals scored; Betis have 20 in favour, while Depor 19. The difference is that the Galicians have allowed 28 goals, and the Andalusians 22. Another thing to have in mind is that Betis is the third best visiting team in la liga with 10 points added after six visits, mark only below Barca (21) and Atletico (13). They have only lost twice on the road, though both were huge setbacks: 0-4 at Malaga CF (matchday 06) & 1-5 in the derby against Sevilla CF (matchday 12).

Only two victories and seven points added after six matches at the Riazor; it’s the poor resume of Deportivo at home during this liga season, reason why they are the 4th worst local team at Primera División, only above CA Osasuna (6), RCD Espanyol and Granada CF (both 5 points). Last season Depor broke all the records at Segunda thanks to their impressive record of eighteen victories, two draws and only one defeat at the Riazor, now the Blanquiazul outfit needs to regain the strength at home in order to climb some positions on the table and clear the relegation ghosts.

After the elimination in Copa Del Rey, coach José Luis Oltra has been boosted by the fact that Roderick Miranda is fit to play after surpassing a hamstring problem that sidelined him from the Copa match against RCD Mallorca; besides left winger Diogo Salomão is finally back from the Soleus injury that kept him at bay since the end of October.

Nevertheless, Oltra didn’t pick Salomão for the game; actually he’s repeating the same list of players that travelled to San Mamés in order to face Athletic Bilbao. The only novelty is the return of Daniel Aranzubia from suspension. Therefore the only expected changed at the starting eleven will occur at the goal.

Aranzubia will be the starting keeper, Laure covers the right-back position after announcing his three-year renewal, Ayoze Diaz stays at the left sector, Roderick is fit to play, so we will stay at the centre of the defense. Aythami Artiles will be his partner and also is one of the two players that was a starter on Thursday’s clash for Copa Del Rey.

Colombian Abel Aguilar and Juan Dominguez perform at midfield territory; Bruno Gama attacks from the right wing, Pizzi, the other player that was a starter in Copa, does it from the left flank. Juan Carlos Valerón is the playmaker in the 4-2-3-1 figure and Riki is the central attacker. The Madrilenian had a positive start on the season scoring three goals within the first six games, but in the following seven meetings he only scored once and even missed a penalty.

Fabril’s centre-back Pablo Insua was picked for the third time in the week, this since Ze Castro and Carlos Marchena remain at the injury room. The other two players out for the same reason are right winger Saul Fernandez and striker Nélson Oliveira

Once again centre midfielder Jesús Vázquez is part of the list, the ex-Recreativo man was a starter in Copa Del Rey. The players out for tactical reasons are midfielder André Santos, right-back Diego Seoane, plus left-backsEvaldo and Tiago Pinto.

Pizzi talked before the meeting and said that Deportivo needs to be stronger at defense, “The key is to clinch a clean sheet. We all believe that the whole team must defend, because this is a competitive league, and if you don’t go down and help the partner, then things turn to be more complicated. Later, after getting the ball, we can try to make the right things.”

The Portuguese winger is also conscious that the Galician team needs to improve the stats playing at home, ”I believe we need to be stronger at the Riazor, seizing this magnificent public that we had. We can’t lose more points at home; we are willing to win and bring joy to the fans, they deserve it.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Roderick, Insua, Aythami, Ayoze (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, Abel Aguilar, Jesús Vázquez, Bruno Gama, Pizzi, Camuñas, Valerón (midfielders); Riki & Bodipo (strikers)

BETIS: THE CASE OF RUBEN CASTRO Striker Rubén Castro arrived to Deportivo for the season 2004/05 in an operation that cost €7 million and that included the transfer of winger Momo. He only scored 9 goals in 42 official games at the club and was constantly ignored by coaches Irureta, Caparrós and Lotina. But somehow the Canarian attacker was always a guarantee of goals whenever he played outside of Depor. He was loaned to SD Huesca and ended scoring 14 goals in 42 games with the Aragonian club (Segunda División).

He also scored 15 goals in 44 games at Rayo Vallecano and was later sold to Real Betis for just €1.5 million, and it was the place where he exploded as Rubén has scored 55 goals in 98 official games with the Andalusian side.  The UEFA even named him as part of the revelation team of the past liga season. Currently Rubén is the 8th best scorer at Primera with six goals added to his tally.

Depor not only lost the opportunity to keep the striker, but also lost money in the process, and not even recovered the €1.5 million agreed with Betis as the Andalusian club has been in administration. Now the Canarian man returns to the Riazor for the first time after been ignored by three of the last four coaches at the Galician club.

Another Canarian player at Deportivo, Juan Carlos Valerón, talked of what Rubén lived at Deportivo, “The true is that he arrived in a tough time for any striker and never had a chance. Later he has grown up within the last years.” He told to Radio Cadena Ser.

Real Betis arrive to the Riazor living a pretty comfortable situation, 5th at the standings and already qualified to the last-16 round in Copa Del Rey; besides coach Pepe Mel and his players rested two more days compared to Depor and therefore they have a fresh squad for the game at the Riazor. Right-back Ángel López is already back from a hamstring injury, though he isn’t at 100% and for that reason the coach travels with 19 men as he included Manu Palancar on his list. Centre midfielder Salva Sevilla is also fit to play after sustaining a knock in the past match with Real Madrid.

But Pepe Mel has a big problem: the centre of the defense. Brazilian Paulo Afonso ´Paulao’, French Damien Perquis (both thigh) and ex-Barcelona Mario Álvarez (Soleus) are out for a while and the Madrilenian coach has been forced to play with substitutes Antonio Amaya and José Antonio Dorado. Besides, left-back Álex Martinez didn’t surpass a muscle problem sustained against Real Madrid and he’s also out. The same goes for left winger Juan Carlos.

At the Riazor it’s predicted a 4-2-3-1 figure; Pepe Mel is the only coach that hasn’t repeated yet a starting formation on this Primera season, and now it’s expected that he will make two modifications; the first is the entry of Costa Rican Joel Campbell performing at the left wing and claiming the place of Zaragoza’s on- loan Juan Carlos. The other is the presence of veteran Ignacio Pérez ‘Nacho’ covering the spot at the left side of the defense.

The rest is the same team that defeated Real Madrid, with Adrián San Miguel defending the goal, ex-Celta Ángel performs at the right-back position, Nacho covers the left, while Dorado and Amaya play at the centre. Beñat Extebarria, the symbol of the club joinsJosé Alberto Cañas, another product of the youth teams, at midfield territory.

Portuguese Salvador José Agra attacks from the right wing, Campbell does it from the left, ex-Salamanca Salvador ‘Salva’ Sevilla is the playmaker and Rubén Castro the central attacker. Ex-Depor midfielder Rubén Pérez is part of the list, but ex-Fabril goalie Fabricio Agosto isn’t part of the trip to A Coruña. Left winger Álvaro Vadillo is on the list too; the 18-year-old kid impressed with his performance during the Copa match against Real Valladolid.

Ángel addressed the media on Friday and expects to meet a nervous rival, ”The match will be complicated. They fight in order to leave the bottom places. Almost all the teams that have had  a poor start of season are forced to transform their home into a fortress. They want to win, because later they have strong rivals on the road. We must go out for everything not thinking that we’re up there. We must play with their possible nervousness.”

Finally, ex-Depor Rubén Pérez told to La Voz de Galicia that he expects to be whistled during his return to the Riazor, ”Well, the Riazor will surely whistle me, but the idea of leaving wasn’t only mine. It was… in the end Getafe got in the middle and the club was also interested, so I had to leave. It will be uncomfortable; I spent a full year there and always felt loved by the fans. I will heard some whistles, but these are circumstances in football and these things can happen.”

List of picked players (19): Adrián, Casto (goalkeepers); Ángel, Dorado, Amaya, Nacho, Chica, Palancar (defenders); Cañas, Salva Sevilla,  Agra, Beñat, Nosa Igebior, Rubén Pérez, Vadillo (midfielders);
Campbell, Molina, Pozuelo & Rubén Castro (strikers).

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Roderick, Aythami, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Abel Aguilar – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki.
Betis: (4-2-3-1) Adrián - Ángel, Amaya, Dorado, Nacho - Beñat, Cañas - Agra, Salva Sevilla, Campbell - Rubén Castro
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Betis:  21 wins for Depor, 17 draws, 18 wins for Betis (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor:  14 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 3 wins for Betis (Primera & Segunda)



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