Competition news


13 Jan 2013
Depor search for their first away victory on this season; Assunção and Sílvio could debut as Domingos keeps the same scheme of the past weekend. Real Sociedad, meanwhile, is having big problems with the casualties at defense.

Deportivo present solid numbers visiting both the old Atocha field and the new Anoeta stadium (founded in 1993). Totally Depor have conquered twelve la liga victories after 36 visits to San Sebastián. At Anoeta, Depor have played fifteen times only losing five and conquering five victories. The last win there occurred on the season 2006/07 with a goal scored by Javier Arizmendi (0-1).

Actually, the twelve victories in San Sebastián represent the second highest away mark for Depor playing in all the league competitions, only below the sixteen wins conquered in the visits to Racing Santander. But the current runs of both teams are telling a different story. Because the Basques are the seventh best home team in this tournament, with only two defeats at Anoeta: 0-1 Vs. Atletico Madrid (matchday 08) & 0-1 Vs. RCD Espanyol (matchday 10).

Meanwhile, Depor is the worst visiting team in the league with only four points added on this condition. And it’s that the Galician outfit is the only Primera side that hasn’t won yet playing on the road. Deportivo are dragging a negative streak of 19 straight away matches at Primera without clinching the three points. It’s the worst mark at the club since the season 1966/67, time when the club spent twenty straight away matches without a Primera win.

New signings Paulo Assunção and Sílvio Azevedo have less than a week training at Deportivo, but both have been picked for the visit of the Blanquiazul outfit to Anoeta. Actually, Brazilian Assunção has big options of been a starter as Abel Aguilar is out suspended. In the case of Sílvio, he will a substitute on the bench.

Domingos Paciência debuted with a victory during the past weekend, beyond that, his team left a positive impression, so is expected that he will keep the same squad, a 4-3-3 figure that switches into a 4-2-3-1 in some specific situations.  Still, there will be a modification due to the casualty of Abel Aguilar. And that’s the big doubt for the game, because during the week Domingos tested with both Jesús Vázquez and Assunção for one of the positions at midfield.

The rest of the team should be the same, with Dani Aranzubia keeping his spot at the goal, Manuel Pablo was dragging an adductor problem, but he’s fine and will be covering the right-back position. It was exactly the same situation of Evaldo Fabiano. The Brazilian had a hamstring problem, but was declared fit to play.

Carlos Marchena and Ze Castro will remain playing at the centre of the defense. It could be a special day for the Portuguese defender, because it’s his 30th birthday and also because this is his 100th official match  playing for Deportivo.

At midfield, André Santos is one of the big winners with the arrival of Domingos as he’s going to complete his second straight match as a starter. He will be joined by Álex Bergantiños in the triple pivote figure. The other member of the trio is going out from the couple Assunção-Jesús Vázquez.

Up front, Bruno Gama will keep attacking from the right flank, Pizzi does it from the left and Riki is the central attacker. The Madrilenian didn’t complete the training on Friday, but he seems fine. Still, the ex-Getafe main needs to regain the aim; he has been scoreless within the last four matches; his last goals were the brace against Real Betis (2-3; Dec 2).

The only players at the injury room are Laure, Ayoze and Saul Fernandez. The players out for tactical reasons are right-back Diego Seoane, centre midfielder Juan Dominguez, left winger Diogo Salomão and striker Rodolfo Bodipo.

Bruno Gama talked before the game and said that Depor must try to win playing away from home, ”I hope we can clinch the first away victory. It could be the perfect moment to win for the first time playing away of our stadium. We need straight victories, it’s important. We haven’t clinched two straight wins and it will be pretty to do it now in order to leave the drop zone. We aren’t thinking of the casualties at Real Sociedad. These are things of football and surely they have players to cover those positions. We’ll think as a team; we need to be together and win.”

Meanwhile, Dani Aranzubia was talking of the needed solidity at defense with the arrival of new coach Domingos, ”The coach arrived, watched the stats and was worried for the number of goals allowed, that’s why he’s insisting. I cannot complain as a goalkeeper. The team was allowing too many goals, the defense was suffering, and among them the keeper is the one that suffers the most.”

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

Only five clubs at Primera División are currently presenting a positive balance between goals scored and allowed, and one of these clubs is Real Sociedad. The current la liga is an unbalanced league where only the strong survive, so it isn’t surprising to find a Barcelona team with a +42 when the season is just reaching the midpoint.

The other clubs with a positive balance are also giants in economic terms: Real Madrid (+25), Atletico Madrid (+20) and Malaga CF (+15). So, it is impressive to notice that humble Real Sociedad de Fútbol is having a +3 at this moment of the competition. But the true is that this is the secret of the team coached by Philippe Montanier: Balance.

And it’s that after the first matchday in liga, game in which they lost 1-5 at the Camp Nou, they have only lost once by two or more goals: 0-2 at Real Betis (matchday 07). Besides, recently they clinched an unbeaten run of seven games, which included wins visiting Malaga CF (1-2) and Valencia CF (2-5), a march that was stopped last weekend by Real Madrid (3-4), still the Basques were close to grab a point at the Bernabéu.

But Montanier is missing some of that balance for the meeting against Depor, because the Frenchman is having multiple casualties at defense; more specifically four: left-back/centre back Liassine Cadamuro (African Cup), right-back Iñigo Martinez, centre midfielders Daniel Estrada and Mikel Gonzalez (the three of them suspended).

So, the coach will have to improvise, the only good news is that Chilean Claudio Bravo is fit to play and he’s defending the goal, besides Carlos Martinez is recovered from a muscle injury and he ‘ll perform at the right-back position, Alberto de la Bella does it at the left, while the central positions will be for Jon Ansotegi and Gorka Elustondo.

Both improvised centre-backs have barely played on this season, Ansotegi only has three games on the liga campaign (270 minutes), while Elustondo is a centre midfielder that has only played 89 minutes distributed between three Primera matches.

Things are more normal at midfield and attack as the normal attackers will try to harm the new defense of Domingos Paciência. Asier Illarramendi and David Zurutuza are the two centre midfielders, then Mexican Carlos Vela attacks from the right wing; the former Arsenal is the completing a great season being the Pichichi at the team with seven goals scored in 17 matches.

French Antoine Griezmann has netted three goals in the league campaign and he ‘ll attack from the left flank. Xabi Prieto is the playmaker in the formation; the Basque man has scored four goals so far, which includes a hat-trick last weekend at the Bernabéu.  Finally, Imanol Agirretxe returns to the starting eleven playing as the central attacker after missing the last game due to a virus. He has netted three goals so far.

David Zurutuza seemed pretty convinced of the chances of his team facing Deportivo, "Madrid is part of the past, but if you look the meetings in the month then you realize that both are tough games [Real Madrid & Barcelona] and you valorize even more the next match. We must remain focused, playing at home and facing an accessible rival, though it seems they have changed with the new coach. Surely it will be a similar game compared to others and let’s see if we can get the three points.”

Meanwhile, Jon Ansotegi is hoping to end the first round with a decent number of points inside the pocket, ”It will be pretty good if we win. Since we returned to Primera I believe that we never ended a first round adding 28 points, which is the mark we can reach if we win on Sunday. As always, you go home content if you win, not so much if you play and lose. I just tell you that you go home content if we win, and when you lose you go home screwed no matter you could have played for 92 minutes.”

List of picked players: Bravo, Zubikarai (goalkeepers); Carlos Martínez, Ansotegi, De la Bella, José Ángel (defenders); Pardo, Illarra, Javier Ros, Elustondo, Markel, Zurutuza, Xabi Prieto, Chory Castro, Griezmann (midfielders); Ifrán, Vela & Agirretxe (strikers)

Real Sociedad: (4-2-3-1) Bravo – Martínez, Elustondo, Ansotegi, De La Bella - Zurutuza, Illarramendi – Vela, Xabi Prieto, Griezmann, Agirretxe
Deportivo: (4-3-3) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Ze Castro, Evaldo – Álex Bergantiños, André Santos, Assunção or Jesús Vázquez – Bruno Gama, Riki, Pizzi.
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Anoeta)
Head-to-head Vs. Real Sociedad: 34 wins for Depor, 15 draws, 23 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)
Record in San Sebastián: 12 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 18 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)



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