Squad news


09 Feb 2013
Very important game for a Deportivo that recover Marchena while Pizzi will perform as the playmaker in the scheme. Granada arrive with the moral boost of the past victory over Real Madrid.

Granada CF are visiting the Riazor for the first time in 25 years; the last time the Andalusian team played for la liga in A Coruña was for the Segunda season 1987/88, that game ended 0-0. And the last time Deportivo defeated Granada playing at home was for the Segunda campaign 1979/80 with a goal scored by striker Antonio Cantudo (1-0).

Currently Granada are following an ascending line adding two victories within the last three games, including a 1-0 win over Real Madrid on the past weekend, but they’ve a big problem playing away from Los Carmenes: the large number of goals allowed. And it’s that Los Rojiblancos represent the fifth worst defensive line on the road with 22 goals leaked after 11 away games, just above Deportivo (32), Athletic Bilbao (29), RCD Mallorca (24) and Rayo Vallecano (25). Actually, they conceded at least one goal in all their away matches of the season.

Deportivo, meanwhile, urgently need the points in order to increase the chances for the salvation. The main resource to survive at Primera is the home performance and that’s exactly what’s failing at the team, because the Galicians have only added 11 points after 10 matches at the Riazor. It’s the second worst mark in the league, just above Real Zaragoza (10).

A lot of games remain in the schedule, but in A Coruña the feeling is that this is the last chance in order to regain the course as Los Blanquiazules are lying five points below safety. A new defeat, this time facing a direct rival, would be devastating, while the victory would bring fresh air to a nervous team.  The protests from the fans, and the letter from the federation of peñas pointing to the players as the responsible ones for the situation, have increased the anxiety inside the squad.

The public are expectant and the players are already convinced that this is a special game for the club and that the only thing that matter is to clinch the three points. Keeper Dani Aranzubia clearly explained the feelings of Depor’s men at this moment, ”It doesn't matter who's coming, on Saturday we need to win in any possible way. You can feel the tension in the environment and the pessimism can be cut with a knife. It’s going to be a fundamental game and, despite Granada just defeated Real Madrid, we need to win as it is a direct rival for the permanence.”

And the skepticism was increased after coach Domingos Paciência admitted during his press conference that his team is “unbalanced” and that he still can’t find the right player in order to perform in the playmaking function. With both ValerónJuan Dominguez on the bench the chosen one for the job is Pizzi, he already performed there for the visit to RC Espanyol, actually the whole lineup is practically the same of that match with the only novelties of the keeper and the right-back defender.

The reason why Pizzi is playing there is because Domingos wants a player with velocity and with enough technical skills to make quick transitions.  On Friday the player commented about performing on this position, ”I like to play on both the centre and the wings. Actually, you can notice that when I perform as a winger I trend to move to the centre.” He told to Sportpaper Deporte Campeón.

It’s a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Dani Aranzubia defending the goal, the big doubt is who will play at the right-back position ; Manuel Pablo was tested there during the whole week, but on Friday Sílvio claimed the spot. Evaldo performs on the left and the big novelty at defense is that Carlos Marchena returns from an injury in order to join Ze Castro at the central positions.

Paulo Assunção returns from suspension and will play alongside Álex Bergantiños at midfield. Diogo Salomão makes his second appearance as a starter  on this liga campaign performing at the left wing, Bruno Gama covers the right flank and Riki is the central attacker.

Manuel Pablo talked before the game and said, “Our salvation chances are escaping and we need to be strong at home. The fans are sad and disappointed; they demand more from us and we need to fix the mismatches. The errors are costing us goals and in the following games you end up with more nerves, so we need to be calmed and release the nerves. We need to improve and Saturday’s game is a final. We also need the support of the people, so we can even win the game before the kick-off.”

The only players staying at the injury room are right-back Laure and centre-back Aythami; meanwhile centre midfielder Juan Dominguez returns into the list of picked players taking the spot of Jesús Vázquez, who passed from been a starter to watch the game from the stands. Left-back Ayoze Díaz is the other player out for tactical reasons, while winger Javier Camuñas and midfielder Abel Aguilar are suspended.

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

Many Andalusians fans were upset with former coach Juan Antonio Anquela and with a team that lived inside the drop zone for several weeks, but things have changed in recent weeks as now people are looking at things with a renewed optimism. First to all, the ex-Alcorcón trainer was fired and Granada-born man Lucas Alcaraz was called for the job. The former Recreativo man already coached the team in the past and knows pretty well the club.

Then, controversial president Quique Pina spent around four million Euros during the winter window and bought important players: playmaker Diego Buonanotte (€2.3 million), striker Carlos Aranda (€600,000), plus the loans of centre midfielder José Luis García ´Recio´ and striker Manuel Agudo, ‘Nolito’.

And to crown this renewed optimism the recent 1-0 victory at home facing Real Madrid; now Los Nazaríes are convinced that they are able to conquer the permanence, but always remembering that a relapse would be deadly as they are only three points above the pit. So, the Andalusians are aware that this match is crucial in order to avoid future problems.

For the game Alcaraz is able to repeat the same lineup of the victory over Madrid, the doubt is who will play upfront. Youssef El Arabi missed the last game due a knock and is the Pichichi at the team with four goals added to his tally, but the coach could opt in keeping Nigerian Odion Jude Ighalo in that position.
It’s a 4-2-3-1 lineup, ex-Racing Antonio Rodríguez ‘Toño’ defends the goal; French Allan Nyom covers the right-back position, Brazilian Guilherme Siqueira plays at the left, while the central positions are for Íñigo López and Madrilenian Diego Mainz.

Recio joins Mikel Rico at midfield, Romanian Gabriel Torje attacks from the right wing, new signing Nolito does it from the left flank, Aranda performs as the playmaker in the formation and El Arabi or Ighalo will be the central attacker.

Iñigo López talked before the game and explained what Granada must do at the Riazor, ”We must take the game to our territory, which means the play with their anxiety. We are similar teams and must remain calmed. The challenge is to keep the intensity of the previous game and continue assimilating the concepts of the coach. We need more pace. Every change of coach brings more commitment. It happened last year and the effect must continue. Still, a lot of minutes are remaining in the calendar and Deportivo aren’t dead, quite the contrary.”

Meanwhile, defender Diego Mainz commented that, ”It’s a final for Deportivo. They are more in need than us. We must continue like the last game, having the mentality that we can win there. We need to fight and being at the top. For us it’s fundamental to go out in order to win and believe in our chances for the victory.”

Similar was the opinion of attacker El Arabi, ”The game against Depor is going to be difficult, because they need the victory. They’re coming after a defeat and are currently at the bottom of the standings, so it won’t be easy; surely they’re eager to improve.”

List of picked players (18) Toño, Roberto (goalkeepers);  Nyom, Íñigo López, Mainz, Borja Gómez, Juanma Ortiz, Siqueira, Mikel Rico, Recio (defenders); Iriney, Brahimi, Buonanotte, Nolito, Torje (midfielders); El Arabi, Ighalo and Aranda (strikers)

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Sílvio or Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Ze Castro, Evaldo – Álex Bergantiños, Assunção – Bruno Gama, Pizzi, Salomão – Riki.
Granada: (4-2-3-1) Toño - Nyom, Ínigo López, Mainz, Siqueira,  - Mikel Rico, Recio - Torje, Aranda, Nolito -  El Arabi or Ighalo. 
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gamez
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Granada: 10 wins for Depor, 15 draws, 12 wins for Granada (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 7 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 3 wins for Granada (Primera & Segunda)



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