Squad news

PREVIEW: SEVILLA – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

15 Feb 2013
Fernando Vázquez debuts as Depor search for redemption and their first away win of the season. Kaká plays his second game as a starter. Sevilla are living a disappointing season, but rely in Negredo in order to regain their European options.

STATISTICS: TWO DEPRESSED TEAMS
RC Deportivo are completing their worst season at Primera División as the Galicians have only added 3 victories after 23 matchdays; they are currently the last place at the standings and haven’t won any away game at Liga BBVA since two years ago (2-1 win visiting Athletic Bilbao).

The only positive stat for Depor is that, in the previous four opportunities in which a coach debuted at the middle of a season during Lendoiro’s era, the team didn’t lose that first match. Arsenio Iglesias debuted with a 2-2 draw hosting Real Burgos (1991/92), then Carlos Alberto Silva debuted with a 3-1 win visiting Hércules CF (1996/97), José Manuel Corral clinched a 1-1 draw visiting Athletic Bilbao during his first match at Depor (1997/98) and Domingos Paciência debuted with a 1-0 victory over Malaga just a month ago.

Meanwhile, the season of Sevilla was looking promising after the 0-2 win at the Riazor on Matchday 5, but the ghost from the past season returned and the team lost ten of the next eighteen liga clashes, reason why they’re currently lying at mid-table, eight points below the European zone and with the concern that this could be the second straight season without qualifying to Europe.

At least the Andalusians are keeping a solid record at the Sánchez Pizjuán as they have won ten of the fourteen matches played there, which is the fifth best mark in the league, only below Atletico (12), Barca (10), Real Madrid (9) and Rayo Vallecano (8). Their only defeats at home were against FC Barcelona (2-3 matchday 06), Real Valladolid (1-2, matchday 14) and Malaga CF (0-2, matchday 16). Finally, the last league win of Depor visiting Sevilla CF was during the season 2007/08 with a goal scored by Riki (0-1)

DEPORTIVO: LIFE AFTER DEATH
Few games in the rich history of Deportivo have been so devastating as the latest 0-3 loss hosting Granada CF; the Riazor was so frustrated that, for the first time in 25 years, the public chanted asking for Lendoiro’s exit, while it was possible to watch a pañolada against the players, an unseen scene in A Coruña. The frustration was so big that even the police had to intervene at the end of the game in order to void incidents, while a patrol was protecting the players for the first training of the week.

Many people believe that Deportivo are already dead and that the salvation is an impossible dream, among them former coach Domingos Paciência, who left the club in panic after suffering for the first time in his career a fourth straight league defeat . Without time to react the club sought in Galicia for a coach with enough experience to attempt the resurrection, and that man was Fernando Vázquez, who’s getting the job after been out of Primera División for almost seven years. His job is now to try to revive a team that’s currently six points below the safety with only fifteen matchday remaining in the calendar.

Beyond long and emotional speeches –he talked with the players for an hour and a half during the first training- he’s trying to rediscover the morale-boosting effect of the victory, an incentive to change the current path directing the club to Segunda División.

It’s very difficult to predict the lineup that Vázquez will present in his first match at Depor, after all he has only commanded the squad in three training sessions. Before the trip to Andalusia he tested a 4-4-2 figure, but on Friday he tested the traditional 4-2-3-1, the scheme of Oltra and the one used by Domingos in his last game. This last one seems to be the one that will face Sevilla.

Dani Aranzubia will keep defending the goal, Sílvio Azevedo returns from suspension in order to cover the right-back position, his natural place; Ayoze Díaz will probably cover the left side of the defense, this after he trained at the spot during Friday, while Kaká will play his second game after arriving in the winter window covering the absence of Marchena in order to play alongside Ze Castro at the central positions.

One of the big novelties is the presence of Juan Dominguez performing alongside Abel Aguilar at midfield. The Galician player has only performed in 11 games on this season; actually with Domingos on board he only played 11 minutes within the six matches that the Portuguese coach spent at the club.

The offensive formation is the same one of the past match against Granada, with Bruno Gama attacking from the right wing, Pizzi acting as the playmaker, Diogo Salomão on the left wing and Riki as the central attacker. The Madrilenian is the Pichichi at the team with eight goals added to his tally.

Right-back Laure and centre-back Aythami Artiles are the two players staying at the injury room; right-back Manuel Pablo and centre-back Carlos Marchena are suspended, while Vázquez left two centre-midfielders out of the list due to tactical reasons: Jesús Vázquez and André Santos.

Valerón talked before the game and explained what Deportivo seek in the first game with the new coach, ”What we want is to find the balance between been a team that only allows a few goals and a team having an important presence in attack; it’s complicated as it was the same intention of the previous coaches, but what we’re emphasizing right now is to be a solid team in defense in order to be able to attack.”

Meanwhile, Aranzubia was talking of the rival’s situation, ”Taking in mind their squad, the expectations on Sevilla were higher. It seems they’ve improved after changing the coach. They’ve pretty good players and their stadium is tough. In a certain point it could be favourable to us, because a positive result against Sevilla, and also against Madrid, would reinforce us.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Sílvio, Kaká, Ze Castro, Ayoze,  Evaldo (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Abel Aguilar, Juan Domínguez, Assunção, Bruno Gama, Pizzi, Salomão, Camuñas, Valerón (midfielders); Riki & Nélson Oliveira (strikers).

SEVILLA: RELYING ON NEGREDO
Another negative year for Sevilla CF; the Andalusians have been living at the middle of the table since the end of 2012 and the frustration caused the exit of Michel. New coach Unai Emery has improved the results, but the team needs much more if they want to approach to the European zone. And big part of their European chances pass through their main asset: Álvaro Negredo.

The Madrid-born attacker is the 7th best scorer in la liga with ten goals in favour, beyond the stat his goals have meant to add 11 of the 29 points achieved by Sevilla in the tournament (37.93% of the total). And it’s that Sevilla have only lost two games in which Negredo scored a goal (1-2 loss visiting Athletic Bilbao and 2-3 defeat at home against FC Barcelona).

Negredo was linked with a move to Everton FC during the winter window, but he stayed at the team and will be leading the attack against Deportivo. The 27-year-old attacker already scored four goals against the Galicians (3 in liga and 1 in Copa). Three of these four goals wearing the shirt of Sevilla CF and the other during his stage at Almeria UD.

The attacking line of Sevilla will be pretty strong for the game against Deportivo, Emery is recovering Ivan Rakitić, who’s returning after a suspension. The Croatian will be the playmaker in the formation, with Jesús Navas attacking from the left and José Antonio Reyes doing the same from the right flank.

Andrés Palop is the big novelty at defense, the 39-year-old veteran is returning from an injury and will defend the goal. But Brazilian Cicinho remains injured and therefore young prospect Jorge Andújar Moreno ‘Coke’ will defend the right-back position, Fernando Navarro covers the left side, while Argentine Federico Fazio and Bosnian Emir Spahić perform at the central positions.

The centre midfielders will be Chilean Gary Medel and French Geoffrey Kondogbia, this last player is a 20-year-old prospect that’s considered as one of the revelations in the league, clubs like Reading already approached for the midfielder, but Sevilla want more than the €4 million they paid to Lens for the player.

Emery will release the list of picked players until Friday; but he will be missing five players. Winger Diego Perotti (muscle strain), left-back Cicinho (ankle sprain) and centre midfielder Piotr Trochowski (knee) are out since some weeks ago due to injury reasons, while Hedwiges Maduro is suspended. The last name added to the list of casualties is centre midfielder José Gómez Campaña, who couldn’t end Thursday’s training due to a groin problem.

Striker Manu del Moral will be probably on the bench for the game; he commented that, ”This is going to be a complicate game, because they have changed the coach and the changes are always a motivation for the players as they want to please the new boss. We know that we need to be at 100% since the first minute, if not it will be complicated.”

List of picked players: It will be released until Friday.

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Sevilla: (4-2-3-1) Palop – Coke, Fazio, Spahic, Navarro – Medel, Kondogbia – Reyes, Rakitić, Navas - Negredo
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Sílvio, Kaká, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Juan Domínguez, Abel Aguilar – Bruno Gama, Pizzi, Salomão - Riki
Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes
Kick-off: 21h30 CET (Sánchez Pizjuán)
Head-to-head vs. Sevilla CF: 35 wins for Depor, 22 draws, 30 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Seville: 8 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 24 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/13

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