Squad news


31 Mar 2013
Fight for survival at the Iberostar stadium; Ze Castro returns while Fernando Vázquez tries to protect midfield territory in the attempt to clinch the first away win of the season. Alfaro and Giovani Dos Santos are the main hopes at Mallorca.

Deportivo and RC Celta are the only two teams at the elite of Spanish football that haven’t yet clinched two straight victories in the league tournament, it’s the main reason why both Galician clubs are occupying the last two places at the standings. And that’s the challenge for Depor: to get two consecutive wins that could increase their options of salvation. The rival, RCD Mallorca, clinched back-to-back wins for the first time on this season early in this month (against Granada and Sevilla).

The media in Majorca is convinced that the team now coached by Gregorio Manzano is responding in the second round, but the true is that Los Bermellones have just added seven points in the ten games of the second round, mark only above RC Celta, Deportivo (5) and Real Zaragoza (4). Also, the match represents a meeting between the worst defenses in la liga: Depor have leaked 59 goals so far and Mallorca 55.

The visits to Majorca have always been tough for Deportivo, after all the Galicians have only won five times playing in the Balearic islands, the last time a 1-0 win in the opening matchday of the Primera season 2005/06. Finally, Depor are carrying with a mark of six straight official matches without losing against Mallorca, three of those meetings took place on this campaign as Blanquiazules won the match of the first round (1-0) plus adding two draws in the Copa Del Rey.

Another final for Deportivo; the three points against RC Celta brought vital oxygen, but the Galicians are still facing a tough scenario, having a six-point gap with the salvation, facing a meeting against a direct rival and dragging the curse of been the only side at Primera División unable to win playing outside home. And it’s that Depor have spent 24 straight away matches at Primera without adding the three points. The last away win occurred two years ago at Athletic Bilbao (1-2; Jan 2, 2011).

The players are aware of the importance of the meeting, though there are different opinions about the priority for the game. For Riki the priority is the victory, ”To win playing away from home it would mean a punch over the table and to spread the message that this team is still fighting. We’ll fight until the end, but have spent a while without an away victory and our intention is to do it in Majorca. There’s no other way.” He said.

More flexible was the opinion of Bruno Gama, “At this moment the only thing that matters is the victory. We need a cool mind, because both sides are forced to win. I don’t say that the draw is worthless, but we want the victory. Still, the draw won’t be a bad result, because they won’t extend the difference, but right now we aren’t thinking of the draw.”

There are other  players convinced that the most important thing is to not lose the game, one of them is right-back Sílvio Azevedo, ”It won't be a bad result if we add a point in Majorca. The draw isn't bad, because the important thing is to add, not to lose, although we work hard in order to win. At this point we must look to all the details, though we are also thinking of winning the game.”

Dani Aranzubia said that the priority is a positive result, ”To have these games before these rivals, and to see them facing this part of the calendar playing against Madrid and Barcelona, it might allow us, if we achieve good results, to be hooked again to the fight. Right now we are out, but with two positive results we’ll be back; the situation would remain complicated, but will reach the last stretch having options. On the other side, if we don’t add positive results in the next two games, then it would be impossible.”

Without injury concerns coach Fernando Vázquez is free to repeat the lineup of the derby against RC Celta, but he’s preparing two modifications without touching the 4-2-3-1 figure though.  Aranzubia remains at the goal, Sílvio covers the left side of the defense and Manuel Pablo plays at the right. The first change is the return of Ze Castro, who joins Marchena at the central positions.

The second modification appears at midfield, Juan Dominguez will be benched as Vázquez prepares a “battle” against the triple pivote figure used by Mallorca. In this sense Brazilian Paolo Assunção returns in order to join Abel Aguilar at the centre of the pitch.

In attack, Bruno Gama will try to repeat his performance of the first round game –he scored the winning goal- and will attack from the right wing, Pizzi does it from the left, Juan Carlos Valerón is the playmaker in the formation and Riki the central attacker.

Laureano Sanabria ´Laure´  is the only player at the injury room; the players out for tactical reasons are left-backs Ayoze Díaz, Evaldo Fabiano, centre-back Kaká, plus centre-midfielders Jesús Vázquez and André Santos.

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

The Majorcans are facing a similar scenario than Deportivo: they are living inside the relegation zone mainly due to the large number of goals allowed, and they are basing their chances of salvation in the latest contribution of two players: Giovani dos Santos and Alejandro Alfaro. Two men that had a slow starter in the tournament, but that are now the most in-form players at the squad.

Mexican Giovani didn’t have a strong start; he debuted until matchday 7 and barely was considered as a decisive factor for his team, but now he’s simple indispensable. Totally he has scored three goals and is the best assistor at the team (6), and the half of those assists were made within the last three games.

Similar is the picture for Alfaro, an attacker that has been performing as the playmaker or a right winger in the formation; he was a substitute with Caparrós, but the arrival of Manzano revitalized his position and the change was radical as suddenly he began to score goals, actually four of his five goals on the season came within the last three games, two of them meant the victory over Sevilla CF (2-1).

Now, both players are so important that Manzano has sited Tomer Hemed, the Israeli that remains as the top-scorer at the team with eight goals added to his tally. And it’s that the best from Mallorca on this season have emerged during in the last three games, clinching back-to-back wins against Granada CF and Sevilla CF, plus giving a hard battle at the Bernabéu against Real Madrid (5-2, but 1-2 at half-time).

For the past game against Real Madrid, Manzano used a 4-2-3-1 scheme, and against Depor he’s ready to return to the 4-3-3 of the previous meetings, mainly as centre midfielder José Luis Martí is returning from suspension.

Ex-Depor Dudu Aouate defends the goal, winter signing Alan Hutton covers the right-back position, Kevin García, one of the five former players of Mallorca B in the lineup, play at the left, while the central positions at defense are for José Carlos de Araujo Nunes and Pedro Bigas, who is 22-year-old defender coming out from the youth teams of the club.

At midfield, there’s a triple pivote figure with veteran Martí, Argentine Fernando Tissone and Majorcan Tomas Pina.  Tissone picked a knee injury during the week and is doubtful for the meeting. Manzano is releasing the list of picked players until Sunday and if the Argentine main isn’t fit to play, then the job should be for ex-Espanyol Javier Márquez.

The wings are territory for Alfaro and Giovani, while the other doubt at the lineup is who will be the central attacker. The position was for Tomer Hemed at the beginning of the tournament, but he has only scored once since matchday 12. Lately the position has been for Víctor Casadesús, who is the second best scorer in the team with seven goals added to his tally, though the last one of his goals came two months ago (2-3 Vs. Malaga, Jan 18). During the week Israeli Hemed was tested in the position, but it isn’t clear if he’s going to be the starter.

Alfaro talked during the week about Deportivo, ”Deportivo are having confidence right now. They arrive after defeating Celta, their biggest rival, have added three points and see themselves with chances of reengaging to la liga, but we must forget of the rival and do what we have done lately, especially since we play at home, with the fans helping a lot, they were our player number twelve in the last game. Let’s hope they will enjoy with the team.”

Tomas Pina was talking of the meaning of a victory in this game, ”We must go week after week and cannot stop to think beyond the next game, but we play at home against Deportivo and Zaragoza play against Real Madrid, so we can leave the pit. Looking to our situation in previous weeks it is to be content, because we reached a limit situation and even ourselves were losing the hope.”

Ex-Depor Javier Arizmendi wasn’t picked for the game as he’s only going out of an injury, he commented that, ”They are coming almost at the limit, but also having the confidence of the results in their previous meeting. Therefore it’s a vital game for both, though perhaps is a little more critical for them, but it’s really important for both teams. All the teams will play for their future in the coming ten games and must be optimistic as we are doing the right things.”

Finally, Hemed is confident of the fans’ support, ”The fans are really important to us. In the last game against Sevilla we were really content with their support. It’s pretty important that on Sunday all of them will come in order to support Mallorca. They help us to add the points at home. It’s a pretty important game, but it’s the same with the rest of matches. We must try to win the games and each day we train in order to play better.”

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

Mallorca: (4-3-3) Aouate – Hutton, Nunes, Bigas, Kevin – Pina, Tissone or Javi Márquez, Martí - Alfaro, Víctor or Hemed, Giovani
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Ze Castro, Sílvio – Abel Aguilar, Assunção – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki.
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Iberostar stadium)
Head-to-head Vs. Mallorca: 17 wins for Depor, 19 draws, 17 wins for Mallorca (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Majorca: 5 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 13 wins for Mallorca (Primera & Segunda)



Related news


Related matches

31.03.2013: DLC vs. RCD Mallorca

Back to Squad news