Competition news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – ZARAGOZA (LIGA)

06 Apr 2013
New final for Deportivo against a direct rival; Fernando Vázquez repeats the lineup, including Juan Dominguez. Real Zaragoza arrive to the meeting with problems in attack and the important casualty of Apoño.

STATISTICS: WINLESS IN 2013
Real Zaragoza were having a positive start in la liga competition, by matchday 09 the Aragonians were the 9th place and were closer to Europe than to relegation, but the negative results are pushing them down. Actually they are the only Primera team that hasn’t won yet in 2013. Their last victory was at the last matchday of 2012: 2-0 at Athletic Bilbao (Dec 22). Since then the team coached by Manolo Jiménez have only added five draws in twelve meetings.

Besides, Los Maños are the worst team in the second round with only five points in favour. But there’s a curiosity that should be also a warning for Deportivo: Real Zaragoza is the only club in la liga that has added more points on the road (14) than at home (13), though they’re also the team that has scored the lesser number of goals playing away from home (11, tied with RC Celta).

Meanwhile, Deportivo are living their best moment of the season as the Galicians clinched back-to-back wins for the first time on the tournament and after clinching their first away victory of the campaign (2-3 at RCD Mallorca). Still, Los Blanquiazules are the third worst local team with only 15 points added in 14 matches at the Riazor, mark only above Granada CF (14) and the same Real Zaragoza (13).

The recent meetings between these two clubs playing at the Riazor have been pretty equal; of the last five matches in A Coruña the Aragonians won twice (2-3; 2004/05 & 0-1; 2009/10); three of the games ended in a draw and the only victory for Depor was a 3-2 in the opening matchday of the season 2006/07 (goals of Juan Rodriguez, Sergio and Arizmendi).

DEPORTIVO: A FACTOR CALLED JUAN DOMINGUEZ
Centre midfielder Juan Dominguez has had a poor season in terms of minutes as he has only performed for 1,062 minutes on the Primera tournament; this distributed in 15 games, 12 of them as a starter. But it’s necessary to make a deeper analysis in order to realize about his impact at the team. First to all, in 4 of the 5 victories achieved by Depor on this season the Galician player performed as a starter completing the full 90 minutes. He just skipped the 1-0 win over Malaga (matchday 18).

And it shouldn’t been seen as an accident, because one of the reasons that led to the victory in those encounters was his performance at midfield; just to point out that he has the best passing ratio at the Galician squad (85.9%). Coach Fernando Vázquez realized that he’s the perfect companion for Abel Aguilar and, within the last two matches, chose for this couple at midfield instead of a much more static and defensive alternative as the one provided by men like Paulo Assunção or Jesús Vázquez.

With Domingos Paciência on board Juan Dominguez barely played 11 minutes in six games, now he’s a fixed starter with Fernando Vázquez; the new coach is establishing a more rotatory scheme, a draw that rewards the movement of the ball before the positioning and the defensive withdrawal, and the point is that Dominguez is the best centre midfielder for the job. The player himself explained it during the week, ”The improvement of the team isn’t only related to the physical aspect, but also at the moment of knowing when to dominate and understand the games. Now, with the score in favour, we still trying to score more goals, so we suffer less.”

On Friday, Pizzi and Manuel Pablo were already recovered from their knocks, so the Galician coach is ready to name an unchanged team in order to face the “final” against Real Zaragoza. It’s the same squad of the derby against RC Celta and the one that clinched the first away win of the season visiting RCD Mallorca.

Dani Aranzubia defends the goal, Manuel Pablo performs at the right-back position, Sílvio Azevedo plays at the left, while the central positions at defense are for Aythami Artiles and Carlos Marchena.

Colombian Abel Aguilar joins Juan Dominguez at midfield, Juan Carlos Valerón remains as the lighthouse of the team performing in the playmaking function, Bruno Gama attacks from the right wing, Pizzi does it from the left and Riki is the central attacker.

Laure is the player staying at the injury room; right winger Javier Camuñas  is joining him as he’s dragging a knock (adductor) and the coaching staff decided to left him out of the game, so left-back Ayoze Díaz was picked instead of the winger. The players out for tactical reasons are left-back Evaldo Fabiano, centre-back Kaká, plus centre-midfielders Jesús Vázquez and André Santos.

Valerón was explaining that the team must continue pushing as Depor are still facing a complicate situation in liga, ”We must be aware that we won two games and remain as the bottom team. The deficit that we had was very big. We knew it was complicated. We remain at the bottom and the situation is very tough, but right now we have hope and confidence to face the next challenge. We need to keep the balance. I believe people know it, that we haven’t done anything yet, so they support us and bring us their energy, because a lot still ahead.”

Riki was targeting the victory on this match, ”We must focus in winning, winning and winning. Celta and Mallorca were direct rivals, but Zaragoza is the team marking the frontier of relegation, so we must win. We hope the fans will push us to victory.”

Similar were the thoughts of Abel Aguilar, who’s facing his former club, "Surely to play in front of the fans is a factor that brings tranquility. There's no favourite team in this game, and let's hope we could demonstrate that we deserve this adjective on the pitch. We must win and cannot think of other thing."

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

ZARAGOZA: MISSING GOALS Things have been twisted for Real Zaragoza during the second round of la liga; the Aragonians were closer to Europe than to relegation at matchday 09, but little by little the performance of the team has been decreasing. The result is that the team of Manolo Jiménez is the worst scorer at Primera in the eleven matches disputed in the second round of the tournament.

Totally Los Maños have only netted five goals within the period and it’s the main reason to explain why they remain as the only team in la liga that hasn’t won yet in 2013. A perfect example of this situation is Helder Postiga, the main threat in attack at the team and the starting striker at the national team of Portugal.

Within the first 17 matchdays he scored 8 goals, which is a respectful mark, but in the following 12 games he has only netted twice, his last goal was in the 2-2 draw against Valencia CF at matchday 25. It’s the main concern of Manolo Jimenez, who sees how his team is approaching to the danger zone without finding a proper solution.  He has tested three different alternatives in attack within the last three games, always with Postiga as the central attacker, but with a different combination of wingers and playmakers for the unchanged 4-2-3-1 figure.

And for the game against Depor the Aragonians are suffering a new blow in attack, because Antonio Galdeano Benítez ‘Ápoño´ is out injured after he couldn’t surpass a muscle injury picked in the past game against Madrid. It’s an important casualty as the 26 goals scored by Zaragoza on the season were conquered with Apoño on the pitch; he’s the second best scorer at the team with seven goals added to his tally plus giving three assists.

At least the defense is pretty clear since some months ago: Roberto Jiménez is back from an injury and is the starting goalie, Romanian Ionuţ Săpunaru performs at the right-back position, Catalan Abraham Minero plays at the left, while the centre-backs are Dutch Glenn Loovens and ex-Racing man Álvaro González.

Jimenez is keeping the 4-2-3-1 formation, Andalusian José Mari Bejarano will be the one claiming the spot of Apoño at midfield, He will join José Maria Movilla in the sector. Movilla is the second oldest player at the Liga BBVA (37) just after Sevilla’s Palop (38).

The doubt is who will be the right winger; in the game against Madrid the job was for Catalan Edu Oriol, but Víctor Rodríguez has been a more consistent resource in this tournament, been the best assistor at the team (5) plus scoring once, he’s a 23-year-old player from Zaragoza B that performed before for Barca B.

The playmaker role is also for a young player: Rodrigo Ríos Lozano ‘Rodri’. He’s striker that arrived during the winter window loaned from Barca B and has only played four times at Liga BBVA, but his performance against Madrid, including a goal in his first presentation as a starter, is enough to keep the spot. Last season he scored once in the 2-3 loss of Barca B playing at Segunda against Depor. Finally, the role of central attacker is for Postiga, who scored a brace in the 5-3 of the first round.

The players are conscious of the importance of this meeting; something remembered by Edu Oriol, ”The game is a final for both teams; we cannot give them a chance; the permanence is passing through winning in A Coruña. We are willing to win and the point against Madrid is reinforcing the team from here and until the end of the season.”

Similar were the comments of Francisco Montañes, ”They are playing for a lot of things, so we need to remain calm and play with their anxiety to conquer the three points, which represents a big jump at the standings. Surely they will be supported by their fans, but our team will be highly involved in the game.”

List of picked players (20): Roberto, Leo Franco (goalkeepers); Paredes, Álvaro, José Manuel Fernández, Loovens, Sapunaru, Abraham, Pintér (defenders); Movilla, Edu Oriol, Montañés, Romaric, José Mari, Víctor Rodríguez (midfielders); Rodri, Bienvenu, Postiga, Carmona & Jorge Ortí (strikers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Marchena, Aythami, Sílvio – Abel Aguilar, Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki.
Zaragoza: (4-2-3-1) Roberto –  Săpunaru, Loovens, Álvaro, Abraham – Movilla, José Mari – Edu Oriol or Víctor Rodríguez, Rodri, Montañes - Postiga
Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Zaragoza: 26 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 25 wins for Zaragoza (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 17 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 7 wins for Zaragoza (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS APRIL/13

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