Squad news


29 Apr 2013
Deportivo travel to Andalusia making calculations of what will be enough to secure the permanence, Abel Aguilar is the main novelty for the match. Real Betis, meanwhile, dream of Europe thanks to their offensive potential.

Among the other nineteen teams at liga BBVA, this has been the most accessible visit for Deportivo in the past two decades. And it’s that the Galicians have won seven of the last eleven matches disputed at the Benito Villamarín stadium (called before Luis de Lopera). Curiously, Depor have missed to add a victory there before the decade of the 1990’s, it was until 1996 that the Blanquiazul outfit clinched a 1-2 win and then won six of the next ten matches.

Real Betis are completing a solid season, but their home record (25 points in 16 matches) is only the 11th best in la liga, and it’s that the Verdiblanco outfit already lost five times playing at home: 1-2 Vs. Rayo Vallecano (matchday 02), 2-3 Vs. Atlético Madrid (matchday 03), 1-2 Vs. Granada CF (matchday 11), 1-2 Vs. FC Barcelona (matchday 15) & 1-2 Vs. RCD Mallorca (matchday 17) .

Deportivo arrive to the meeting living their best streak on this season: adding 13 of the last 15 points in dispute and spending five straight games without suffering a defeat. The last time the Galician squad spent six straight Primera matches without losing took place at the end of the season 2008/09 as Lotina’s Depor added 14 of the 18 points disputed between matchdays 31 & 36, curiously that streak ended in Seville, though visiting the other team from the city (0-1 at Sevilla CF).

A final and curios statistic: Betis and Deportivo are two of the three teams in la liga that score more goals on the road than at home. The Andalusians have netted 22 goals at the Benito Villamarín stadium and 26 on the road. Meanwhile, the Galicians have conquered 21 goals at the Riazor and 22 playing away. The third team with this strange behavior is CA Osasuna (12-14).

It’s not a mathematical fact, but Deportivo’s players are convinced that they need three more wins within the last six games in order to clinch the permanence at Primera División. It means to reach the mark of 39 points, three less than the normal target, but enough according to the players due to the tough competition and the equality between the teams.

Riki was the first one that talked of the target during this week, ”I am not worried of the other teams, but of my side. Six games are remaining and we must go out until death no matter what the rivals do. At least we need to win three more games. We now travel there with a winning mentality. We know they are a strong team and it won’t be easy, but we have options of conquering the victory.”

Then Álex Bergantiños was talking of the same thing, ”It seems that three victories will be enough, but in the end the calculations can change. Each year things are different as within the last matches the bottom teams add a lot of points, but if we analyze the averages in all the seasons then it’s enough to add 39 or 40 points, and at least we´ll try to reach that mark.”

Valerón was preferring to say that things are equal at the bottom of the standings, "All the teams at the bottom are living a complicate situation. We were coming from a situation in which we were the last place, almost lying at Segunda, and later had an impressive reaction, but the deficit was so big that, despite bringing life, we still there and everything is equal. We must remain focus."

Even coach Fernando Vázquez shared the opinion as he assured that Depor need to win three of the remaining six games in the schedule. It could be enough, but the latest results –victories for RC Celta, Real Zaragoza and Granada CF- are tightening the situation at the standings, so there’s a lot of pressure over the team in order to conquer a positive result in this clash, always remembering that a victory at the Benito Villamarín will put the team at the 15th position bringing a safety mattress; always remembering that the last three matches at the Riazor are tough, starting with the upcoming meeting against Atlético Madrid.

Even after knowing the others results the players seemed calmed; as Sílvio Azevedo told to reporters after Sunday’s training, "We were prepared to see the others teams adding the points. The tournament will be decided at the last matchday, because all the teams at the bottom are fighting in order to survive. We need to win. The team needs to play a better match compared to the previous one, and that’s the goal.”

For the game Fernando Vázquez has been boosted by the return of centre midfielder Abel Aguilar; the Colombian has been cleared to play and goes directly into the starting formation in order to join Juan Dominguez at midfield.

The rest is the same squad of the home match against Athletic Bilbao, with Daniel Aranzubia protecting the goal, Manuel Pablo performs at the right-back position, Sílvio Azevedo plays at the left, while Kaká and Aythami< Artiles are the centre-backs.

Bruno Gama, the most in-form player at the team after scoring a goal within the last three matchdays, attacks from the right wing, Pizzi does from the left, Juan Carlos Valerón displays his game in the playmaking position and Riki is the central attacker.

Diogo Salomão is a last-minute casualty for the game due to a muscle injury (triceps); the other two players at the injury room are right-back Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ and centre-back Carlos Marchena. Once again the players out for tactical reasons are left-back Evaldo Fabiano, plus centre midfielders Jesús Vázquez and André Santos.

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

Real Betis is targeting to participate for the ninth time in a UEFA tournament; their last appearance in Europe took place on the season 2005/06, time when the Verdiblanco outfit qualified for the first time to the Champions League, tournament in which they were eliminated in the group stage to later end eliminated in the round of 16 at the UEFA Cup.

Seven years later, which included a spell at Segunda División, they’re back in business thanks to the offensive tactics of Pepe Mel. They’re currently living at the last European spot having a three-point gap over Rayo Vallecano. And if there’s something characterizing this Andalusian team it’s the variants in attack, led by the trio composed by Rubén Castro, Jorge Molina and Dorlan Pabón.

Ex-Depor Rubén Castro is the sixth best scorer at Primera División with 16 goals in favour plus providing 5 assists. Ex-Elche Jorge Molina has netted 10 goals, while Pabón is a Colombian attacker that was close to join Deportivo in the winter window, but that instead arrived to Betis having a direct impact scoring 5 goals in 10 games plus giving a couple of assists.

And the offensive resources don’t stop there, Costa Rican Joel Campell has added two goals, including the winning goal at the Riazor in the first round game, while the symbol of this Betis is Beñat Extebarria, who’s the best assistor at the team (7) plus scoring 4 goals. They even had the ingredient of young blood that are promising to grow ahead of future seasons, like Nigerian Emmanuel Nosakhare ´Nosa´ or 18-year-old winger Álvaro Vadillo.

But, as it was explained before, somehow Mel is missing to seize this power when the team plays at home, and it’s that the Andalusians have only missed to score at home in two opportunities, but in 8 of their 16 home clashes they only scored once, for this reason they already wasted 23 points at the Benito Villamarín. The largest number of goals scored this season at home was 3, first against Malaga CF (3-0) and then in the recent derby against Sevilla CF (3-3). It is a pending subject still to be resolved.

Pepe Mel is losing Paulo Afonso ‘Paulão’ for the game due to an Achilles problem, while he presents novelties at the wings as Nosa is also dragging physical problems. Recently the Madrilenian coach has used three different systems, from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 and the 4-2-3-1 scheme used within the last two meetings. Precisely the latter is the expected draw for the match.

Adrián San Miguel is the starting goalie, ex-Espanyol Francisco Chica covers the right-back position, Ignacio Pérez ‘Nacho’  performs at the left, while the central positions at defense are for Madrilenian Antonio Amaya and French Damian Perquis, this last one has only played nine games on the season and is the big novelty for the match.

Midfield is territory for José Alberto Cañas and Beñat, Colombian Pabón attacks from the right wing, Vadillo does from the left as he completes his third appearance as a starter, while  Central American Joel Campbell is the playmaker in the formation . Finally, Rubén Castro, who scored a brace in the first round match, is the central attacker.

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

Betis: (4-2-3-1) Adrián – Chica, Perquis, Amaya, Nacho – Cañas, Beñat –Pabón, Campbell, Vadillo - Rubén Castro
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Kaká, Aythami, Sílvio – Abel Aguilar, Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki.
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (Benito Villamarín)
Head-to-head Vs. Betis:  21 wins for Depor, 17 draws, 19 wins for Betis (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Seville:  7 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 15 wins for Betis (Primera & Segunda)



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