Squad news


11 May 2013
Depor search to leave the pit supported by the offensive combination of Pizzi & Riki, but missing Abel Aguilar. Real Valladolid, meanwhile, is anxious to get the victory that will secure their permanence at Primera.

Deportivo is back into the relegation zone and now need victories in order to return to safer lands, but the José Zorilla stadium doesn’t seem to be the perfect place to achieve the needed wins. And it’s that the Galician outfit has only won five times there, only twice playing for Primera División. The “Super Depor” of Arsenio Iglesias was unable to win there, and only the “Euro Depor” of Irureta did it twice (both 0-1 wins), though also suffering humiliating defeats, like the 4-1 of the season 1999/00; the biggest setback in the year of the liga title.

The only relegation-troubled team that managed to win at the Jose Zorilla during this season was CA Osasuna (1-3, matchday 29). The other four home losses for Los Vallisoletanos were suffered against the top teams in the league: 0-1 Vs. Real Betis (matchday 04), 2-3 Vs. Real Madrid (matchday 15), 1-3 Vs. FC Barcelona (matchday 17) and 0-3 Vs. Atlético Madrid (matchday 24).

But Valladolid are living a negative second round, only adding 15 points within the period, which means only the 37.5% of the total had until this matchday.  Deportivo have only added one more point than them, but the difference is that 15 of those points were added within the last six games. Only Real Madrid (16) and FC Barcelona (14) have added more in the same period. Meanwhile the Violet team only added five points, the second lowest number in the six-week period, just above Levante UD (4).

Also, Depor arrive to the meeting after chaining three straight away matches without suffering the defeat (two wins and a draw); the last time they clinched four straight away meetings without losing was on the season 2009/10 (between matchdays 10 & 16, 2 wins and 2 draws). Also, a positive result in this game will mean to tie the unbeaten streak of 2007 as Caparrós´ team spent eight straight Primera matchdays without losing (between January & February).

Coach Fernando Vázquez needs victories and for this he needs goals. So the Galician tactician is boosted as for the game he recovers his main partnership for the goal: Pizzi &Riki. On last Saturday the Portuguese winger missed his third game of the season, because Atlético Madrid is his parent club and he was ineligible for the meeting. In the end Depor ended scoreless for the first time since the 0-2 loss at FC Barcelona (March 09).

This is an important duo for Deportivo as both players have directly participated in 22 of the 44 goals scored on the season (50% of the total). There have been many comments regarding both players don’t match on the pitch, but to remember that in 5 of the 13 goals scored by Riki on the Primera tournament he was assisted by Pizzi. This means that the Portuguese is the main assistor of the Madrilenian attacker –even better than Valerón (2)-

The offensive power is completed with Bruno Gama, a player that faced big problems to show his potential at the beginning of the tournament, but that now lives his best moment as he has scored three goals plus giving two assists within the last five liga games. Vázquez also recovers his starting left-back, Sílvio Azevedo, but still missing centre midfielder Abel Aguilar and left winger Diogo Salomão, both men sidelined with a calf injury.

The expected lineup is the “traditional” 4-2-3-1 figure of Fernando Vázquez; with Dani Aranzubia defending the goal, Sílvio Azevedo covers the left side of the defense, Manuel Pablo remains at the right, while the most probable thing is to see Ze Castro joining Aythami Artiles at the central positions.

Álex Bergantiños has the difficult task of replacing Abel Aguilar at midfield; he will be joined by another former Fabril player, Juan Dominguez. The right wing is territory for Bruno Gama, Pizzi attacks from the left, Juan Carlos Valerón is the playmaker and Riki the central attacker.

Together with Abel Aguilar and Salomão, the other two players at the injury room are Laure and Carlos Marchena. For the game Fernando Vázquez isn’t leaving anyone out for tactical reasons, so the list of picked players is composed by twenty men.

Aythami said before the game that, ”After the year we have lived I hope we can clinch the salvation in two weeks, but I believe that it will be necessary to fight until the last matchday, because there are many teams in the fight and the difference is only of a few points. Right now we cannot stop making calculations; instead we must go game by game.”

Meanwhile, Aranzubia is aware that the rival is desperate to win this match, "Valladolid have eight more points than us, and we would love to be in their place, but this is also a final for them and they need to win, because later they visit the Camp Nou, so surely they will be nervous too, because they’re forced to win. They’re following the same path of the past year, playing good football and for that reason they’ve so many points at this final stretch of the tournament.”

For Bruno Gama this match is a final, ”This is a final. We are traveling pressured as we need to win; meanwhile they are tranquil, though they are a great team. Truly we have ninety minutes to pick up the win, but our intention is to search for the victory since the first minute.”

Finally, Pizzi said that Depor won’t be content with a draw, ”The draw won’t leave us content, because what we want is to win. We want to travel there for everything, this in order to leave the drop zone, but if we cannot win, then we should try to not lose, because all the points are important in this fight. The rival was called to be a direct rival at the beginning of the season, but now lives in a tranquil zone, still it’s an accessible rival and we must win, though it will be difficult.”

List of picked players (20): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Evaldo, Sílvio, Manuel Pablo, Ayoze, Kaká, Aythami, Ze Castro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez, Jesús Vázquez, André Santos, Assunção, Bruno Gama, Pizzi, Camuñas, Valerón (midfielders); Riki & Nélson Oliveira (strikers).

Bittersweet year for Los Blanquivioletas; the major goal was to conquer the permanence, but by matchday 19 the team was already tenth at the standings after collecting 25 points. The fans even started to dream of Europe at that moment, but their team fell down in the second part of the season and has barely reached the mark of the 40 with four games remaining in the calendar, leaving the impression that bigger things could have been achieved.

Coach Miroslav Djukić is the first one firing against his own team as in past months he suggested that one of his main stars, right winger Patrick Ebert, has lowered his performance after receiving offers from several clubs. The German player has scored six goals plus providing six assists on the season, but since mid-January he has only scored once plus giving one assist.

The most recent case is Daniel Alexander Larsson, a Swedish striker that was sidelined from the last match against Real Madrid because Djukić thought that he “didn’t train at the top” during the past week, something admitted by the player himself on Wednesday. Djukić is even thinking in leaving the club as he was linked with a move to Valencia CF.

In the middle of this self-criticism process Valladolid are realizing that they just need three more points to mathematically secure the permanence, something that, after all, was the real goal of the season, and they recognize that this is a great opportunity to do it as they play at home, especially taking in mind that their meeting is the visit to the Camp Nou. They are aware that a defeat against Depor could prolong the uncertainty to the next home clash against RC Celta.

So, despite not been so close to the drop zone, they interpret the game as a final, Djukić only has one casualty for the game: left winger Julián Omar Ramos (suspension), while centre-midfielder Álvaro Rubio (muscle) and striker Alberto Bueno (Achilles) recovered in time and were picked for the match.

For the meeting against Depor, it’s expected a 4-2-3-1 formation, with ex-Elche Jaime Jiménez defending the goal, Serbian Antonio Rukavina defends the right-back position, Basque man Mikel Balenziaga covers the left side of the defense, while the full-backs are Catalan Marc Valiente and Jesús Rueda.

Álvaro Rubio keeps the spot at midfield and is joined by ex-Huesca man Víctor Pérez at the pivote positions. Ebert will continue attacking from the right wing and, curiously, criticized man Daniel Larsson covers the left flank replacing suspended Omar.

The playmaker in the formation is Óscar Javier González, this 30-year-old midfielder has exploded on this season being the top-scorer at the team (12) and also the best assistor (7). Finally, Javi Guerra is the central striker; he’s the third best scorer at the team with seven goals, and three of those goals were netted within his last four games in the competition.

Óscar talked of the importance of this meeting, ”This booty is too important to let it pass up. We only need one victory, but what we must try to do is to win the four remaining matches to end as high as possible. The fight to avoid the relegation is pretty… if you look at it from the outside. We have spent the whole season at mid-table without suffering too much.”

List of picked players (18): Jaime, Dani Hernández (goalkeepers); Rukavina, Marc Valiente, Henrique Sereno, Jesús Rueda, Carlos Peña, Balenziaga (defenders); Álvaro Rubio, Javier Baraja, Sastre, Víctor Pérez, Ebert, Óscar (midfielders); Bueno, Larsson, Javi Guerra & Manucho (strikers).

Valladolid: (4-2-3-1) Jaime - Rukavina, Rueda, Valiente, Balenziaga - Rubio, Víctor Pérez - Ebert, Óscar, Larsson - Javi Guerra.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Aythami, Ze Castro, Sílvio – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (José Zorilla)
Head-to-head Vs. Valladolid: 30 wins for Depor, 20 draws, 31 wins for Valladolid (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the José Zorilla: 5 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 25 wins for Valladolid (Primera & Segunda)



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