Competition news


13 Oct 2013
Fernando Vázquez switches the system into a 4-1-4-1; Kaká replaces Pablo Insua at the centre of the defense and Javier Arizmendi returns. The rival has lost the last three games and faces massive casualties for the match.

Deportivo have faced  eight “B squads” in a league competition: Barcelona B, Real Madrid Castilla, Atlético Madrileño CF (Atletico Madrid B), Bilbao Athletic (Athletic Club B), Deportivo Aragón (Real Zaragoza B), Las Palmas Atletico (Las Palmas B), Valencia CF Mestalla (Valencia B) and Villarreal B. Two years ago the Galician faced Barca B and Villarreal B twice and they won the four games, so the last time Depor lost an official match before a B squad was 23 years ago: 1-3 at Bilbao Athletic –Sept 23, 1990-

Los Blanquiazules arrive to the meeting presuming of being the best defense in the league as they have only allowed four goals in eight games, just the same mark than AD Alcorcón. Also, Depor is the best visiting team in the league after winning 3 of the 4 matches played in this condition, it’s the same mark of the current leader in the competition, Recreativo de Huelva.

Meanwhile, Barcelona B arrive to the meeting after losing three straight games; last season the Catalans suffered the same negative streak in three different opportunities; however they don’t suffer four consecutive losses at Segunda since the season 1998/99: 0-2 at Malaga CF, 0-3 at Albacete, 0-3 Vs. Toledo & 0-2 at SD Eibar.

Finally, Deportivo have only won twice after paying ten visits to the B squad of FC Barcelona. The first was a 1-2 win on the Segunda season 1986/87 with goals scored by Vicente Celeiro & José Luis Vara, and the second was the 2-3 victory of the season 2011/12 with the brace of Lassad plus the goal of Guardado firing from midfield.

Brazilian Kaká is returning to the centre of the defense after surpassing his Soleus injury. He was a starter for the first three league games and later lost the spot after the improvised scheme with Álex Bergantiños joining Pablo Insua only allowed three goals in five games clinching three straight clean sheets.

The defender commented on Saturday that, “I’m fine. I’ve been training with the group for a while and I’m ready to play with the team. Insua isn’t playing, but Álex is playing well although he’s out of position, but when the team needs it I believe we should be ready, either is Marchena or me. We demonstrated that Deportivo are playing fine away from home and we are going there with this thought, because we go there for the three points. We are trying to get the points on the road and a victory would be pretty good.”

After three straight clean sheets, German Lux hasn’t allowed a goal within the last 291 minutes in liga, which is the longest period at the club since the 308 minutes between matchday 15 & 18 of the season 2009/10. This new solidity acquired for the present campaign, unseen within the previous two years, was leading coach Fernando Vázquez to not touch the lineup.

But for this game there are two factors moving him to make changes. The first is the absence of Insua, who’s missing his first game of the season since he’s in international action with the U21s squad. The other factor is the lack of goals at the team, something that already caused to switch the system from the 4-2-3-1 into the 4-4-2 and now into a 4-1-4-1.

Carlos Marchena was declared fit to play during the week, but Vázquez will continue playing with Álex Bergantiños at the centre of the defense. Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ and Manuel Pablo are also keeping their spots at the sides, while Lux remains at the goal.

The 4-1-4-1 figure means that there’s only one pivote in the formation: Cezary Wilk. The Polish didn’t impress in his first presentations in Spain, but lately he has been looking more solid and comfortable playing at midfield. The next big step is to leave him alone as Juan Dominguez advances his position in order to join Juan Culio in the playmakers’ role.

Juan Carlos Real is stepping back after been a starter within the last three games, this since Javier Arizmendi returns in order to perform at the left wing, while Portuguese Rudy does it from the right. Finally, Borja Bastón is the central attacker.

Winger Antonio Núñez was also declared fit to play, but he wasn’t picked for the match; he will debut with the team in midweek playing for Copa Del Rey. Uxío Marcos began to train during the week, but hasn’t received the okay from the doctors, so the centre back and winger Álvaro Lemos are the two players staying at the injury room.

Arizmendi talked before the game and said that, "Barcelona B is a quality team and their players are there for something, besides it is the same model of past years. It's a rival to have in mind, probably the best we have faced so far, but in football there are other things and we must unveil our weapons. We are having problems at home, but cannot forget what we are doing on the road; we need to confirm this streak in Barcelona.”

Finally, Álex Bergantiños, who was named as the player of September during this week, was explaining how Depor prepared the game, ”On this week we have been fixing things about our combinative game and how to keep the defensive solidity facing a team as mobile as Barcelona B. We insisted with the ball possession, which ultimately has been difficult to us, but we feel more comfortable playing on the road.”

List of picked players (18): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Luisinho, Seoane, Marchena, Kaká (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, Wilk, Teles, Juan Carlos, Culio (midfielders); Luis Fernández, Rudy, Arizmendi & Borja Bastón (attackers)

In recent years FC Barcelona have been considered as the standard academy for European football, based in the millionaire Joan Gamper complex (it cost €77 million) in recent years the club enjoyed with the promotion of players like Sergio Busquets, Pedro or the same Messi. A success crowned by the third place at Segunda achieved by Barca B during the season 2010/11.

But now things are different, the fluidity between the first and the second team is scarcer and the quality of the players at the B team is under question. There are no more “future stars” calling the attention of the media, a tendency that became more marked with the departures of Gerard Deulofeu and Rodrigo Rios ‘Rodri’, both loaned to first division clubs.

There were some expectations on Cameroonian Jean Marie Dongou and ex-Celta Denis Suárez, but they haven’t matched the expectations, at least in the first matchdays. Apart from this decreasing process coach Eusebio Sacristán is having a real headache due to the casualties hitting his squad.

And it’s that ten players are out of the clash against Depor; six are injured: (Dongou, Juste, Edgar Ié, Campins, Àlex Grimaldo, Agostinho Ca and Sergi Gómez), while other three are on international duty (Franck Bagnack, David Babunski and Antonio Sanabria). It partially explains why the team has suffered three straight losses, a negative streak that’s clouding the positive start of season.

The most delicate situation is located at defense as the coach is improvising in all the positions. There’s no right-back available and neither a centre-back, so Murcian Patric Gabarrón is switched from the left in order to cover the right position. Another left-back, Carles Planas, is moved to the centre in order to join centre-midfielder and captain of the squad Ilie Sánchez, while the left flank is for Lucas Gafarot. The defense is completed with Jordi Masip defending the goal.

It’s a 4-2-3-1 figure, with Sergi Samper and Javier Espinosa as the centre midfielders; then Joan Román attacks from the right wing, Edu Bedia, the oldest player at the team (24, together with keeper Masip) is the playmaker, Denis Suárez attacks from the left wing and Dani Nieto is the central attacker.

Nieto is the ex-Alcorcón player that’s currently the Pichichi at the team with four goals scored. In the coach Eusebio only picked 17 players for the game and had to fill the gaps picking two players from the Juvenil A squad: defender  Xavier Quintillà and winger Munir El Haddadi.

Patric Gabarrón talked before the game and said that, ”I’m very happy for having the chance to dispute so many minutes and I want to thank the coach for his confidence. We are eager to face Deportivo on Sunday. It’s going to be a complicate game and we hope to break the negative streak.”

List of picked players (17): Masip, Ortolá (goalkeepers); Patric Gabarrón, Planas, Lucas Gafarot, Xavier Quintillà (defenders); Ilie, Joan Román, Espinosa, Sergi Samper, Denis Suárez, Pol Calvet, Edu Bedia, Adama Traoré, Munir El Haddadi (midfielders); Dani Nieto & Sandro Ramírez (attackers)

Barcelona B: (4-2-3-1) Masip - Patric, Ilie, Planas, Lucas - Samper, Espinosa - Román, Edu Bedia, Denis Suárez - Dani Nieto
Deportivo: (4-1-4-1) Lux – Laure, Kaká, Álex Bergantiños, Manuel Pablo – Wilk – Rudy, Juan Domínguez, Culio, Arizmendi – Borja Bastón.
Referee: Antonio Santos Pargaña
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Min Stadi)
Head-to-head Vs. Barcelona B:  8 wins for Depor, 4 draws, 8 wins for Barca B (Segunda)
Record in Barcelona:  2 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 6 wins for Barca B (Segunda)
Head-to-head Vs. B teams: 36 wins for Depor, 15 draws, 29 wins for the B teams (Segunda, Segunda B & Tercera)



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