Squad news


07 Dec 2013
Depor will try to take advantage of the direct rivals’ failures in order to regain the first place. Vázquez is giving a new chance to Rudy. Alavés arrive with a new coach and with several novelties at the starting formation.

Two very different streaks are colliding at the Riazor. Despite the latest goalless draw, Deportivo is the most in-form team in the league after adding 13 of the last 15 point in dispute. Deportivo Alavés, meanwhile, is living a very different situation as the Basques have only added 3 points within the same period, which is the work mark among the 22 teams competing in the league.

Actually, Alavés remain winless within the last seven Segunda matchdays, which is also the worst current streak at Liga Adelante; by matchday 09 Los Babazorros where lying quietly at mid-table, but the negative streak has pulled them down until ending at the penultimate place.

A thing to have in mind is that Alavés is the third best scorer at Segunda (25), only behind Recreativo (32) and Sporting Gijón (27), but the fact condemning them is their defense: 26 goals allowed so far. The second worst mark in the league just behind RCD Mallorca (27). It’s the opposite case to Depor, outfit that’s the best defense (8), but at the same time it’s the 4th worst offense in the league (16).

Alavés already visited the Riazor in 23 previous opportunities and they only got three victories there, the fact is that two of those wins occurred within their last three matches played in A Coruña. The last one was a 0-2 victory during the Primera season 2005/06. Rodolfo Bodipo scored one of the goals in that opportunity. Manuel Pablo and Arizmendi were starters in that game for Depor.

Carlos Wilson Cachicote ´Rudy´ has received mixed readings form the fans and the media during this season; the Portuguese has been praised for his daring behavior and skills, but also criticized for his selfish attitude at the moment of ending the plays. The true is that his stats aren’t impressive. In 12 games (776 minutes) he remains scoreless and only provided one assist.

He made sixteen shots, but only three of them were on target, which means an unimpressive 18.8% of success and his passing accuracy is only 77.6%, among the worst ratios at Depor’s first team. Perhaps that’s the reason why coach Fernando Vázquez decided to sideline him within the last month, and it’s that the Portuguese winger only played for 90 minutes distributed in three games and only played as a starter once: at home facing Real Madrid Castilla (matchday 12).

Now Rudy has a new chance as Javier Arizmendi is out injured, he will claim the spot at the right wing and will try to demonstrate, in front of the fans, that there’s room for him at the starting eleven. It is an important game for Depor, because apart from having the chance to recover the leadership it’s also a great opportunity to extend the difference with the third place after the failures of Recreativo de Huelva and CD Lugo.

Vázquez is presenting a 4-1-4-1 figure, German Lux covers the goal; there’s the doubt if Laure could be reappearing as a starter after surpassing his injury, but the most probable thing is that Diego Seoane will keep playing at the right-back position, Manuel Pablo stays at the left, while Pablo Insua and Carlos Marchena are the centre backs.

Álex Bergantiños is the lonely centre midfielder, Juan Dominguez and Juan Culio are the playmakers, Rudy attacks from the right flank, his compatriot Luisinho does it from the left and Luis Fernández is the central attacker.

The ex-Fabril is completing his fifth straight appearance as a starter; he has only made 8 shots on target on the season, but at the same time had a deep impact within the last three games played at the Riazor: he scored a goal against Real Madrid Castilla and RCD Mallorca and later hit the post against CD Lugo.

Centre-back Kaká  returns after been sidelined for a month with a back injury, the other players joining Arizmendi at the injury room are centre midfielder Cezary Wilk, plus wingers Antonio Núñez and Álvaro Lemos. Fabril’s duo Paulo Teles and Bicho were picked for the game taking advantage that Depor B are resting during the weekend.

Carlos Marchena was warning after the rival changed the coach during the week, “When a team changes the coach it is dangerous, because everybody wants to demonstrate things to the new coach. They are motivated and we need to be smart, read the game in the right way and clinch the three points, because we cannot lose more points at the Riazor.”

Meanwhile, Manuel Pablo said that he’s impressed with the defensive job done by Depor on this season, ”In many games the rivals don’t complete shots on target. Surely this is the more solidary team that we have had. This is the work of the coach, who insists on this: to be solidary. Apart from the number of goals allowed it is the impression that we leave on the pitch. Since that point the team has been growing up.”

Finally, Álex Bergantiños was remembering the importance of clinching a victory in this game, “We can be the leaders again; we are playing at home and could open a gap with the third place. The rivals are failing and any increase in the difference at the standings it will be good, because the competition is long and we can have a negative streak.”

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

If Deportivo La Coruña is an expert at the moment of administrating the advantages in the score (they always won after taking the lead) then the opposite should be said about Deportivo Alavés, because the Basques have missed to win 6 of the 9 games in which they claimed the lead. In the past game at home against SD Ponferradina, they were winning 1-0 at half-time and ended conceding a 2-2 draw.

And in two opportunities they wasted a two-goal advantage. First against CD Tenerife (matchday 12), game in which they were winning 2-0 at half-time to end 2-2. Then, a fortnight later, playing against Recreativo de Huelva they were winning 3-1 at minute 82 and ended conceding another disappointing draw (3-3). In the end they dropped thirteen points in these kinds of situations and only ended clinching three wins, which is the lowest number of victories at Liga Adelante.

This unbalance explains why Alavés is among the best scorers in the league and also among the worst defenses. The team is praised for practicing an attractive football, but in the moment of truth they fail and end conceding goals and thus drop vital points.

This lack of control already cost the job to former coach Natxo González, he was fired on Tuesday and his replacement is Juan Carlos Mandíá, who is now responsible for stopping the bleeding and find the path to salvation. If this situation isn’t serious enough the injuries are affecting the team and, despite not been facing the games with long-term casualties, they barely had the resources to face the meetings with 18 available players.

At least for the game at the Riazor they have picked 19 men, this since centre-back Pepe Mora (contracture) and centre midfielder Emilio Sánchez (muscle problem) recovered in time for the meeting, though the first will probably stay at the stands.

It is a big task for Mandía, because his team needs to learn how to keep the advantages and at the same time compete with scarce resources. It’s always hard to guess how a new coach will play in his first game at any team having a negative streak, normally the new boss opt in making changes, and that’s what it’s expected from the Galician coach.

Because he will switch the 4-4-2 figure of previous games for the 4-2-3-1, the tactic that Mandiá always used. One of the big novelties is that ex-Mirandés Iván Crespo is now the starting keeper replacing Iñaki Goitia. It’s his debut in liga with Alavés after joining the club during the summer. It’s also his third game at Segunda (two appearances with Nástic).

Another novelty is Unai Medina, who only played one game with the previous coach. The ex-Athletic performs on the right side of the defense. Manu García plays on the left; Pepe Mora isn’t fit to play, so the central positions are for veteran Luciano González and Czech Jiří Jarošík

Jagoba Beobide and Uruguayan Nicolás Schenone are the centre midfielders, the latter is another player with a small participation on the season, because he only played once (84 minutes). Then ex-Granada Daniel García, ‘Toti’ and Guzmán Casaseca attack from the sides; Borja Viguera is the playmaker and Argentine Mauro Quiroga is the central attacker, the ex-Lugo man was mentioned as a possible reinforcement of Depor during the summer.

But the player to watch is Borja Viguera; he was formed at Real Sociedad and left that club due to a serious knee injury, now he’s exploding on this season scoring 11 goals in the tournament, reason why he’s one of the Pichichis in the league. To mention that he has scored the 44% of the goals at his team, it’s the highest percentage in the league.

The 26-year-old attacker talked during the week and said that he remains optimistic with his team, ”I believe we have room for improvement and that we aren’t as bad as the standings can say. I believe in the team. We must think positive, to think of the Riazor, to return to winning ways and chain a streak of victories that could pull us up.”

Right-back Óscar Serrano, who will be on the bench, was talking of the visit to the Riazor, ”It’s going to be difficult, but the coach is transmitting a positive message: we must be fearless, brave and demonstrate that we can claim the three points. It’s what we want and surely it will be a punch over the desk.”

List of picked players (19): Iván Crespo, Goitia (goalkeepers); Óscar Rubio, Luciano, Álex Ortiz, Pepe Mora, Jarošík (defenders); Manu García, Schenone, Beobide, Jaume Delgado, Emilio Sánchez, Óscar Serrano, Toti, Carlos Lázaro (midfielders); Borja Viguera, Guzmán , Mauro Quiroga & Ion Vélez (attackers).

Deportivo: (4-1-4-1) Lux – Seoane, Insua, Marchena, Manuel Pablo – Álex Bergantiños – Rudy, Juan Domínguez, Culio, Luisinho – Luis Fernández.
Alavés: (4-2-3-1) Crespo - Medina, Jarošík, Luciano, Manu García – Schenone, Beobide - Toti, Viguera, Guzmán – Mauro Quiroga.
Referee: Pablo González Fuertes
Kick-off: 18h15 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Alavés: 17 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 19 wins for Alavés (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 14 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 3 wins for Alavés (Primera & Segunda)



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