Squad news


19 Jan 2014
Valerón returns to the Riazor and Lendoiro says good-bye. Depor defend the leadership having many casualties and relying in three youngsters coming from Fabril, plus players lacking minutes in the competition.

The honorific title of winter champions is useless, but there’s a positive stat about it: the last seven Segunda clubs that were the leaders at the midpoint of the Segunda season ended clinching the direct promotion to Primera: Elche CF (2012/13), Deportivo (2011/12), Real Betis (2010/11), Hércules CF (2009/10), Xérez CD (2008/09), CD Numancia (2007/08) & Real Valladolid (2006/07). The last Segunda winter champion that skipped the promotion was Xérez CD, side that ended 7th during the campaign 2005/06 after having a 12-point gap at the end of the first round.

In the meantime, since the start of the season Deportivo and UD Las Palmas are among the main candidates to clinch the promotion and they remain on that status, but lately both teams have faced a negative streak, something that has been common among the first places at the standings. Depor have spent four matches without wins, only clinching three points in the process, though they remain as the leaders.

The negative streak is longer at the Canarian club has they have only won one of the last six games. For this reason they passed from being the third place, three points behind the leaders on matchday 15, to be currently lying out of the promotion seats. The main worry is that the team has missed the victory in their last three home meeting, including an embarrassing 0-2 loss hosting bottom club Real Madrid Castilla.

Deportivo are also facing problems at the moment of playing at home. Truly the Galicians didn’t lose any game after the first two matches disputed at the Riazor, but within the last four home meetings they only won once and drew the other three, including two straight goalless games. For this reason Depor are only the ninth best home team with 17 points added after 11 home games.  Meanwhile, UD Las Palmas represent the third best visiting team after adding 16 points in 11 games on the road, mark only behind Depor (19) and Recreativo de Huelva (17).

Finally, the Riazor has always been a tough task for the Canarians, because after 18 meetings played there they were only able to win in three opportunities. The last one was on the Segunda season 1984/85 when the coach of Depor was Arsenio Iglesias (1-3).

Critical moment for Depor in the league competition; the team has remained winless in the last four games and the casualties hitting the first squad are affecting the plans of coach Fernando Vázquez, who is only having fifteen players available for the meeting. Laure and Álex Bergantiños are suspended, while Marchena sustained an adductor injury during the week, reason why he joined Álvaro Lemos at the injury room.

At the same time new signing Toché was sealing his contract until Saturday, too late to be included in the list for the game. So, the Galician coach was forced to pick up three players from Deportivo B in order to fill the gaps: centre-backs Uxío Marcos and Stefan Deák, plus centre midfielder Paulo Teles. Deák was sent off with Fabril on last weekend, but he fulfilled the suspension on Saturday as Fabril were playing against Arosa SC, so he’s already available for Sunday.

In the end the coach is forced to rely in players that haven’t had too many minutes for the meeting against a direct rival. The main problem for Vázquez is how to play without a defensive midfielder. Cezary Wilk will only play at the end of the game as he’s lacking match fitness and the coach said that he has four options for the position: Uxío, Teles, Juan Carlos and Luisinho.

The option of Uxío was almost ruled out by the coach. On this season the Galician defender only played 90 minutes at Segunda (0-1 loss Vs. Real Murcia, Sept 8), plus in the two games for Copa Del Rey. Vázquez said that he hasn’t decided if the team will play 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1; it’s predicted a mixed figure as the most probable thing is to see Juan Carlos playing more delayed, which opens a gap for Arizmendi playing behind the central striker.

At defense Diego Seoane will play his first game in a month (his last game was the 1-2 loss at SD Eibar, Dec 15); the Ourense-born defender will perform at the right-back position. Meanwhile, Kaká will join Pablo Insua at the centre of the defense. The last game of the Brazilian was also the defeat visiting SD Eibar. The defensive line is complemented with Manuel Pablo defending the left side and German Lux covering the goal.

Juan Dominguez and Juan Carlos are the centre midfielders; Luisinho returns from suspension in order to perform at the left wing, then Antonio Núñez will attack from the right flank. Arizmendi should be the playmaker and Borja Bastón the central attacker.

Portuguese Luisinho said during the week that the fans should remain confident of the players that are going out for this game, ”A lot has been said about reinforcements, but we must count with the ones that are already here. There are a lot of aids inside and outside the pitch, this is a humble squad, with good people and that’s the reason why we are the leaders. We know this is a tough tournament and must be prepared for everything, either the good or the bad things.”

Meanwhile, Manuel Pablo was talking of Valerón, who’s returning to the Riazor for this game, and also of Lendoiro, who’s living his last game as the president of Depor, ”The presence of Valerón is not only important for me, but for the people and the whole city. The return is even stranger to him. I’s going to be tough for him to see himself wearing another shirt. But I’m sure he will forget everything as soon as the game starts. There are a lot of feelings in this game, with two persons that are the image of Depor. Lendoiro within the last 25 years and Valerón the most joyful and remembered player within the last seasons.”

List of picked players (18): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Seoane, Luisinho, Insua, Kaká, Stefan Deák, Uxío (defenders); Juan Domínguez, Juan Carlos, Teles, Wilk, Antonio Núñez (midfielders); Luis Fernández, Rudy, Arizmendi & Borja Bastón (attackers)

Canarian club UD Las Palmas has been chased by the ghost of been the “best team at Segunda” throughout the first round. The fans and the media were enthusiastic when la liga started as they had the feeling this was their year to clinch the promotion to Primera, especially after the signing of charismatic figure Juan Carlos Valerón. However the results weren’t good enough to reach the midpoint of the season living inside the promotion zone.

The team only won one of the last six games in the competition and coach Sergio Lobera has been constantly criticized. The casualties caused by the injuries and suspensions also struck the team and now this is a key match for them, the moment of truth as they face the leader. A win will put the yellow team only two points behind the Galicians, but the defeat will open a gap of eight points and more importantly: it will keep them out of the promotion seats.

It’s the reason why the Canarians arrive to the meeting with the conviction that they cannot fail. Lobera has been boosted by the return of winger Nauzet Aleman, who skipped the last game against SD Ponferradina due to a knock. The Canarian player is an important man at the squad and has been a torment for Depor in past season (he scored three times against the Galicians playing for Real Valladolid).

At the same time right-back Ángel López is suspended and it means problems for Lobera, who will have to make changes at his defensive line in order to cover this important casualty. It’s expected that captain David García will be moved from the centre in order to cover the spot, then Aythami Artiles return from suspension in order to join Deivid Rodríguez at the central positions.

Dani Castellano completes the defensive line as the 26-year-old player performs at the left side. Argentine Mariano Barbosa is the starting goalie, he made several key saves in the match of the first round and, together with his compatriot German Lux, represent the  best keepers in the league. Depor’s goalie has only allowed 14 goals in 21 games, while Barbosa has only leaked 17 in 19 meetings. Meanwhile, Barbosa has made 55 saves against 41 by Lux.

At midfield Vicente Gómez is joining ex-Zaragoza veteran Antonio Galdeano ‘Apoño’, the 4-2-3-1 figure is completed with Iranian Masoud Shojaei covering the right wing, Nauzet Alemán attacks from the left, Juan Carlos Valerónis the playmaker and Nigerian Macauley Chrisantus is the central attacker.

23-year-old Chrisantus is one of the pleasant surprises on this season as he’s the top-scorer at the team netting seven goals in seventeen presentations with the yellow team. Surprisingly ex-Depor Valerónis the second best scorer at UD Las Palmas with three goals added to his tally.

El Flaco is on the spotlight for this game for his highly anticipated return to the Riazor; he talked of the subject during the week, ”Surely I will feel several things once I am there, but will try to face the meeting with naturalness and normality. I left many friends there as I spent many years in A Coruña, moments I will keep in my heart for the rest of my life. I don’t think I could celebrate a goal at the Riazor as I can do it at any other field. I will just try to be focused and help the team.”

Meanwhile, keeper Barbosa was talking of the equality in the league, ”Deportivo are a solid leader, but it doesn’t have the same level shown by Elche on last season. So, I believe we must try to seize this circumstance in a match that will be pretty, with an environment from Primera. In any case this game is going to be complicated, but we’ll try to keep fighting among the first places in a league that’s more equal than never before.”

List of picked players (19): Barbosa, Raúl Lizoain (goalkeepers); David García, Deivid, Aythami Artiles, Javi Castellano, Galán (defenders); Vicente Gómez, Nauzet Alemán, Apoño, Momo, Masoud, Valerón, Leo Del Cristo, Pedro Tanausú ‘Tana’ (midfielders); Chrisantus, Dani Castellano,Máyor & Asdrúbal (attackers)

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Seoane, Kaká, Insua, Manuel Pablo – Juan Dominguez, Juan Carlos – Núñez, Arizmendi, Luisinho – Borja Bastón.
Las Palmas: (4-2-3-1) Barbosa – David García, Aythami, Deivid, Dani Castellano – Vicente Gómez, Apoño - Masoud, Valerón, Nauzet Alemán -  Chrisantus
Referee: Iñaki Vicandi Garrido (Basque committee)
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Las Palmas: 16 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 15 wins for Las Palmas (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 11 wins for Depor, 4 draws, 3 wins for Las Palmas (Primera & Segunda)



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