Squad news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO - HERCULES (LIGA)

02 Mar 2014
Depor try to regain the defensive solidity, while Fernando Vázquez hides the starting formation for the game. Hércules CF have had an irregular performance on the season and searches for a third straight victory.

STATISTICS: THE BEST & THE WORST DEFENSE IN THE LEAGUE
Two corners collide at the Riazor as the best defense in the league, Deportivo La Coruña, are hosting the worst defensive line, Hércules CF. The Valencians have allowed 42 goals in 27 games, while the Galicians have added less than the half of that mark (20).

The problem for Hércules CF is the big scores that they have suffered playing on the road: 1-5 at SD Ponferradina (matchday 06), 2-4 at Córdoba CF (matchday 14), 0-5 at Barcelona B (matchday 21) and 0-4 at Real Madrid Castilla (matchday 24).

However, this doesn’t mean that Hércules FC is going to be an easy rival for Depor. They have a respectful mark on the road after adding 16 points in 14 visits, which means the 11th best record in the league. The Valencians have clinched four victories away from home, including a 1-3 win at CD Lugo (matchday 19) and the latest 0-1 victory at RCD Mallorca (matchday 26).

Meanwhile, Deportivo have continued to face problems playing at the Riazor. Los Blanquiazules have added 21 points after 14 home meetings, which is only the 12th best mark at Liga Adelante. And it’s that Depor have only won two of the last seven meetings disputed in A Coruña: 2-1 Vs. Deportivo Alavés (matchday 17) and 2-1 Vs. CE Sabadell CF (matchday 24).

Finally, Hércules CF won the last game played at the Riazor: 0-1 on the Segunda season 2011/12, which was the only home loss of Depor in that campaign. However that was only the second victory for them after 15 visits to A Coruña. Depor won twelve of those games, the last one a 1-0 victory on the Primera season 2010/11 with a goal scored by Lassad.

DEPORTIVO: MISSING A CLEAN SHEET
Despite Depor continue to represent the best defense at liga Adelante, the true is that the team has been losing part of the innate capacity to not allow goals. Until matchday 23 Los Blanquiazules had clinched the impressive number of 13 clean sheets, however within the last four games they allowed one goal per match, which happened for the first time on the season.

It’s an important stat taking in mind the big difficulties to create scoring opportunities and score goals. It means that Depor need more offensive power to win the games; actually in the last two games the team had to score during the stoppage time in order to add the points. Coach Fernando Vázquez seems obsessed in strengthening the defensive zone, perhaps because it has demonstrated to be the strongest point of the team. In this sense he has tested a formation with three centre-backs, just recalling the “old recipe” implemented by Lotina in past years.

His plans were partially affected after right-back Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ sustained an adductor muscle injury during Saturday’s training. The Madrilenian is the only player at the injury room, but there’s another important casualty at defense as centre-back Carlos Marchena is suspended.

Still, it’s expected that the coach will implement the 5-2-2-1 system that was trained during the week. Vázquez didn’t want to give any hint of the lineup during the press conference before the game, so there are several doubts, starting with the name of the starting keeper. Fabricio Agosto has been the starting choice within the last four games, but German Lux is ready to regain the spot.

On Thursday, the Argentine keeper commented that, ”I haven’t talked to the coach. He asked me last week how I was and I travelled because I felt fine. The feelings are also good on this week; the evolution of my recovery was fast. I’m fine, feeling part of the team. I’m ready to play and it was the same on last week. I always want to play, but it isn’t me who decides.”

The last-minute casualty of Laure will be covered with Diego Seoane, his last appearance was for the 0-1 loss at Real Murcia (February 9). Luisinho will perform at the left side. The full-backs are really important in this system as they have plenty of freedom to join the attack and interact with the two ‘playmakers’ in the scheme. Actually the term “full-back” in modern football is more related to side defenders that take a more attacking role, overlapping with wingers down the flank.

The line of three centre-backs is composed by Pablo Insua, Álex Bergantiños and Albert Lopo. The fact that Álex is delaying his position on the field is opening a spot for Cezary Wilk at the starting formation. The Polish is now joining Juan Dominguez at midfield territory.

Bryan Rabello returns to the starting formation joining Diogo Salomão on the playmakers’ roles. Both will play towards the sides interacting with the full-backs. Finally, José Verdú Nicolás ‘Toché’ will continue as the central attacker.

Álex Bergantiños is completing 100 official appearances with the first team. During the week he commented that, ”I have only spent three years at the first team and is difficult to reach this mark, so I’m happy. I’m collecting the fruit of my labor. I thought many times that I wasn’t going to succeed at Depor. I remember when I was at Granada; I barely played with the team at Primera and having that large squad. I knew it was difficult, buy my luck changed and the relegation helped me to enter.”

Meanwhile, Luisinho was admitting that Depor have been lucky lately, but also that his team needs more than that, ”The draw before Sporting was special taking in mind the circumstances of the game, just when nobody expected for it. In Alcorcón it was the same. We were thinking of the point and ended getting three. Luck is at our side and need to seize the opportunity, but cannot only rely in luck, because we need to have more things.”

List of picked players (18): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Luisinho, Manuel Pablo, Seoane, Lopo, Insua (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, Wilk, Salomão, Núñez, Juan Carlos, Sissoko, Rabello (midfielders); Arizmendi, Borja Bastón & Toché (attackers)

HÉRCULES: UNSTEADINESS
If something has defined the last three years at Hércules CF is the instability. Last season the Valencian team had a terrible start and spent a lot of time in relegation, but later there was a reaction and the team managed to end at mid-table. And the current liga campaign is following the same path. After a terrible start, in which the team only clinched one win within the first twelve matchdays, there was a reaction and Hércules CF added seven wins in the next nine matchdays.

But then there was a new low moment as the team only added one of the fifteen points disputed between matchdays 21 & 25, then there was a new positive streak as Los Herculanos clinched two straight 1-0 wins, including one visiting RCD Mallorca at the Son Moix. This unsteadiness is causing a new disappointment among the fans as the team seems far from the level of an aspirant to promotion, this despite they’re only four points away from the playoff zone. The fac  is that the team isn’t leaving a positive impression.

And the players know it; as striker Gorka Azkorra told to reporters during the week, ”We aren’t regular. This is the best definition of the team. We are capable of traveling to A Coruña on next matchday and win and later lose against the last place. Actually, we are irregular within the game itself and we need more solidity. We’ve demonstrated that we can beat anyone and would be in a better position, but if we aren’t higher it is for our own sins.”

Taking in mind that the team is coming after two straight wins coach Quique Hernández  was hoping to repeat the same 4-2-3-1 formation of the last match, however he will end up making four modifications due to the casualties. Bosnian Eldin Hadžić (Soleus) and ex-Getafe Adrián Sardinero (knee) are last-minute casualties that are affecting the attacking line.

Ex-Celta Ismael Falcón is the starting goalkeeper; the only change at defense is the appearance of Juanma Ortiz at the right-back position. Captain Paco Peña performs at the left side, while the central positions are for French Noé Pamarot and on-loan Osasuna man Ion Echaide.

Then the centre midfielders are Héctor Yuste and Frenchman Abdoul Sissoko. In offense, David Ferreiro attacks from the right wing, ex-Barca B Gai Yigaal Assulin claims the spot at the left flank, former Celta man Enrique ‘Quique’ De Lucas is the playmaker in the formation, while Gorka Azkorra is the central attacker.

The later represent the fourth change compared to last week’s formation. It calls the attention that coach Hernández has decided to play with the Basque man instead of veteran Javier Portillo, because Azkorra has only netted two goals in eleven league appearances on this season, including last weekend winning goal before SD Ponferradina. Portillo has been criticized by his latest performance and is considered to be out of form.

It means that Hércules will miss their best two scorers at the Riazor, because the combination between ex-Real Madrid Javier Portillo and Eldin Hadžić is the vital force in attack for this team as both have scored seven goals on the Segunda tournament, which almost means the 50% of their 30 goals in favour. It also calls the attention the fact that this is the first appearance as a starter for De Lucas in almost five months. His last game as a starter was the 1-3 loss visiting Deportivo Alavés (October 6).

Javi Hervás, who was pretended by Depor during the winter window, was commenting on the visit to the Riazor, ”It will be a very complicate game against a team that will be up there, though everything is equal in this league and we know that chaining consecutive victories means to be up there. Outside home is always more difficult, but we’ve had good results. At home there’s the pressure of been forced to dominate. We are working on that, a lot of liga still ahead.”

List of picked players (18): Falcón, Aulestia (goalkeepers); Juanma Ortíz, Francisco Peña, Aitor Fernández, Alberto Carbonell, Echaide, Pamarot (defenders); Ferreiro, Héctor Yuste, , De Lucas, Assulin, Héctor Font, Javi Hervás, Sugita Yukiya, Abdoul Sissoko (midfielders); Azkorra & Portillo (attackers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Lux or Fabricio – Seoane, Insua, Álex Bergantiños, Lopo, Luisinho – Wilk, Juan Domínguez – Rabello, Salomão – Toché.
Hércules: (4-2-3-1) Falcón – Juanma Ortiz, Pamarot, Echaide, Peña - Yuste, Sissoko - Ferreiro, De Lucas, Assulin - Azkorra
Referee: Jorge Figueroa Vázquez
Kick-off: 18h15 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Hércules: 16 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 13 wins for Hércules (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 12 wins for Depor, 1 draw, 2 wins for Hércules (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS MAR/14

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