Squad news


15 Mar 2014
Fernando Vázquez continues to emphasize the defensive tasks as Deportivo welcome Barca B, one of the few teams at Segunda that likes to have the ball possession. Luis Fernández picked again after three weeks out.

Barcelona B have added four victories within the last six matches in the league, which meant to add 12 points. It’s the third best mark in the period just behind SD Eibar (14) and Recreativo de Huelva (13). Meanwhile, Depor is just 7th in this virtual table after the defeat in Anduva. The Galicians have added 10 points within the last six meetings.

Another characteristic of the B squad of FC Barcelona is the number of goals scored: 37. It’s the 4th highest mark in the league tied with RCD Mallorca, just below Sporting Gijón (46), Recreativo de Huelva (44) and Deportivo Alavés (40). Meanwhile, Depor are only the 15th best scorer in the league with 32 goals in favour. Actually, bottom club Girona FC (33) and penultimate place Deportivo Alavés (40) have scored more goals.

Also, historically Deportivo faced problems at the moment of facing the B teams, but more recently the Galicians have chained a rally of seven straight victories before B squads, including the wins in the first round before Barca B and Castilla. The other B teams defeated within the period are Athletic B and Villarreal B.

In the case of Barcelona B, they have visited the Riazor in ten previous opportunities only granting two wins; the last one was on the Segunda season 1983/94 (1-2); José Luis Vara scored the goals for the Galicians in that match. Since that day the Catalan youngsters have visited La Coruña in six opportunities and lost four of the games only scoring four goals.

Despite the speech during the press conference, coach Fernando Vázquez seems determined to continue relying in the defensive aspect at the moment of building up the strategy for the games, and this taking in mind that his team signed a fourth central attacker during the week. During the trainings and ahead of the clash against Barca B, considered to be a team that likes the ball possession and that sometimes abuses of the passes, Depor’s coach was more focused in defining the defensive strategy rather than solve the endless problems to create scoring opportunities.

In this sense for him the crucial thing is to steal the ball as soon possible and release the counterattack, better if the action takes place at midfield as it will give less time to react to the rival. Throughout the week the team has been training how to put pressure in the output of the ball. In this sense Vázquez is pursuing an ideal that can resume the season of Deportivo: the best offense is a good defense.

The players have things clear on this subject, as winger Antonio Núñez stated during the week, ”At the Riazor the rivals normally go out in order to defend, but it will be different on Saturday against Barca B. They are lads with a lot of energy, great quality and an unmistakable style that they have been working since been kids. If you are able to compensate this and prevent them from doing their football, then you can beat them. What you cannot do is let them feel comfortable.”

Similar was the speech of centre-back Pablo Insua, ”We know how the rival plays, they like to have the initiative, which means to have the ball possession and we are studying the keys to counter their game. It would be optimal to steal the ball at their side of the pitch. It’s good to see them coming in order to play, because it means we will find the space; we can steal the ball and hurt them in set- pieces. "

Vázquez will continue relying in the 4-2-3-1 system, though always settled for the counterattack.  German Lux will defend the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ covers the right side of the defense, Diego Seoane performs on the left, while the central positions at defense are for Pablo Insua and Carlos Marchena.

At midfield, Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez are having important roles in this strategy. Álex is having the more exhaustive one as Depor’s coach insisted during the week in seeing him joining the centre of the defense at the moment the rival is around the area and later return to midfield in order to begin the pressure over the output of the ball.

Meanwhile, Dominguez is the corridor that will allow to pass the ball to Juan Carlos and Bryan Rabello. The Galician should be performing at the centre, while the Chilean should be playing towards the left, then Antonio Núñez attacks from the right trying to release crosses into the path of Toché, the lonely central attacker.

With Diogo Salomão as the lonely player at the injury room, Luisinho suspended and new signing Diego Ifrán out as he hasn’t trained with the team, the main novelty in the list of players is the return of Luis Fernández, while Arizmendi was ruled out for tactical reasons. The coach released the list late on Friday; he confessed that it was hard to decide the picked players for this clash.

Álex Bergantiños commented during the week that a victory in this game is very important, ”Each week a victory seems like a whole world, because all the teams are having problems to win. Especially now, because the nerves for reaching the season’s end are already here. Every game is a little step towards the goal. All the games are now finals. Thirteen games are remaining and everything is tight. Any side clinching three victories could end up fighting for the important things.”

Finally, Juan Carlos commented that, “If you don’t add points then you end pending of what the rivals do. We must add the three points and if continue there at this moment it is because the rivals are failing. We must win the games at home. If the rivals fail and we stay up there, then it’s good, but what we need to do is to try to win all the matches.”

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

FC Barcelona are currently under fire, not for run on the season (alive in three tournaments at this height of the competition), but for the way the club is moving into the future. Neymar’s scandal led to the resignation of former president Sandro Rosell and there are many doubts on how the club has managed the signings and the academy, one of the most prestigious ones across Europe.

And this uncertainty has reached the B squad. On this season, Barca B have demonstrated a lack of consistency in the results, even reaching the drop zone after losing four straight games for the first time since their latest return to Segunda (2010). Later the results improved, but always showing signs of radical changes, like the resounding victories visiting Real Zaragoza (0-2) and RCD Mallorca /1-2), and in the middle the disaster visiting Castilla (3-1).

Beyond the results, coach Eusebio Sacristan has been criticized because his team has been looking harmless in attack, scoring a lot of goals and having the ball possession (they are the team with the highest average of passes per game, 621), but soft at defense and especially unable to finalize the plays (the 6th team with more shots in the league, 366). Still, the last two wins put the team just two points behind the promotion seats, now they need a third win in a row –something they haven’t done yet on this season- in order to reach the first six places.

And for this they need a victory at the Riazor, the third stadium of a recently relegated club that they visit after the victories at La Romareda and Son Moix. Eusebio will continue relying in the 4-3-3 draw copied from the first team. The novelty is that centre midfielder Javier Espinosa is missing the game due to a knee sprain, while Jean Marie Dongou is returning from a suspension; still the Cameroonian won’t be a starter.

Jordi Masip, the elder player at the team (25), is the starting goalkeeper. Patric Gabarrón, who is left-footed, performs at the right side of the defense, Carles Planas covers the left-back position, while the centre-backs are Sergi Gómez and Portuguese Edgar Ié.

The line of three men at midfield is for captain Ilie Sánchez, Adama Traoré and ex-Hércules Edu Bedia. Then the trio up front is formed by ex-Alcorcón Dani Nieto, ex-Celta Denis Suárez and Canarian Sandro Ramírez.

Denis Suárez is one of the reasons why the team has clinched better results lately compared to the first round; this right-footed player was captured by Barca after a spell at Manchester City (they paid €1.5 million) and recently he has been performing towards the left.

He’s one of the two Pichichis at the team and the important thing is that his six goals came in the second round, including a brace before Hércules CF. Meanwhile, the other top-scorer at the team is Dani Nieto and he lives the opposite scenario as five of his six goals were netted in the first round.  In the case of Sandro he’s a starter after two of his four goals on the season were netted within the last two games.

List of picked players (18); Masip, Ortolá (goalkeepers); Sergi Gómez, Patric, Planas, Edgard Ié, Grimaldo, Bagnack (defenders); Ilié Sánchez, Babunski, Samper, Denis Suárez, Dani Nieto, Edu Bedia,
 Munir El Haddadi (midfielders); Dongou, Adama & Sandro (attackers)

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laure, Insua, Marchena, Seoane – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez – Núñez, Juan Carlos, Rabello – Toché.
Barcelona B: (4-3-3) Masip - Patric, Sergi Gómez, Ié, Planas - Ilie, Bedia, Adama- Dani Nieto, Sandro, Denis Suárez.
Referee: Daniel Ocón Arraiz
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Barcelona B: 9 wins for Depor, 4 draws, 8 wins for Barca B (Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 6 victories for Depor, 2 draws, 2 wins for Barca B (Segunda)
Head-to-head Vs. B teams: 38 wins for Depor, 15 draws, 29 wins for the B teams (Segunda, Segunda B & Tercera)



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