Squad news


20 Apr 2014
Depor recover the defensive solidity and tries to extend the rally of wins in order to approach to the promotion. RCD Mallorca are the disaster of the season, but search for redemption as they target the playoff zone.

Deportivo are once again the best defense at Liga Adelante after clinching four clean sheets within the last five matches. The Galicians have only allowed 24 goals and didn’t concede any goal in the half of the 34 matches disputed until this point. These 17 clean sheets are the highest number at the club since the 18 witnessed during the Primera season 2003/04.

Meanwhile, RCD Mallorca is the sixth worst defense in the league after allowing 49 goals on this liga tournament, a mark only above bottom club Deportivo Alavés (50). Still, the Majorcans have managed to clinch 11 clean sheets. However, only three of those clean sheets took place in 2014.

Another big difference between both team is the form. RCD Mallorca have only won 2 of the last 12 games in the competition suffering five defeats within the period, while Deportivo only lost 2 of the last 12 liga meetings winning 7 of those matches. It’s the reason why Los Blanquiazules are the current leaders, while Los Bermellones are currently closer to relegation than to the promotion zone.

Majorca was always a tough city for Depor, even in the golden years of the Champions League, but that picture has changed since 2005 as the Galicians have only lost 2 of the last 10 games played there (8 in liga and 2 in Copa Del Rey). Actually, Depor hasn’t been defeated within the last four visits to the Iberostar stadium (2 in liga and 2 in Copa Del Rey).

The solidity at defense returned to Deportivo reflected in clean sheets, just when the promotion is going to be defined. The start of 2014 was difficult for the defense, because Los Blanquiazules allowed at least one goal in 7 of the first 8 matches of the year, but lately the solidity returned as the team clinched 4 clean sheets within the last 5 games.

Now, the Galicians face a tricky challenge, because they visit a rival that was the main favorite to promotion and that, despite the problems, is used to score goals at home. RCD Mallorca is the fifth best scorer at home in the league (25) and has only remained scoreless in three home meetings, but noticing that two of those meetings took place within the last three opportunities in which they played at the Iberostar stadium (0-1 Vs. Hércules CF & 0-0 Vs Recreativo).

For the trip to Majorca the coach has picked all the defenders at the squad, including Pablo Insua, who was doubtful during the week due to a hip problem. But midfielder Álex Bergantiños and striker Toché weren’t picked. The duo received on Saturday the medical okay to play, but coach Fernando Vázquez left them out of the list for tactical reasons.

Cezary Wilk is back from a suspension and goes directly into the starting eleven. The other players out for tactical reasons is striker Luis Fernández, while winger Diogo Salomão is the lonely player at the injury room.

Only one change is expected compared to the team that defeated Recreativo de Huelva on last Sunday, but this modification means to switch back into the 4-2-3-1 system. Rabello is left on the bench and Polish Wilk joins Juan Dominguez at midfield.

German Lux covers the goal, Laureano Sanabria ´Laure´ performs at the right side of the defense, Insua and Albert Lopo are the centre-backs, while Diego Seoane covers the left side.

Ibrahim Sissoko plays at the right wing, Juan Carlos Real is the playmaker, Luisinho attacks from the left flank and Borja Bastón is the central attacker. The Madrilenian is the top-scorer at the team, but has remained scoreless in his last six appearances (389 minutes)

Antonio Núñez talked before the game and he’s already caressing the promotion to Primera, ”In my career the only thing left to achieve is a promotion, and for what the partners that already clinched it have told me, I envy them. That’s why I am convinced that this year I will live it with Deportivo. Still, we cannot relax, on Sunday we have another important game.”

Meanwhile, Laure was warning that Deportivo must remain alert as the promotion hasn’t been defined yet, ”We must assume that this advantage isn't enough to be relaxed, also that we must see all the remaining games as finals. Right now we have a comfortable situation, but if we lose then you end only three points away, then there will be more pressure and that fact doesn’t allow you to play with joy.  The coach has helped to realize that a lot still ahead; we must keep working in order to stay at the top.”

List of picked players (18) Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Luisinho, Seoane, Lopo, Marchena, Insua (defenders); Juan Dominguez, Wilk, Núñez, Juan Carlos, Sissoko, Rabello (midfielders); Arizmendi, Borja Bastón & Ifrán (strikers)

Back in August, RCD Mallorca was the favorite at Liga Adelante. And it’s that the Majorcans had everything: the biggest budget in the league (€22 million), a ‘balanced’ team with experienced players at Primera, plus a coach –José Luis Oltra- that was an expert in the league managing important teams and that only two years before it had broken all the record in the league.

Eight months later the club is a mess, standing only four points above relegation and six points below the playoff zone. There are four explanations to describe how the biggest disaster of the season took place. The first is the war between the owners of the club. There are three major shareholders that prefer to damage the team rather to make a simple concession to the other shareholders. For example the decision of firing Oltra was made in November, but it was only a reality until two months ago as one of the three major shareholders didn’t want to give his vote for this change –a whim as he wanted to hire the coach by myself-. In the meantime in recent days it was revealed the club will be short of money in June to pay the bonuses to the players.

Secondly, the “balanced team” wasn’t as balanced as it was expected. The veterans didn’t fulfill the expectations and started to be sidelined from the lineups. Now, Aouate and Nunes are substitutes, while , who signed for RCD Mallorca after his failed arrival to Depor, remains scoreless on the season after 21 league appearances. So, in the end young players like Gerard Moreno and Joaquín Navarro ‘Ximo’ had to assume the responsibility.

Then the combination of errors by the players, mainly at defense, and the decisions of the referee. The Majorcans played good games, but somehow they always ended conceding silly goals that cost points. Like in the 1-2 loss at Real Jaén (matchday 18), match in which they dominated, but ended losing after keeper Rubén Miño committed two errors that cost two goals.

The referees also contributed to the mess; RCD Mallorca are the fifth team with more red cards in the league (9), some of them were bizarre cases, like in the home defeat against Barcelona B (1-2, matchday 28). In that game Los Bermellones suffered the expulsion of the keeper (Aouate) at minute 5 and before half-time they were already playing with nine men. That game marked the debut of new coach Lluís Carreras, who described the meeting as “unreal.”

To end the cocktail of errors, the signings made during the winter window. The club made four signings in January looking for solutions, but three of them have barely played: defender Liassine Cadamuro, plus centre midfielders Iriney Santos and Abdoul Razzagui. Only veteran midfielder David Generelo has earned a spot at the starting eleven, though without changing the outcome.

So, new boss Lluís Carreras is trying to guess how to fix the mess, without knowing if the team aspires to the promotion or if instead it should be focused in clinching the permanence. For now his philosophy is to go game by game and see where the results take his team. It’s hard to predict a lineup in the middle of this puzzle, mainly has Carrera has been switching the draws and testing players without positive results.

But for the meeting against Depor is expected that he will return to the 4-2-3-1 after the poor game against SD Ponferradina, meeting in which he displayed a 4-1-4-1 figure. Rubén Miño is the starting keeper, Emilio Nsue has been used as a right-back on this season and will keep playing there, the centre backs are Ximo and Cadamuro the latest is replacing former Orduspor Agustín García ‘Agus’, who’s suspended, while Kevin García will probably perform on the left side.

At midfield, Generelo and Martí Riverola are controlling the traffic of the ball, Marco Asensio, a youngsters promoted from the B team by Oltra and one of the few pleasant surprises on the season, attacks from the right wing, ex-Sevilla Alejandro Alfaro attacks from the left, ex-Atlético B Thomas Partey is the playmaker and Tomer Hemed is the central attacker. Israeli Hemed has only scored once after 16 league appearances and is replacing injured top-scorer Gerard Moreno.

Veteran Nunes talked before the game and explained the current situation lived by the team, ”We are closer to relegation than to the play-off zone, so we must look at both sides. We need to be careful, but also positive and ambitious to look upward, without neglecting what’s below us. We cannot forget the numbers though it isn’t a positive situation. We don’t have the points that we wanted. So, we need to win a lot of the remaining eight games to be upper. This is a long race and, although we remain part of it, the feelings could be different. We have never been in the playoff zone and this was an important factor on this season. We didn’t enjoy of the regularity that we should have had.”

Finally, keeper Miño was describing Deportivo as the most complete team at Segunda, ”Without doubt Depor and Eibar are the most difficult teams in the league. The numbers are there. It’s really hard to score against them, but I believe that Deportivo have an extra thing: they can propose offensive game. They have more offensive resources than Eibar and I think they’re better.”

List of picked players (18): Miño, Aouate (goalkeepers), Cadamuro, Ximo, Nunes, Bigas, Kevin (defenders); Thomas, Nsue, Generelo, Iriney, Pep Lluis Martí, Alfaro, , Riverola, Marco Asensio, Álex Moreno (midfielders); Geijo & Tomer Hemed (attackers)

Mallorca: (4-2-3-1) Miño - Nsue, Ximo, Cadamuro, Kevin – Generelo, Riverola - Marco Asensio, Thomas, Alfaro – Hemed.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laure, Lopo, Insua, Seoane – Wilk, Juan Domínguez – Sissoko, Juan Carlos, Luisinho – Borja Bastón.
Referee: Mario Melero López
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Iberostar stadium)
Head-to-head Vs. Mallorca: 18 wins for Depor, 19 draws, 17 wins for Mallorca (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Majorca: 6 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 13 wins for Mallorca (Primera & Segunda)



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