Competition news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – PONFERRADINA (LIGA)

26 Apr 2014
Fernando Vázquez keeps the same lineup as Depor are starting to calculate the number of victories to clinch the promotion. The rival had countless injury problems in the past, but Claudio arrives without casualties for this game.

STATISTICS: THE WORST TEAM ON THE ROAD
Deportivo are coming to this meeting after tying their historical record of away victories (11) and also after establishing themselves as the best visiting team in the league. Now they return to the Riazor in order to host the worst visitor at Liga Adelante. And it’s that SD Ponferradina have only added 10 points after 17 away encounters.

The Leonese team added seven draws on the road and only one victory: 0-1 at AD Alcorcón (matchday 05). Actually they are the club that has spent more time without an away win as that victory took place in September of 2013.

And there’s another negative stat for them as SD Ponferradina has remained scoreless playing on the road since February. They scored at minute 6 of the visit to Sporting Gijón (1-1) and spent the next five visits without netting goals (534 minutes). Meanwhile, Depor are still trying to improve its how record as it has added 29 points in 18 home meetings, which is only the 12th-best mark in the league.

Both teams arrive to the match living opposite situations regarding their form. Depor are, together with Barcelona B, the most in-form team in the league after adding 14 of the last 18 points, and to emphasize that within the period the Galicians only allowed one goal and it was a penalty hosting CD Tenerife (matchday 32). Meanwhile, SD Ponferradina present the 8th worst mark within the last six matches after only adding 7 of the last 18 points in dispute. Extending the analysis, they have lost six of the last ten games, reason why the team is only one point above the relegation zone.

DEPORTIVO: THE MAGIC NUMBER IS FOUR
At this moment Deportivo need four wins within the last seven matchdays to mathematically secure the promotion, though the number could be smaller depending if the direct rivals continue to fail in their games. The Galicians live a good moment after winning four of the last six meetings and the last 0-3 win at RD Mallorca, besides to be a boost for the players’ morale, it increased the difference with the third position to nine points, the biggest on the season.

So, the fans are confident and already began to make calculations of when the promotion can be secured. Even the players and the coach have been making their own calculations, though they are trying to remain cautious. Coach Fernando Vázquez warned in his last two press conferences about the need to avoid relaxation.

On Thursday it was playmaker Juan Carlos Real who warned about the issue, ”Our current situation is enviable, we are here due to our own merits and now it cannot escape from us. It’s inevitable to see people doing calculations, we did it too a few weeks ago, but we are going game by game and we're within that score that we wanted. We know the distance we have regarding the third place, but we aren’t doing calculations now. We cannot relax, because in this league any game can turn to be complicated and you never know when you'll lose”

The good news for Vázquez is that he has his full squad available for this game, one of the last three to be disputed at the Riazor, including striker Diego Ifrán, who received the medical okay to play on Friday after passing a final fitness test.

Actually, he picked twenty players for the meeting, including Álex Bergantiños and Toché, and only Antonio Núñez was sidelined as he was dragging a back injury. The winger is joining Diogo Salomão at the injury room. So, the coach will have to rule out two players before the kick-off.

So, it’s expected that El Profesor will keep playing with the 4-1-4-1 lineup of the last two games, same figure that has been hailed by the media as the reason why the team has improved so much in attack. German Lux is the starting goalie, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ performs at the right-back position, Diego Seoane covers the left sector, then Pablo Insua and Albert Lopo are the centre-backs.

Juan Dominguez is the lonely pivote, Juan Carlos and Chilean Bryan Rabello are the playmakers, Ivorian Ibrahim Sissoko attacks from the right wing, though he will be constantly moving to the centre. Portuguese Luisinho plays at the left and Uruguayan Ifrán is the central attacker.

List of picked players (20): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Luisinho, Seoane, Lopo, Marchena, Insua (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, Wilk, Juan Carlos, Sissoko, Rabello (midfielders); Arizmendi, Borja Bastón, Toché, Luis Fernández & Ifrán (attackers).

PONFERRADINA: INJURIES & YOUNGSTERS
Two major problems have affected the season of SD Ponferradina and coach Claudio Barragán: The injuries and the lack of talent at the youth teams. Things started pretty well as after matchday 06 (5-1 win over Hércules CF) the team was already the runners-up in the league, but since then the Leonese outfit lost 13 of 29 meetings. What happened is that the squad was hit by a series of injuries -mainly muscle problems- that dwindled their performance.

The squad was relatively short, composed by 22 players, but 3 of them are goalkeepers and with the long-term case of ex-Depor Saul Fernandez, who announced his retirement on this week due to an ankle injury. Any physical problem turned to be critical at the moment of preparing the lineup, and the team was always hit by two or more cases. As example, for matchday 11, the visit to Real Madrid Castilla, Claudio only had 16 players available and it was then when the second factor hit this team: the lack of canteranos.

And it’s that the B squad of SD Ponferradina was closed down in 2013 and Claudio has been forced to pick players from the Juvenil A team, very young prospects that aren’t ready to perform at Segunda. So, the coach had been short of players and the impact was felt in the results.

At least the club made three signings during the winter window and Claudio has recovered his injured men for the crucial moment on the season. Currently he has a 22-men squad available for the visit to the Riazor. For this game it’s expected a 4-4-2 figure, with Romanian Dinu Moldovan defending the goal, ex-Elche Javier Carpio defends the right side of the defense, Óscar Ramírez performs at the left, while the centre-backs are Alberto Aguilar and Samuel San José.

Juan de Dios Prado ‘Juande’ and Jonathan Ruiz perform at midfield, Acorán Barrera attacks from the right wing, Javi Lara does it from the left, while captain Yuri de Souza performs behind Jesús Berrocal in attack.

Berrocal is one of the three winter signings and has been a starter within the last four games though he hasn’t scored yet, while ex-Pontevedra Yuri is the top-scorer at the team with 11 goals added to his tally. The second best scorer at the team is Adolfo Enríquez, ‘Fofo’, who had a powerful start of season scoring 8 goals within the first 13 matchdays, but the former Villarreal attacker has remained scoreless since then and that’s why he’s now a substitute.

Centre-back Cristian Fernández talked during the week and admitted that this is a critical moment for the team, ”The players are conscious of what’s at stake. Saturday’s goals against Lugo were provoked by our mistakes. We know we aren’t fine playing on the road and must improve. This weekend we face a complicate game against Deportivo, but we want to bring a surprise. We all must be together in order to face this tough situation.”

Meanwhile, Acorán said that they want to dedicate the permanence to Saúl, ”It’s really hard to see a partner suffering throughout the season like the case of Saúl. He was unlucky with the injuries. It’s a pity to see him ending like this. I hope this could stimulate the rest of the team in order to clinch the goal of the permanence and later dedicate it to him, because he deserves it.”

List of picked players (19): Dinu Moldovan, Roberto Santamaría (goalkeepers); Carpio, Castañeda, Samuel, Robusté, Alan Baró, Óscar Ramírez, Alberto Aguilar, Bellvis (defenders); Juande, Jonathan Ruíz, Acorán, Cristián Fernández, Javi Lara (midfielders); Fofo, Berrocal, Yuri & Diego Sánchez (attackers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-1-4-1) Lux – Laure, Lopo, Insua, Seoane – Juan Dominguez – Sissoko, Juan Carlos, Rabello, Luisinho – Ifrán.
Ponferradina: (4-4-2) Moldovan - Carpio, Alberto Aguilar, Samuel, Óscar Ramírez - Acorán, Jonathan, Juande, Javi Lara – Yuri, Berrocal.
Referee: Daniel Jesús Trujillo Suárez
Kick-off. 18h15 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Ponferradina: 1 win for Depor, 0 draws, 0 wins for Ponferradina (Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/14

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