Squad news


07 Jun 2014
Closing day at Segunda División with Depor having the option of ending first, though pending more of what lies ahead in the future. The rival is playing for its life and the nerves are noticed in the words of the players.

With the promotion already inside the pocket, Depor face the last game on the season with two targets: to end at the first place at Segunda for the second time in three years and to break the record of away victories for one single campaign. The Galician outfit seeks for their sixth “title” at Segunda, for it they must win this game and wait to see SD Eibar failing to defeat CD Numancia.  If not they will end as the runners-up at Segunda for the fifth straight opportunity.

Meanwhile, Depor have added 11 victories playing away from the Riazor, it’s the same mark of the Segunda season 2011/12, so a new away win will mean a record at the club. The Blanquiazul outfit is the only club at Segunda that’s ending the season adding more points on the road (36) than at home (33), though they could be joined by Recreativo de Huelva if they are able to beat CE Sabadell CF in the last game.

More important is the game for Girona FC; the Catalans need the victory and a combination of results to avoid demotion. An interesting stat about Los Albirrojos is that they have scored two more goals than Depor (49), they conceded much more than the Galicians, which obviously explain their current position, but it’s the same number of goals in favour. They’re the only team among the last ten places without a negative balance in the goal difference, which it’s possible thanks to their 6-0 win over CD Lugo on matchday 26 (the biggest score on this season).

Deportivo have visited Girona in three previous opportunities, all of them playing at Segunda División and the Galicians lost in those three opportunities. Only one of those games took place at the Municipal de Montilivi stadium (founded in 1970). It was two seasons ago (1-0) in a polemic game in which Depor hit the woodwork post twice, it suffered an expulsion and a penalty that wasn’t whistled.

Depor say good-bye to Liga Adelante in a game where it could clinch the title in the league, though it will need a favorable result of CD Numancia hosting SD Eibar. However the attention is more focused in what lies ahead with the new adventure at Primera División. And it’s that there are eight players at the team that could be living their last game at the club.

Four are ending their loans: Ibrahim Sissoko, Diego Ifrán, Diogo Salomão and Bryan Rabello. The other four are ending contract:  German Lux, Carlos Marchena, Albert Lopo and Antonio Núñez. Of this list only Lopo confirmed on-going renewal talks, while Marchena was announcing his exit during Thursday.

The list of exits could be bigger, because coach Fernando Vázquez explained during the week that a small revolution is about to happen, “We’ll have a huge renewal, that’s for sure. We already did it on last year, and now I don’t know if it will match that level, but evidently the squad will suffer a renewal, it is clear.” He said.

Marchena was initially included in the list for the game, but he’s a last-minute casualty due to gastroenteritis. Sissoko is also out with a knee problem, which extended the list at the injury room to four players. The other two men out are Cezary Wilk and Diogo Salomão. In this way there were only 18 players available, so Luis Fernández was included for the trip to Catalonia.

Vázquez said during the press conference that he’s thinking of “respecting the competition” and that this was the reason why no Fabril’s players were picked, so it’s expected that he will be present a lineup with normal starters, though a novelty is expected at the goal and also a change in the draw caused by the absence of Sissoko.

It’s a 4-2-3-1 figure, with Fabricio Agosto making his sixth league appearance at the goal (his last game was in February against AD Alcorcón). Laureano Sanabria ´Laure’ covers the right-back position, Diego Seoane performs at the left, while the centre-backs are Pablo Insua and Albert Lopo.

Álex Bergantiños returns into the starting formation joining Juan Dominguez at midfield, Juan Carlos performs on the right wing, Luisinho attacks from the left, Bryan Rabello is the playmaker and there’s a doubt is in attack. Diego Ifrán should be the starting forward, but he’s dragging a knock from the last training session, if he isn’t fit to play then the starting spot will be for Borja Bastón.

List of picked players (18): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Luisinho, Seoane, Lopo, Insua (defenders); Juan Domínguez, Álex Bergantiños, Juan Carlos, Núñez, Rabello (midfielders); Borja Bastón, Toché, Arizmendi, Luis Fernández & Ifrán (attackers)

To drop two points a fortnight ago hosting RCD Mallorca was a painful burden that left Girona FC at the edge of demotion. They need to win this game and even wait for other results, though the victory gives them a 96% of chances of surviving as they win the tie-breaker before four of the other seven teams in the fight (Alavés, Lugo, Mirandés & Ponferradina).

There’s a lot of pressure over the players and it was noticed in some of their declarations. Striker Alfredo Ortuño conceded an interview to newspaper Diario de Girona and he was remembering that Girona FC, despite not depending of itself, was living a worst situation some months ago, We were eight points behind the permanence and thinking that only a miracle could save us. But we have reached the final day alive. Many teams would like to be in our position. Now we have to win and finish the job.”

But what called the attention was his comments regarding the importance of the meeting for Depor, ”In my mind there’s no other thing than the victory. It cannot be a team that’s playing for nothing (Deportivo) can come to our house to draw or even win! They say that their motivation is to finish as the league leaders. And what’s good about the leadership at Segunda División? Nothing! If I were a Depor’s player then I would think twice before getting their leg over, because for three points I wouldn’t risk the opportunity of playing at Primera on next season"

There are two things to emphasize from this team: the power in set-pieces and the twists in the draws. Once again the Catalans will rely in the set-pieces to define their season; after all 22 of their 49 goals (45%) were scored in this kind of situations (9 penalties + 6 free-kicks + 6 corner-kicks + 1 throw-in). It’s the highest percentage at Segunda. The key players for the strategic plays are strikers Felipe Sanchón and Ortuño, who normally finalize the plays with headers, plus centre midfielder David Timor and playmaker Jandro, who are the ones that execute the set-pieces. The last two have netted 7 goals, in the case of Jandro, the ex-Celta man has scored the last four penalties.

Another thing to emphasize is the many twists with the draws, after having three coaches the team has passed through the classical 4-2-3-1 to the 4-1-4-1 with a “false nine” and now with new boss Pablo Machín it is playing with a line of five defenders, a weird 5-2-1-2 that can also be interpreted as a 3-5-2 formation as the full-backs are joining the attacks. For the game against Depor, Machín recovers Jandro, who will now be the link between midfield and the attacking line.

Ex-Real Madrid Castilla Isaac Becerra is the starting keeper; former Levante man Iván López covers the right side of the defense, David Juncà performs on the left, while the centre-backs are Jonás Ramalho (loaned from Athletic Bilbao), veteran Chus Herrero and ex-Córdoba Richy Álvarez.

Timor and Eloi Amagat are the centre midfielders, then Jandro performs behind the attacking duo composed by former UD Las Palmas man Jesús Rodríguez ‘Tato’ and Alfredo Ortuño.

Murcian Ortuño is an interesting attacker that joined the club in January; the 23-year-old man has netted 8 goals in his 19 league appearances, including a brace before SD Ponferradina during the previous matchday. His performance has been so good that has benched Felipe Sanchón, who netted 6 goals within the matches played in the first round.

Jandro talked before the game and assured that his team is ready for the victory, ”We need to win, because for us the salvation has the same value than the promotion to Depor. We don’t depend on ourselves, but truly our options will be bigger if we win.”

Defender Ramalho thinks his team an advantage as he believes that Depor is playing more relaxed, ”We are privileged, because the rest of teams are playing for something and there are even two direct meetings, but must think that Depor will come to Girona in order to add the three points in order to end at the top, but they will meet a willful Girona and with enough strength to clinch the victory.”

List of picked players: It will be released until Saturday

Girona: (5-2-1-2) Becerra – Iván López, Ramalho, Chus Herrero, Richy,  Juncà – Timor, Eloi – Jandro – Tato, Ortuño
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Laure, Lopo, Insua, Seoane – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez – Juan Carlos, Rabello, Luisinho – Ifrán or Borja Bastón.
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez
Kick-off: 18h30 CET (Municipal de Montilivi)
Head to head Vs. Girona: 2 wins for Depor, 2 draws, 3 wins for Girona (Segunda)
Record at Girona: 0 wins for Depor, 0 draws, 3 wins for Girona (Segunda)



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