Competition news


31 Aug 2014
Depor will try to have a strong start at the Riazor; Insua is on the list of picked players, but it isn’t sure if he will play. Rayo Vallecano land in A Coruña with a fourth straight facelift at the squad.

After 25 visits to A Coruña, Rayo Vallecano have only managed to add four victories playing in a league competition. The last one was for the Segunda season 1988/89 (1-2) with Brazilian Raudnei Anversa scoring the lonely goal for the Galicians. Since that day the Madrilenians have made ten visits to the Riazor ending scoreless in five opportunities and only picking six draws.

Rayo Vallecano completed a remarkable season 2013/14, ending 12th at the standings, thought it could have been better if they wouldn’t have lost the last three matchdays of the Primera season. They also had a pretty good record on the road clinching five wins and four draws (19 points).

Taking in mind the 1-2 loss at Granada CF, an interesting stat is that Deportivo haven’t lost the first two matchdays in a league competition since 35 years ago. It was during the Segunda season 1979/80 as the Galicians lost hosting Recreativo de Huelva (0-1) and visiting Gimnástic Tarragona (3-1).

It’s practically impossible to win all the home games at Primera División, especially for a recently promoted club searching to clinch the permanence before more powerful rivals like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid, , but the key to salvation often passes through a solid season at home. Two years ago, Deportivo only added the 44.74% of the points disputed at the Riazor, a very poor mark –the worst at the club on this century- that pulled the team into a new relegation.

So, Depor cannot drop points before direct rivals during the home encounters. Coach Víctor Fernández is conscious of it, ”The seasons are passing through been strong at home, so we need to be strong at the Riazor.” He said on Friday during the press conference.

The players are also aware of the situation. Albert Lopo said during the week that, "Last year the team felt more comfortable picking the points on the road, but on this year I believe that, in order to stay at Primera, we need to be stronger at home.". Meanwhile, Roberto Canella commented that, ”You cannot drop the points at home playing at Primera. With Sporting, our house was a fortress in the first three seasons and that’s why we saved ourselves, and in the last year things were different and we paid the price.”

The big doubt ahead of the game is Pablo Insua; the centre-back is dragging an ankle injury, but passed a late test on Saturday and was included in the list for the game. But it isn’t sure if he will play, for this reason the coach included Manuel Pablo in the squad, so there are 19 players in the list.

Besides, Víctor Fernández announced on his press conference that there are big chances of making changes. It’s expected that he will finally implement the 4-3-3 system, with Haris Medunjanin playing his first game as a starter and with Iván Cavaleiro staying in the formation, but on the left wing claiming the spot of Luisinho.

German Lux is the starting goalie, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ performs on the right-back position, Roberto Canella does it on the left, while Insua joins Albert Lopo at the centre. If he isn’t fit to play then the spot will be for Álex Bergantiños

Medunjanin is joined by Juan Dominguez and José Rodriguez at midfield, then Luis Fariña plays towards the right wing with Cavaleiro doing the same on the left, finally José Verdú ‘Toché’ is the central attacker.

The two players staying at the injury room are wingers Diogo Salomão and Lucas Pérez. There are two Fabril’s players in the list of picked players: centre-back Iago López and playmaker/attacker Marcos Remeseiro.

Juan Dominguez was talking of Rayo Vallecano, ”Rayo is a team that likes the combinative game; you cannot have any defensive error, because they will seize it and will harm you. Their style is to take advantage of the offensive plays. I see that our team is fine, we are prepared for the game and will try to win, besides we play at home and hope to clinch the first three points at the Riazor.”

List of picked players (19): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Insua, Lopo, Iago López, Luisinho, Canella (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Remeseiro, Medunjanin, Wilk, Fariña, Cuenca (midfielders); Cavaleiro & Toché (attackers)

It’s the fourth straight season for Rayo Vallecano at the elite of Spanish football and also the fourth straight opportunity in which there are massive changes at the squad. For the season 2011/12 they made ten signings and released thirteen players after clinching the promotion to Primera. One year later the number of signings was fourteen and the exits were also fourteen, and on last campaign the new arrivals were thirteen and the exits were eight.

So far the Madrilenian club has made fifteen signings ahead of the season 2014/15 releasing the record of twenty-one players. These four facelifts were characterized for the exit of key men at the lineups, which left the club in a difficult position but, with the exception of the first year, Rayo Vallecano didn’t face too many problems to clinch the permanence.

It’s hard to survive at Primera making so many changes and there are two key factors that helped to clinch the permanence despite the instability, the first is the work of sporting director Felipe Miñambres, who was smart enough to get important players like Michu, Diego Costa, Arribas, Amat or Leo Baptistão.  The latter was sold one year ago for €7 million to Atlético Madrid and recaptured ahead of this campaign. So, it has been a process of ‘recycling’ that brought a sporting and economic revenue. 

The other key fact is coach Paco Jémez, who is living his third year at the club and had to face the difficult mission of rebuilding a team almost from zero, and he always brought good results, including an historic eighth position during the season 2012/13.

And this time it seems that Rayo is ready to repeat its past feasts, signing interesting players like centre-back Jorge Morcillo, winger Javier Aquino and attacker Gaël Kakuta. They already demonstrated part of their potential forcing current champions Atlético Madrid to 0-0 tie in the opening matchday.

Precisely the good performance in the first game is moving Jémez to repeat the lineup, but making one change as Baptistão will appear at the centre of the attack replacing Galician Jonathan Pereira. 22-year-old Baptistão was very important in his previous stage at Vallecas, scoring seven goals and providing six assists.  Jonathan Pereira wasn’t even picked for the game, instead Guinean Lass Bangoura is back as it seems that he won’t leave the club during the last day of the transfer window.

The rest is the same 4-2-3-1 lineup, with Argentine Cristian Álvarez defending the goal, ’Quini’ Marín covers the right-back position, Roberto ´Tito’ Triguero performs at the left, while the centre-backs are ex-Depor Ze Castro and Senegalese Abdoulaye Ba.

Former Espanyol Raúl Baena and Galician Roberto Trashorras perform at midfield, Mexican Javier Aquino attack from the right wing, French Kakuta does it from the left. Ex-Real Valladolid Alberto Bueno is the playmaker.

Mexican Aquino was saying during the week that his team shouldn’t be too overconfident after the first result on the season, “We haven’t won something just for clinching a draw against the champion. This point must be translated into something positive winning the next game, it would be worthy and would mean a solid start in the tournament.”

List of picked players (18): Cobeño, Cristian Álvarez (goalkeepers); Tito, Nacho, Quini, Morcillo, Zé Castro, Abdoulaye Ba (defenders); Baena, Trashorras, Pozuel,o Kakuta, Licá Pereira, Aquino, Bueno (midfielders); Leo Baptistão, Manucho & Lass (attackers)

Deportivo: (4-3-3) Lux – Laure, Lopo, Insua, Canella – Juan Dominguez, Medunjanin, José Rodríguez – Fariña, Toché, Cavaleiro.
Rayo Vallecano (4-2-3-1) Álvarez – Quini, Ze Castro, Ba, Tito – Baena, Trashorras – Aquino, Bueno, Kakuta – Baptistão.
Referee: José Luis González González
Kick-off: 21h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Rayo:  14 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 4 wins for Rayo (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 24 wins for Depor, 14 draws, 12 wins for Rayo (Primera & Segunda)



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