Squad news


23 Sep 2014
The 120th edition of the Galician derby is finding two teams living very different moments ; Depor are making changes as it tries to clear the ghost of the last defeat, while Celta are undefeated after picking a point at the Calderón.

Deportivo haven’t lost the last four Galician derbies played in official competitions; it won both games in the Segunda season 2011/12 and later clinched a win and a draw in the games of the Primera campaign 2012/13. The last time Depor lost a derby playing in a league competition was in the Primera tournament 2006/07: 1-0 at Balaídos (April 15, 2007).

An interesting stat is that the Galician derby is currently a tied series with 41 wins for Depor and 42 for Celta after 109 matches playing in league competitions (Primera, Segunda & Segunda B). Also, RC Celta have an additional victory considering the meetings in Copa Del Rey (3 victories for Deportivo, 3 draws and 4 victories for RC Celta).

Both teams arrive to the match living very different moments. Deportivo just suffered their second worst home defeat after been trashed by Real Madrid at the Riazor (2-8), while RC Celta were picking a point visiting champions Atlético Madrid (2-2). Los Celestes, with one win and three draws in favour, are one of the six teams that remain undefeated in la liga and this is their best start since the season 2005/06, at the time they were the leaders after four matchdays (3 wins & 1 defeat)

Los Blanquiazules didn’t have enough time to digest the severe punishment of Saturday’s defeat, and only three days later they have to face the emotional pressure of the Galician derby. Beyond avoiding the pressure of the standings, which is insignificant at this point of the season, it’s the opportunity to heal the wound and please the fans, who will always smile after clinching a positive result in a derby.

It’s a match in which RC Celta is the favourite side, not only for been playing at home, but for the great moment they are living. Beyond trying to avoid the last three places in these early stages of la liga, Deportivo are trying to clear their image and restore some of the defensive confidence gained in the visit to SD Eibar.

Álex Bergantiños, who was a starter in three of the last four derbies, was saying that Depor must feel confident with the fact that Celta is the favourite, ”If they are feeling like the favourites, the better. In the last four derbies in which I played they always arrived to the game under that condition due to their game and for the feelings, but later we clinched good results. The fact of been the favourite doesn’t help you to add the points.”

Ahead of the game, coach Víctor Fernández is making three changes, but keeping the 4-2-3-1 draw. There’s only one change at defense after the eight goals allowed against Real Madrid, German Lux is the goalkeeper despite Fabricio was tested there during Monday’s training at the Riazor.

Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ performs at the right side of the defense, Luisinho covers the left, the modification is the entry of Albert Lopo joining Sidnei Rechel at the central positions.

José Rodriguez returns after been ineligible to play against Real Madrid; he goes directly into the starting eleven and does it performing on the right wing. Haris Medunjanin and Álex Bergantiños are the centre midfielders. In attack, Toché is replacing Hélder Postiga, Isaac Cuenca performs at the left wing and Luis Fariña is the playmaker.

Centre midfielder Juan Dominguez is a last-minute casualty after suffering a muscle injury during Monday’s session. The other three players at the injury room are centre-back Pablo Insua, plus wingers Lucas Pérez and Diogo Salomão.  Centre midfielder Cezary Wilk, playmaker Juan Carlos and right-back Diego Seoane are the three players out for tactical reasons.

List of picked players: (18) Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Juanfran, Lopo, Sidnei, Diakité, Luisinho, Canella (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, José Rodriguez, Fariña, Medunjanin, Cuenca (midfielders); Cavaleiro, Postiga & Toché (attackers)

RC Celta is only eighth at the standings after dropping the advantage in three of the four matches played so far; it’s a revealing stat that demonstrates the main weakness of this team, a huge problem that already cost six points. Surely it’s a weakness of the whole team but, as it normally happens, the defenders are the ones that end questioned. And this defense is characterized by their youth, because the only normal starter at the back with a large experience in 28-year-old Gustavo Cabral.

There’s also the concern that the team is lacking a solid defensive midfielder, currently Borja Oubiña is injured and there are doubts with the performance of Serbian Nemanja Radoja, while the other candidates for the position are unexperienced players coming from Celta B, like the case of Borja Fernández. Argentine Augusto Fernández can be used there, but he’s just returning from an injury.

But the defensive problems are overshadowed by their strong attack and their attractive style. After all RC Celta have had the ball possession in the four matches played so far, including the visit to Atlético Madrid (51%). And the attacking efforts are led by the trident composed by Fabián Orellana, Joaquín Larrivey and Manuel Agudo Durán ‘Nolito’.

And it’s that combined the trio has scored 7 of the 8 goals conquered on the league season. Coach Eduardo Berizzo just landed at the club, but found out a structure that was already working and that only needed the reinforcement of a centre forward. Larrivey was signed as a free agent coming from Rayo Vallecano and he quickly fitted into a team that’s starting to call the attention in la liga.

So, Depor is once again finding in the way a rival that likes to play attractive football having dangerous players upfront, but with big doubts at defense. It’s a very similar scenario to the meeting with Real Madrid, although with the difference of the big names in the payroll. Berizzo is recovering midfielder Augusto Fernández for the game, but he’s only making one change to the 4-3-3 draw that played at the Calderón stadium.

Sergio Álvarez is the starting goalie, Jonathan Castro ‘Jonny’ is the only change made at the lineup as he performs at the right side of the defense, Catalan Carles Planas covers the left side, while the centre-backs are Andreu Fontas and Argentine Gustavo Cabral.

Radoja plays at midfield alongside Álex López and Danish Michael Krohn-Dehli. Chilean Orellana, who is the top-scorer at the team with three goals in favour, attacks from the right flank, Nolito does it from the left and Larrivey is the centre forward. Both Nolito and Larrivey already scored against Depor during the friendly game of the pre-season (2-0).

Keeper Sergio Álvarez said that in these games it doesn’t matter who the favourite is, ”These are all special games and it doesn’t matter who can be considered as the favourite side; we are coming after a draw and they after losing, but the game is different and we need to face it as it’s the last one.”

New signing, Chilean Pablo Hernández, was saying that Celta must seize the situation, ”They are coming after allowing a lot of goals, but we cannot relax. It’s different to play a derby. We must try to play our game and keep it for the 90 minutes. If they are hurt then we must try to crush them. The derbies exists to win them, because it brings joy to the fans.”

List of picked players: (18) Sergio Álvarez, Rubén Blanco (goalkeepers); Hugo Mallo, Fontás, Jonny, Sergio Gómez, Planas, Cabral (defenders); Borja Fernández, Pablo Hernández, Radoja, Álex López, Krohn-Dehli, Augusto Fernández (midfielders); Charles, Nolito, Larrivey & Orellana (attackers)

Celta: (4-3-3) Álvarez – Jonny, Cabral, Fontás, Planas - Krohn-Dehli, Radoja, Álex López – Orellana, Larrivey, Nolito.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux - Laure, Sidnei, Lopo, Luisinho –Medunjanin, Álex Bergantiños - José Rodriguez, Fariña, Cuenca – Toché,
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (Balaídos)
Head-to-head Vs. Celta: 41 wins for Depor, 26 draws, 42 wins for Celta (Primera, Segunda & Segunda B)
Record at Balaídos:  8 wins for Depor, 16 draws, 30 wins for Celta (Primera, Segunda & Segunda B)



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