Competition news

PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO VS VALENCIA (PRIMERA)

19 Oct 2014
Big changes at Deportivo, both on the pitch and the bench. Lucas Pérez will be a starter and Lopo is out of the game. The rival is arriving living a sweet moment on the field, but with many doubts surrounding the club.

STATISTICS: THE RIPPER OF THE RIAZOR
Deportivo is one of the five Primera teams that haven’t won yet at Primera División –the other four are UD Almeria, Córdoba CF, Elche CF and Levante UD- It’s also the team in the poorest form after suffering four straight losses and now it faces one of the most in-form teams in the competition: Valencia CF

Los Ches are one of the two teams that haven’t lost yet –the other is FC Barcelona- and represent a balanced team that’s the third best offensive line after scoring 17 goals in 7 matches and is the second best defense after only conceding 4 goals.

To make things worse Valencia seem to be an “specialist” playing at the Riazor, because the Valencians represent the team that has achieved more wins at the Riazor playing for Primera División: 17. Mark above FC Barcelona (13), Real Madrid (13) and Atlético Madrid (10).

Besides, they haven’t lost in their last eight liga visits to A Coruña with a demolishing stat of 18 goals scored and only 7 goals allowed, among their victories within the period are the devastating 1-5 of the season 2004/05 and the 0-2 in the last matchday of the campaign 2010/11, result that cost the relegation to Segunda.

Another negative stat for Deportivo is that the Galicians haven’t defeated Valencia CF in liga since the year 2005, though curiously Los Blanquiazules played for times against them in Copa after that result and they didn’t lost any of those meeting achieving two victories, the last one was a 1-2 win at Mestalla with goals scored by Guardado and Pablo Álvarez (January 06, 2010).

DEPORTIVO: DEBUT FOR LUCAS PÉREZ
Everything has turned to be complicated for Lucas Pérez during his stage at Deportivo; the long negotiations for his arrival forced him to spend one week in a Coruña without been officially announced and without been able to train with the team, then the playmaker/winger sustained a thigh problem that sidelined him from the first weeks of the pre-season, and a new injury left him out of the first six matchdays in la liga.

He finally recovered before the last game against Sevilla CF and will now debut with Deportivo as coach Víctor Fernández confirmed that he will be a starter against Valencia CF. The coach is so delighted with the player that he will be a starter despite he confessed that isn’t totally fit to play. In midweek the Galician man was expressing his satisfaction for been available, “I’m hopeful to debut, but more content for the recovery after the relapse. It’s a relief to be part of the group and also to be available for the coach.”.

Lucas is a versatile winger that can either perform on the right or left wing, though Víctor considers that he is a playmaker as he always refer to him and Luis Fariña as the two natural playmakers at his squad. The true is that, against Valencia CF, the coach will use him as a winger, though it isn’t clear if he will perform on the left or right.

And it’s isn’t the only novelty ahead of the meeting with Los Chés, actually Víctor announced many changes in a team that has suffered four losses in a row. It’s expected that the Aragonian coach will make three modifications plus switching the draw from a 4-1-4-1 into a 4-2-3-1.

German Lux covers the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ performs at the right side of the defense, Luisinho plays at the left, while the centre-backs are Sidnei Rechel and Pablo Insua, the latter is the first novelty in the formation. The 21-year-old player is making his first appearance since matchday 02 (2-2 Vs. Rayo Vallecano in August).

At midfield, José Rodríguez is send to the bench as Álex Bergantiños and Haris Medunjanin cover the two available spots. This allows the appearance of Lucas Pérez and Isaac Cuenca at the wings, the Catalan returns after missing a game for the first time.  Then Luis Fariña is the playmaker in the formation and Toché performs as the centre forward.

The big changes are also taking place on the bench. Veterans Albert Lopo and Manuel Pablo weren’t picked for the game and instead Víctor included Juan Carlos in the roster. The playmaker was picked for the first time, but right-back Diego Seoane remains sidelined for tactical reasons. The four players staying at the injury room are winger Diogo Salomao, striker Hélder Postiga, left-back Roberto Canella and centre midfielder Juan Dominguez.

Toché was commenting the current situation of the rival, ”Valencia is living the opposite situation to us. They are in the middle of a positive streak, with the fans at their side and seeing things easy, because when the ball is going in then you see things differently. Valencia will end the season among the first five places. Valencia have a lot of names, players with quality.”

Meanwhile, Juanfran is expecting to add points in this game, ”For me the minimal thing is to add points against Valencia. I will not settle with less, because I am one of those who thinks that you go out in order to win every game and that any rival is winnable.”

Finally, Cuenca is also optimistic regarding the game, "I see that the team is making a radical change on this week. It's a good change and now I see the whole team involved. It's the change I have saw during the two weeks that I was sidelined. I see that the team is more involved. We are going out for everything, even more as it is Valencia.”

List of picked players (18): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Juanfran, Insua, Sidnei, Diakité, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Wilk, Fariña, Juan Carlos, Cuenca, Lucas Pérez (midfielders); Cavaleiro & Toché (attackers)

VALENCIA: CALM BEFORE THE STORM
It was a tense summer for Valencia CF, one of the biggest clubs in Spain is going through difficult financial times, early in the year president Amadeo Salvo even hinted that the club was thinking of going into administration and the true is that the arrival of Peter Lim hasn’t calmed the nerves. The Singaporean entrepreneur promised big things for the club, but it only increased the uncertainty.

Lim presented an offer in May that was an ambitious plan to reduce the debt to €38.3 million in five years plus investing €200 million without asking for guarantees and without charging interests. However the first version of contract presented at the end of July was totally different, because it was contemplating a debt of €243 million and he only promised to invest €100 million, but in a loan that will be charged with 2% of interests. It’s expected the deal could be finally signed on these days.

Besides, the moves made in the transfer market were suspicious, because instead of investing big money in important players the club preferred to negotiate loans or partial purchases. That’s the case of striker Álvaro Negredo, the big signing of the summer that arrived loaned from Tottenham Hotspur FC, though including a buyout option of almost €30 million. Many fans and shareholders didn’t like the secrecy and the contradictions in the negotiations, also the presence of Jorge Mendes in the process, so there will surely be tense moments in the coming months.

But the current moment of the team in la liga is sidelining everything, there were big doubts with coach Nuno Espírito Santo, but in just two months his team has become the sensation in la liga, currently second only two points behind FC Barcelona and showing a solid balance between offense and defense. And it’s that Los Chés have only conceded four goals and have scored three goals in 5 of the 7 matches played so far; actually they are one of the three teams in the competition that have scored goals in all the games (the others are Real Madrid and RC Celta).

Nuno already has a fixed starting eleven, because at least ten of the eleven starters have played in five of the first seven matches, but he’s forced to make a change as Portuguese André Gomes is a last-minute casualty with a thigh injury. It’s an important casualty as it will force the coach to switch the draw from a 4-1-4-1 into a 4-2-3-1 formation. Diego Alves defends the goal, ex-Depor Antonio Barragán covers the right-back position, 19-year-old José Luis Gayà perform on the left, while German Shkodran Mustafi and Argentine Nicolás Otamendi cover the central positions at defense.

Javi Fuego and Portuguese Filipe Augusto Carvalho are the centre midfielders, the latter is making his first appearance as a starter. Rodrigo Moreno, who in midweek debuted with the national team of Spain, attacks from the left wing, Argentine Pablo Piatti does it from the left, then captain Daniel Parejo is the playmaker. Finally, Paco Alcácer is the centre forward.

Álvaro Negredo wasn’t picked for the game as he’s the final phase of his recovery process (toe fracture), but Valencia aren’t missing him as Paco Alcácer has been the sensation on this season. The 21-year-old player has scored four goals and also provided four assists, which means that he has been directly involved in 47% of the goals. Besides he’s coming after scoring a goal in the last two official meetings of Spain’s senior team ahead of the Euro 2016.

Javi Fuego was commenting his expectations on the game, ”Riazor is a complicated field and I like it. They have competed well in some games and in others they didn’t match the expectations. I know that there’s tension and if we play as we have done it before, then we will have solid chances of winning. Hopefully we won’t see the best version of Deportivo on the season.”

Finally, André Gomes, who is missing the game due to an injury, was targeting to add the three points, ”All the away games are difficult; we want to travel to A Coruña and win the match. We always think of the victory and are prepared to do it. If we are at the top then we can face any rival. We will give everything for the win, because our fans always demand to see us winning.”

List of picked players (19): Alves, Yoel (goalkeepers) Barragán, Cancelo, Vezo, Otamendi, Mustafi, Gayà (defenders), Javi Fuego, Zuculini, Filipe Augusto, Parejo, Feghouli, Roberto, Piatti, De Paul, Carles Gil (midfielders), Rodrigo & Alcácer (attackers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laure, Insua, Sidnei, Luisinho – Álex Bergantiños, Medunjanin – Cuenca, Fariña, Lucas – Toché.
Valencia: (4-2-3-1) Alvés – Barragán, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gayá – Javi Fuego, Filipe Augusto – Rodrigo, Parejo, Piatti - Alcácer
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández
Kick-off: 17h00 (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Valencia:  26 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 46 wins for Valencia (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 17 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 18 wins for Valencia (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/14

ZAPPING

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