Squad news

PREVIEW: ESPANYOL – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

26 Oct 2014
Víctor Fernández repeats the lineup as Deportivo seek for back-t-back wins. There are more resources now, but the coach keeps the lineup. The rival also faced financial problems within the last years and misses Sergio García for the game.

STATISTICS: NEGATIVE NUMBERS IN BARCELONA
Deportivo have not only faced problems visiting Barcelona FC, but also the other big club from Catalonia's capital, RCD Espanyol. After all they only achieved 7 wins in 40 visits to Los Periquitos. Since their last promotion to Primera ahead of the season 1994/95, the Galicians have only won in 5 of their 18 visits and are dragging a negative streak of five straight losses only scoring once within the period.

Actually, Depor have not even scored a single goal at the Cornellà-El Prat (now known as Power8 Stadium). The new stadium was inaugurated in August of 2009 and Deportivo played there three times and lost all the games with the same score: 2-0. The last victory of Deportivo visiting RCD Espanyol was achieved at Montjuic during the last matchday of the season 2006/07 (June 16, 2007). It was a 1-3 victory with goals scored by Iago Iglesias, Riki and Sergio, the latter is now the coach of the Catalan outfit.

Deportivo arrive to the meeting after a refreshing victory at the Riazor, but the Galician team also needs to improve the mark playing on the road at Primera División. And it’s that Los Herculinos have lost five of their last six away meetings playing at the top flight.

But neither RCD Espanyol is living a good streak at their own stadium, because the Catalans have only won two of their last nine home meetings in liga, and on the current tournament they already lost once at Cornellà-El Prat: 1-2 Vs Sevilla CF (matchday 02).

DEPORTIVO: MORE RESOURCES, SAME TEAM
For the first time on the season coach Víctor Fernández has 24 players available for a match. Left-back Roberto Canella, centre midfielder Juan Dominguez and striker Hélder Postiga were cleared to play (hamstring problems in the three cases) and were all available for the coach leaving Diogo Salomão as the only player at the injury room.

At the beginning of the league season the coach had problems to prepare the games as the last four signings were made on deadline-day and with two matchdays already played, so he only had 18 players available for the meetings against Granada CF and Rayo Vallecano and, with playmaker Juan Carlos and right-back Diego Seoane out of the plans, he had to pick players from Fabril –Iago López and Marcos Remeseiro- in order to fill the gaps.

Later, with the last signings already at the team, Víctor faced another problem: the injuries. Pablo Insua spent a full month on the sidelines, Lucas Pérez was unable to debut within the first month and a half, Juan Dominguez skipped three games and there were some punctual cases that left the squad with only 19/20 players available.

Now, with almost the full squad fit to play, and with Salomão close to return, the coach has more resources than ever before in order to prepare the games. However he won’t change the starting eleven after the impressive outcome hosting Valencia CF.

It’s a 4-2-3-1 figure with Fabricio Agosto at the goal, Juanfran Moreno covers the right-back position, Luisinho plays at the left, then the central positions at defense are for Pablo Insua and Sidnei Rechel.

Cezary Wilk and Haris Medunjanin are the centre midfielders, Isaac Cuenca attacks from the right wing, Lucas Pérez does it from the left, Luis Fariña is the playmaker and Iván Cavaleiro is the false nine. Against Valencian the Portuguese attacker was moving up and down trying to drag the mark, now he will try to do the same.

In the end neither Juan Dominguez nor Canella were picked for the game, but Manuel Pablo, Albert Lopo and Postiga were included in the roster composed by twenty players. In this opportunity Juan Carlos was sidelined, just like the case of Diego Seoane

Toché talked before the game and the Murcian attacker denied the idea that Depor are about to face the easiest part of the schedule, ”I’m one of those who think that Deportivo will face a lot of problems in order to win the games, we never will have an easy match. Now we travel to Espanyol, a difficult stadium. It’s already a cliché the idea of going game after game, but for us it is a reality.”

Juanfran was saying that Depor must show the same behavior than against Valencia, “This week is important as we are coming from a good game against Valencia, but if we don’t reflect this on this game then it’s worthless. We are willing to play and demonstrate that the line shown against Valencia is the one to follow.”

List of picked players (20): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Juanfran, Insua, Sidnei, Diakité, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Wilk, Fariña, Cuenca, Lucas Pérez (midfielders); Postiga, Cavaleiro & Toché (attackers)

ESPANYOL: TOUGH DAYS FOR LOS PERIQUITOS
The Catalan club was hoping for a better future after building up the Cornellà-El Prat, aka Power8 stadium. However things are harder each day. Back in August they were initially banned by the Spanish Treasury in order to make signing due to a debt of €44 million. The global debt of the club is €141 million, one of the highest in Spain, a heavy burden with consequences currently hitting the entity.

In past seasons RCD Espanyol was an attractive club for the players as it was offering attractive salaries, but the situation has changed and now they are lowering the budget and even faced a situation of overdue payments with the players and employees.  To make things worse the club is losing socios.

For the present season the Catalans reported 25,492 season subscribers, which means a decrease of almost 1,400 socios. So, with the incomes going down the club needs to sell players in order to survive. For this reason Lo Periquitos sold David López to SSC Napoli for €5.5 million, and the rumour is that the next one will be Mexican defender Héctor Moreno.

Ex-Depor Sergio González landed at the club where he debuted knowing the circumstances, some officials are dreaming with the possibility to qualify to European competitions, but it looks impossible taking in mind the resources of the other clubs fighting for the top positons. The good news for now is that Sergio already found a starting eleven that seems to be enough to clinch the permanence without problems.

For the game against Deportivo there’s an important casualty as attacker Sergio García is out injured. He has been determinant on the season after scoring three goals plus providing two assists. His replacement at the starting eleven is less mobile, but it’s also lethal: Christian Stuani. The Uruguayan is the top-scorer at the team with four goals added to his tally though he as only made three appearances as a starter.

It’s expected a 4-4-2 figure. Kiko Casilla, who was recently picked by Spain’s national team, is the goalkeeper. Javi López covers the right-back position, ex-Córdoba Juan Fuentes covers the left side, while the centre-backs are ex-Depor Diego Colotto and former Zaragoza man Álvaro González

Ex-Betis José Alberto Cañas and Víctor Sánchez are the centre midfielders, Galician Lucas Vázquez attacks from the right flank, ex-Zaragoza Francisco Montañes does it from the left, while Ecuadorian Felipe Caicedo joins Stuani up front. Caicedo, who was linked with Depor in the past, has been criticized in this start of season, he landed in a free-transfer from Al-Jazira, but didn’t match the expectations so far after only scoring once in six matches.

Colotto talked before the game about his exit from Deportivo, ”It was painful to make the decision. I waited until the last second to see Depor making the effort, but surely they couldn’t do it as only a few months later they went into administration. I’m thankful with the people of Deportivo, to the love they showed to me and surely there’s a place in my heart to thank them. Now, I’m at Espanyol and, after a setback, we will try to win at home.”

A Coruña-born Lucas Vázquez was commenting the fact of been facing the team from his hometown, ”It’s always a special game. I’m highly motivated and willing to play the game. It’s a very important game to us and we want to win in front of our fans. They needed the victory against Valencia and achieved it. They offered a good impression and come here looking for the three points. For us the game is also important. We need to add as soon as possible and the victory will be good to gain confidence.”

List of picked players (18): Kiko Casilla, Pau López (goalkeepers); Víctor Álvarez, Javi López, Fuentes, Colotto, Álvaro González, Arbilla, Bailly (defenders); Víctor Sánchez, Salva Sevilla, Álex Fernández, Cañas, Lucas Vázquez, Montañes (midfielders); Stuani, Lanzarote & Caicedo (attackers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Espanyol: (4-4-2) Casilla – Javi López, Colotto, Álvaro González, Fuentes – Lucas Vázquez, Cañas, Víctor Sánchez, Montañes – Stuani, Caicedo
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Juanfran, Insua, Sidnei, Luisinho – Wilk, Medunjanin – Cuenca, Fariña, Lucas - Cavaleiro
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Cornellà-El Prat)
Head-to-head Vs. Espanyol: 32 wins for Depor, 16 draws, 32 wins for Espanyol (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Barcelona: 7 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 27 wins for Espanyol (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/14

ZAPPING

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