Squad news


22 Nov 2014
Weird situation at Depor, in just one day the situation passed from a scenario without strikers to have the full attacking line available. Still, the coach is making changes. The rival arrives with David Moyes on the spotlight.

Deportivo are the third worst home team in the league after only adding four points in the five games played so far at the Riazor. The Galicians already lost three times at home, only UD Almeria and Levante UD present a worst mark as both clubs have only added three points playing at home.

But neither Real Sociedad can presume of a good record playing on the road, and it’s that the Basques have only added two points playing outside of Anoeta, this after five away meetings. It’s the same mark of RCD Espanyol and Córdoba CF. Actually these three clubs are the only ones that haven’t won yet any away game on this league season.

The last visit of Real Sociedad to the Riazor was a really painful match for Los Blanquiazules as it took place in the last matchday of the season 2012/13. Depor were out of the drop zone before the game, but the 0-1 loss cost the latest relegation to Segunda División. Manuel Pablo and Juan Dominguez are the only starters on that game that remain at Depor’s squad.

But the true is that the Basque outfit has always suffered visiting A Coruña as they only managed to win 7 of the 38 matches played there for Primera and Segunda División. And it’s that, within their last ten visits to the Riazor, Los Txuri-urdin lost seven games only scoring nine times and conceding nineteen goals.

At the beginning of the week coach Víctor Fernández was ready to make several changes at the starting lineup, which meant a third “revolution” in a matter of five matchdays. Tired of the poor results he made six changes at the starting eleven ahead of the home game against Valencia CF (matchday 08), since things worked out the lineup only suffered one modification in the next three meetings.

The last defeat hosting Getafe CF moved the coach to make the second “revolution” characterized by the fact of having four full-backs playing at the same time. The team had a more or less acceptable performance before Córdoba CF, but at the beginning of this week the physical problems of some men, mainly the attackers, were moving the coach to attempt a new facelift, characterized in this opportunity by the presence of three centre-backs.

Toché and Iván Cavaleiro were out injured and Hélder Postiga was concentrated with Portugal’s national team. The coach even had to pick Dani Iglesias from Fabril in order to train the possible lineup. It was a 5-3-2 system, different from the 5-2-2-1 implemented by Lotina some years ago. The difference is that there are three centre-midfielders playing at the same time, figure complemented by the presence of two offensive men up front.

However, by Friday the coach already had all his strikers available for the meeting. One day before Toché was surprisingly receiving the medical okay to play (his Soleus injury should be healed in three weeks and not in two), while the appeal committee was surprisingly accepting the summit of Deportivo regarding Hélder Postiga.

So, there was the particular case that, by Thursday, everyone knew the possible lineup for the game, but only one day later there were big doubts as suddenly all the attackers were available. Besides, the absence of Modibo Diakité from the roster made think the coach was about to change the initial plan of playing with three centre-backs, but Álex Bergantiños was tested there during Friday. Therefore the predicted lineup continues to be a 5-3-2 with a variant up front.

Fabricio Agosto remains covering the goal, Juanfran Moreno returns to the right-back position, while Luisinho is on the left. Both players will have freedom to join the attacks, more than in previous opportunities due to the new system. The central positions at defense are for Pablo Insua, Sidnei Rechel and Albert Lopo.

The trident at midfield territory is for Bosnian Haris Medunjanin, Polish Cezary Wilk and Galician Juan Dominguez. Then the Portuguese duo in attack is Iván Cavaleiro and Hélder Postiga. Both men should be moving between the wings and the centre of the attack. Initially one of the roles would have been for Isaac Cuenca, but the new status of Postiga is provoking a late change.

The three players staying at the injury room are playmaker Luis Fariña, winger Lucas Pérez and left-back Roberto Canella. Playmaker Juan Carlos was included in the roster as the coach wanted more depth on the bench, but centre-back Diakité, plus right-backs Manuel Pablo and Diego Seoane weren’t picked for tactical reasons.

Juanfran was emphasizing the need to start winning at home, ”The fans aren’t having luck at home, so we must start bringing joy. For us the victory is important in order to work more calm. A victory always brings a lot of confidence and some wings. Evidently you have a lot of things won if you are strong at home, mainly in the battle for the permanence,  a battle that involves a lot of teams. Real [Sociedad] are there and should be judged by their current situation. We cannot say they are superior. You see the standings and realize they have the same number of points, so we must do anything to win the game and get some air.”

Sidnei was explaining his expectations before the game, ”Real [Sociedad] are a great team and we are going to find a lot of difficulties. We must work hard and prepare the game in order to achieve the goal. It’s a game at home and our goal is to win. We are searching for the three points.”

Finally, Laure said that’s negative for Depor to see the rival having a new coach, ”It’s negative for us, because when the coach is changed then all the players want to show themselves in order to gain the spot. Even in the previous game they had an important improvement. For us is an important game as we would leave this team at the bottom for a couple of matchdays.”

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

Los Txuri-urdin starred one of the most solid comebacks in recent years, which included spending three seasons at Segunda, the Basque team returned to the elite only needing three seasons to end among the first four places. During the season 2012/13 Real Sociedad qualified to the UEFA Champions League for the second time in their history and did it with the formula of mixing home grown players –eight of the normal starters were coming from the B squad- with a couple of quality players signed for reasonable prices, like the cases of Mexican striker Carlos Vela.

But things slowed down on last year with the arrival of coach Jagoba Arrasate, the Basque outfit was early eliminated in the highest European competition and, despite a late reaction that allowed to end seventh, it was left out of Europe after been eliminated by Russian FC Krasnodar  in the playoffs of the current UEFA Europa League (agg. 1-3).  It launched criticism against the coach, which became bigger with the poor results of the team and it led to the exit of the Frenchman a fortnight ago.

The true is that Real Sociedad haven’t lost its potential, something demonstrated with the victories coming from behind over Real Madrid (from 0-2 to 4-2) and Atlético Madrid (from 0-1 to 2-1). So, the signing of coach David Moyes, who put Everton FC in the map, is a bet trying to find the way back to the top. The Scottish man will earn €6 million and signed for one and a half seasons. It is a stunning amount for a club that only five years ago was at Segunda and that demonstrates the great confidence by the board of directors.

It is hard to predict the lineup that Moyes will used during his debut, starting by the fact that the major part of the training sessions held during the week took place behind closed doors. Besides, the coach will release the roster until Saturday. However it’s expected a similar 4-2-3-1 figure to the team that defeated Atlético with a couple of novelties at defense (something admitted by the coach during his press conference).

Veteran Eñaut Zubikarai is the starting keeper, Joseba Zaldua performs at the right-back position. Ex-Eibar Yuri Berchiche covers the left side, while the central positions are for Ion Ansotegi and Iñigo Martínez.

Esteban Granero and Markel Bergara are the centre midfielders. Captain Xabi Prieto is the playmaker, though he didn’t train during the week (illness), problem that could pull him out of the roster. If he’s not available then the role will be for Sergio Canales, Uruguayan Chory Castro attacks from the left wing, while Carlos Vela does it from the right, then Imanol Agirretxe is the central attacker. Both Vela and Agirretxe have scored two goals on the season (one for each striker in the game against Atlético), while Xabi Prietois the eighth player in la liga with more assists (4).

Veteran centre-back Ansotegi was talking of the arrival of Moyes, ”He told us that the team has enough level to be in a better position at the standings and that we should remain quiet. He’s a coach coming from another league, another culture and with a different language. Maybe he didn’t have the time to tell us what he wants to change. It’s too soon. But he sees things differently.  Surely things will be easier if we help each other.”

Bergara was also talking of the issue, ”He has come to Real Sociedad having a clear idea. He knows what he wants. He demonstrates that he knows us well and I believe that his style is defined, looking for intensity and it has been shown during the trainings, with his short sessions, searching for closed spaces, the pace… He wants to be all over the rival and for now we are following this path. Our obligation is to translate it into the pitch and the important thing arrives on Saturday. We are launching a new phase and it’s fundamental to have a new start.”

Finally, Chory Castro was explaining what he expects from the game, ”To have defeated Atlético meant to breathe fresh air. The champion was here and it didn’t give anything for free. Now this could be the first step to leave the bottom places. They are coming after a defeat [0-0 Vs. Córdoba] and it will be difficult, though it could also be difficult for them to carry away with the game.”

List of picked players: It will be released until Saturday (the team travels to A Coruña hours before the game).

Deportivo: (5-3-2) Fabricio – Laure, Lopo, Sidnei, Insua, Luisinho – Wilk, Juan Domínguez, Medunjanin – Cavaleiro, Postiga.
Real Sociedad: (4-2-3-1) Zubikarai – Zaldúa, Ansotegi, Iñigo, Yuri – Bergara, Granero – Vela, Prieto or Canales, Chory Castro - Agirretxe
Referee: Eduardo Prieto Iglesias
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Real Sociedad: 34 wins for Depor, 16 draws, 24 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 22 wins for Depor, 9 draws, 7 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)



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