Squad news


15 Dec 2014
Last game at the Riazor in 2014. Match between two clubs at the bottom facing a very delicate situation inside and outside the pitch, but a victory will pull them out of relegation. Fariña returns and Toché will be a starter.

This is the last game in 2014 for Deportivo playing at the Riazor. The Galician outfit played nineteen home meetings in the year (eleven at Segunda, seven at Primera and one in Copa Del Rey) and only won five matches, four of them in the first part of 2014 performing at Liga Adelante: 2-1 Vs. CE Sabadell CF, 3-2 Vs. Hércules CF, 2-0 Vs. RC Recreativo and 1-0 Vs. Real Jaén. The other was the Primera 3-0 win over Valencia CF.

This is the lowest number of home victories for Deportivo in a year since 1943. In that year the Galicians were coached by Celso Mariño and later by Ramón De la Fuente and only added five victories in fifteen matches at the old Riazor (twelve at Primera and three for Copa Del Rey). The only home victories on that year were: 3-1 Vs. RC Celta, 2-0 Vs. Athletic Club, 3-1 Vs. Espanyol, 1-0 Vs. Real Oviedo and 2-1 Vs. Racing de Ferrol, the latter in Copa.

Neither these are good times for Elche CF; the Valencian club arrives to the game as the new bottom club and representing, together with Levante UD, the worst defenses in the league after allowing 29 goals. Besides, Los Blanquiverdes have only won 3 of the 16 liga meetings disputed at the Riazor, the last one was a 0-3 in 1983. Since then the Valencians lost in six of their eight visits to A Coruña ending scoreless in five opportunities and only scoring three goals.

It seems everything is falling apart at Deportivo. The crisis for the incidents in Madrid damaged the relation between the fans and the board of directors, to the point that the president thought in presenting his resignation as newspaper La Opinión A Coruña reported on Friday. There’s a big pressure coming from Madrid and it was also reported that the club already lost some possible sponsors due to the situation.

The sporting subject is also delicate. Coach Víctor Fernández has been unable to materialize the offensive football that he was planning to do and the team lies in relegation for the second straight week. The patience seems to be over and it was reported that the Aragonian coach will be fired in case of not clinching the victory in this game.

So, with or without the support of the fans (Marathon Inferior will be open for the first time in two weeks, the Riazor Blues won't be there) the team is forced to win the game and bring some calm to the troubled waters at the Riazor. The strategy of the players during the week has been to avoid the external issues and try to only focus in this game, they are even trying to avoid the questions regarding the status of the coach.

Juan Domínguez talked before the game about the current situation and the importance of the meeting , ”I label the game as very important, a match in which we cannot miss the three points. We must go out in order to win. It’s a golden chance, playing at home ad before a direct rival. Truly in football, when the results don’t arrive, the person that’s more affected is the coach, but don’t know his current status. The only think I know is that we aren’t thinking of that, but of the things we need to do in order to win and to avoid the situation.”

Similar are the thoughts of goalkeeper Fabricio Agosto, ”It’s a final and we know the importance of the meeting in order to leave the relegation spots, especially since we are facing a direct rival. It’s going to be tough and we need to give everything. The squad cannot be thinking of the coach’s future. The only think in the minds of the squad is on Monday, to do it in the best possible way.”

Juanfran Moreno was defending the coach and even assured that the players don’t feel that his job is in danger, ”When the results don’t arrive the first one to be fired is him, obviously, but inside the changing room we don’t have the feeling that the coach is playing for his job. I see that the coach is calmed and will be surprised if he’s fired. It will be to start from zero again and with a new idea. My short experience on last season [with Betis] didn’t transmit a good feeling, that’s why I say that we must remain calm. Last year we all were too nervous, started to fire people and it wasn’t the solution.”

For the game Víctor is ready to switch back the formation into a 4-2-3-1 scheme and there are some novelties, mainly in attack. Fabricio Agosto will be the goalkeeper, Juanfran performs at the right side of the defense, Luisinho plays at the left, while Pablo Insua and Sidnei Rechel are the centre-backs.

Haris Medunjanin and Cezary Wilk are the centre midfielders, José Rodríguez will perform on the right wing, Iván Cavaleiro will attack from the left wing, Luis Fariña returns and will be the playmaker in the formation. The Argentine has been out for a month and represents the first big change in attack, the second is the presence of Toché at the starting formation.

The Murcian attacker is the top scorer at the club with three goals in favour (two in Liga and one in Copa Del Rey), though this is only his fourth appearance as a starter in Liga (the other three were against Granada CF, Rayo Vallecano and Sevilla CF).

He talked during the week at radio Marca and commented that, “I work every week in order to enter into the plans. We must try to win in every possible way. We play at home and must go out for the victory. We will like to see the coach continuing and will like to see things settling down after what happened recently.”

The coach picked twenty players for the meeting. Lucas Pérez is the only player at the injury room. Winger Diogo Salomão wasn’t included in the roster and it seems he will debut on the season in midweek during the returning leg in Copa. Modibo Diakité and Juan Carlos are returning, but full-backs Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’, Diego Seoane and Roberto Canella are out for tactical reasons.

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

The two years at Primera are turning to be a nightmare for Elche CF. The Valencian club had financial problems at the beginning of the season, the LFP only allowed them to inscribe twenty players and president José Sepulcre is facing a tough opposition inside the club as he has been unable to fix the situation. Last month he announced a loan for €20.5 million to be paid in fifteen years, a financial aid that would secure the existence of the club, but thirty days later the money isn’t arriving and the global debt of €40 million is pulling the club to administration. There’s also an internal battle to get the control of the club and those have been the headlines on the week.

Meanwhile, the short squad and the lack of quality are leaving coach Fran Escribá in a compromised situation. His team is now the last place at the standings after only winning one of the last six games in liga. There’s no ultimatum over him for the game against Deportivo, but a defeat at the Riazor will rest more credibility to his job.

But there’s a light of hope thanks to the recent performance of Jonathas de Jesus, the Brazilian attacker has scored six goals and provided two assists [the 50% of Elche’s goals in liga], a respectable number for a team fighting to survive, and more importantly five of those goals, plus one of the two assists, occurred within the last seven meetings. The rest of the team is presenting mediocre statistics.

Escribá will continue presenting a 4-4-2 formation, with Polish Przemysław Tytoń covering the goal, Uruguayan Damián Suárez performs at the right side of the defense, former Almeria Domingo Cisma covers the left side, while the central positions at defense are for Chilean Enzo Roco and David Lombán

A Coruña-born Pablo Mosquera and Croatian Mario Pašalić are the centre midfielders in the formation, French/Moroccan Fayçal Fajr attacks from the right wing, ex-Girona Ferrán Corominas does it from the left, while Dutch/Cape Verdean Garry Rodrigues performs behind in-form Jonathas in attack.

Galician Pedro Mosquera was talking of the meeting with Depor, ”The game against Deportivo is special, but I want the victory and it’s vital. We must win on Monday and achieve all the possible points until the end of the first round. We aren’t content with our current run, but must win the home games and also the meetings against direct rivals.”

Finally, Rodrigues was emphasizing the importance of the meeting, ”The game against Deportivo is very important and we want to win. The squad is united. We have the chance to demonstrate on Monday that we can bring more intensity. This team will leave the current situation. We all know this is a tough moment and must work hard in order to add the next three points.”

List of picked players: (18) Tytoń, Pol Freixanet (goalkeepers); Damián Suárez, Lombán, Cisma, Edu Albacar, Enzo Roco, José Ángel (defenders); Pašalić, Fajr, Rodrigues, Víctor Rodríguez, Coro, Mosquera, Aarón, Ñíguez Adrián Gónzalez (midfielders); Cristian Herrera & Jonathas (attackers).

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Juanfran, Insua, Sidnei, Luisinho – Wilk, Medunjanin – José Rodríguez, Fariña, Cavaleiro – Toché.
Elche: (4-4-2) Tytoń  – Suárez, Roco, Lombán, Cisma – Fajr, Mosquera, Pašalić, Coro – Rodrígues, Jonathas.
Referee: Mario Melero López
Kick-off: 20h45 ET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Elche: 12 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 13 wins for Elche (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 8 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 3 wins for Elche (Primera & Segunda)



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