Squad news

PREVIEW: MALAGA - DEPORTIVO (COPA)

18 Dec 2014
The rotations return in Copa Del Rey as Deportivo face a long trip that will end with Sunday’s game against Villarreal. Lux, Laure and Postiga return as Depor need to win the game or to draw scoring at least two goals.

STATISTICS: BAD PRECEDENTS
In order to pass the round Deportivo need to win the game or at least clinch a draw scoring two or more goals. A goalless draw gives the pass to Malaga CF, while the 1-1 will lead the series to extra-time. The Galicians only passed a two-leg series in Copa Del Rey in five of twenty ties after drawing the first match at the Riazor.

The last time was sixteen years ago after a 1-1 draw with Sporting Gijón in the first-leg; the Blanquiazul outfit traveled to El Molinón and clinched a 0-1 victory to reach the fifth round in the tournament (season 1998/99). The others four opportunities in which the team clinched the pass away from home were in series against Real Sociedad (1989, 0-0 & 1-1), Castellón (1984, 0-0 & 0-1), RC Celta (1971, 0-0 & 0-2) and Lerida (1967, 2-2 & 0-0 plus an extra match).

Despite not reaching the quarterfinals since 2011, Deportivo have only lost two of the last eight matches in Copa Del Rey. The last one was the 0-2 loss visiting Real Jaén on last season and the other was a 1-4 at Levante UD for the campaign 2011/12.

DEPORTIVO: BUSY WEEK
Third time on the season with games in midweek, in the previous two opportunities things were easier as Depor barely had to leave Galicia. In the first week with three games Depor played at home against Real Madrid and UD Almeria and in the middle visited RC Celta. In the second the team went to Madrid and faced Atlético Madrid, but later had two straight home meetings with Malaga CF. Still, and despite not making long trips, Deportivo only got one draw in those six games.

Now things are more complicate. After the refreshing victory on Monday in liga at home, Deportivo have to face the last two games in the year, both playing on the road with long trips to make and in a frame of only four days. So, the club planned a special strategy to face the meetings. The team traveled to Malaga on Wednesday’s morning and won’t return to A Coruña until Sunday.  It was decided in this way as the game in Copa is played late at night and the game in liga is played at noon on Sunday, which only leaves 60 hours between both games.

In this way the team will complete two training sessions in the field of Tercera club Juventud de Torremolinos CF (Thursday and Friday) and later a session in Castellón (Saturday).  Since this is a long trip all the players available were picked for the occasion, including Diogo Salomão, who could have his first minutes of the season after been out for nine months.

With this so calculated schedule coach Víctor Fernández, who is coming after surviving an ultimatum, will present two different teams in both games. The coach is thinking of using a 4-2-3-1 formation in both games.

In case of deciding this option then the only player that will repeat his participation in both matches is one of the three centre-backs in the roster, and it seems it will be Albert Lopo, who completed a great game against Elche CF.

In this way Deportivo will firstly try to pass the round in Copa with a team having three of the starters against Elche CF. German Lux is the goalkeeper, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ is the right-back defender, Roberto Canella will cover the left sector and Pablo Insua will join Lopo at the centre of the defense.

Álex Bergantiños was a starter on Monday and will repeat in Copa, this time joined by Juan Dominguez at midfield. Luisinho will play in Copa as he’s suspended for the meeting in liga after picking the fifth yellow card on Monday. The Portuguese will be the left winger. Isaac Cuenca will attack from the right wing, Juan Carlos Real will be the playmaker as he did it the first-leg. Finally, Hélder Postiga is the central attacker.

Toché and Luis Fariña will be rested as both are dragging muscle problems. The coach picked 24 players for the long trip; 23 are from the first team. Lucas Pérez will remain at the injury room until the new year, while centre-back Modibo Diakité is negotiating his exit during the winter window and won’t play anymore with Depor. The only Fabril’s player picked for the two-game trip is goalkeeper David Gómez

Juan Carlos talked before the long trip and explained that the less habitual players want to seize the opportunity, ”The players always want to have minutes, and in a large squad the less habitual players always want to seize the opportunities. We all want to demonstrate that we can be there. To pass the round means to have more chances and it’s an incentive to be playing in two competitions. We’re going there thinking that we can pass the round and will go out for the game. They’ve a little advantage and we’re conscious that we need to score. We also want to continue growing before the break.”

List of picked players (24): Lux, Fabricio, David Gómez (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Insua, Lopo, Seoane, Sidnei, Juanfran, Canella, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Wilk, Juan Carlos, Fariña, Salomão, Cuenca (midfielders); Postiga, Cavaleiro & Toché (attackers).

MALAGA: GOOD VIBRATIONS
It has been an outstanding first round for Malaga CF, a team that was aspiring to live at mid-table and that now is fully involved in the fight for Europe after chaining two straight 1-0 victories against Galicians Deportivo and RC Celta. The team only lost four times on the season and three of those losses were “normal” results as they were facing giants Valencia CF (0-3), Atlético Madrid (1-3) and Real Madrid (1-2).

Now the Andalusian club want to crown these good vibrations certifying the pass to the next round in Copa; they only need a goalless draw and coach Javi Gracia is ready to continue with the policy of rotations in order to refresh the squad, especially at defense, the  line struck by the injuries. The latest case was Brazilian centre-back Weligton Robson, who suffered a knee injury against RC Celta on Saturday (he will be out for two months).

So, with Portuguese Flávio Ferreira and Sergio Sánchez also out injured, the coach will be forced to improvise. It was speculated that centre-midfielder Ignacio Camacho was going to be replaced at the centre of the defense, but Gracia will continue to rely in two side defenders for the job.

In this way Marcos Angeleri and Miguel Torres will start in this game and also in Sunday’s visit to Elche CF playing for la liga. The expected formation is a 4-4-2. Mexican Guillermo Ochoa is having a new opportunity covering the goal. Venezuelan Roberto Rosales is suspended in liga, so he will be a starter covering the right side, then Ivorian Arthur Boka will cover the left sector.

José Luis García ‘Recio’ joins Samu García at midfield, Portuguese Ricardo Horta attacks from the right wing, Luis Alberto does it from the left, then Juanpi Añor will have a new chance playing behind Roque Santa Cruz.

Moroccan Nordin Amrabat is one of the positive news for this game. He is one of the most important players in attack and is finally back after ben injured for a month. The former Galatasaray man has scored three goals on the season and will try to regain shape appearing in the second half.

Juanpi talked before the game and was explaining the importance of the competition, ”It will be fine if I can have the chance to enjoy of minutes. The team is hopeful with the game in Copa. We are facing it with a lot of hope. We are only thinking of Thursday’s game and all the coaching staff is feeling involved in resolving the match.”

List of picked players (18): Kameni, Ochoa (goalkeepers); Antunes, Angeleri, Rosales, Boka, Casado, Miguel Torres (defenders); Camacho. Samuel, Portillo, Horta, Recio, Luis Alberto (midfielders); Amrabat, Santa Cruz, Juanpi & Samu Castillejo (attackers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Malaga: (4-4-2) Ochoa - Rosales, Angeleri, Torres, Boka - Horta, Samuel, Recio, Luis Alberto – Juanpi, Santa Cruz.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laure, Insua, Lopo, Canella – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Cuenca, Juan Carlos, Luisinho – Postiga.
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (La Rosaleda)
Head-to-head Vs. Malaga: 13 wins for Depor, 9 draws, 4 wins for Malaga (Primera & Copa)
Record at La Rosaleda: 2 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 3 wins for Malaga (Primera & Copa)

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/14

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