Competition news

PREVIEW: VILLARREAL - DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

21 Dec 2014
Last game in 2014. Deportivo want to forget the elimination in Copa and rely in Fariña and his latest performance. Villarreal have faced injury problems, but their young players have emerged to push the team forward.

STATISTICS: FOUR WINS IN A ROW IN LIGA
Villarreal CF are currently the second most in-form team in la liga after clinching four straight victories, including the latest 0-1 win at El Calderón stadium visiting Atlético Madrid, result that broke a mark of 26 straight home meetings without defeats for the Madrilenians. Only Real Madrid present a better form at Primera División (12 straight wins).

This streak has allowed the team to lie sixth at the standings, only three points below the UEFA Champions League places. The positive streak is more impressive taking in mind the three competitions, because the Valencians haven’t lost within their last nine official games, adding six wins in a row and four without leaking a goal. The yellow submarine already lost three times at home, but it shouldn’t be a surprise as they were defeated by FC Barcelona (0-1), Real Madrid (0-2) and Valencia CF (1-3).

Meanwhile, Depor represent only one of the two teams among the last five places that have won a league game within the last five matchdays (the other is Córdoba CF). The Galicians have only won once on this tournament playing on the road: 0-1 at SD Eibar (matchday 03).

Deportivo have won four times after thirteen visits to El Madrigal, which is a positive stat, but they lost the last four visits there and ended scoreless in the last three. The last victory visiting Villarreal CF took place on the season 2006/07, it was a 0-2 win with an own goal by Senna and a great goal by Joan Verdú (February 10, 2007). Lopo and Manuel Pablo were starters in that game.

DEPORTIVO: THE WEIGHT OF FARIÑA
It has been a poor season offensively speaking for Deportivo. The team only completes 8.7 shots per game (the lowest mark in la liga) and has only scored 13 goals (the 7th worst mark at Primera), but coach Víctor Fernández has labeled two men as really important for his offense: Lucas Pérez and Luis Fariña.

The latter impressed during the Teresa Herrera tournament, but started to be criticized as soon as la liga started.  Many people believe that he was passing unnoticed during the games despite his passing accuracy is the highest at the first team (88%). The true is that he has been dragging a knee issue and later a muscle tear that has affected his performance.

But in the previous liga game against Elche CF he was back and, despite not been totally fit to play, marked the differences for the first time with a great goal, his first at the club. Víctor talked of his importance at the squad after the game, ”Evidently we have two different players and it’s necessary to recover them as soon as possible, and they are Lucas and Fariña. It’s an important deficit for a team that has been hit upfront. Fariña played today with only six trainings. He has a lot of balls. If he could be in form then he would be marking the difference and Lucas too. We will be better before the goal as long as we recover them and as long as we can create more chances.”

The weight of Fariña is so big before the coach that he can entirely change the lineup for the game, as it happened early in the week after Víctor switched the 5-3-2 for the 4-2-3-1, this only to perform with a playmaker. In this opportunity it’s expected that Depor’s manager will do the same. Only Albert Lopo is repeating his presence at the starting lineup compared to the meeting in Copa Del Rey.

Fabricio Agosto is the starting keeper, Juanfran Moreno covers the right side in defense, Sidnei Rechel joins Lopo at the central positions, while Roberto Canella is the main novelty replacing suspended Luisinho performing at the left. The Asturian has only made three appearances as a starter and his last game in the competition was the goalless draw visiting Cordoba CF (November 07).

Álex Bergantiños and Haris Medunjanin are the centre midfielders, José Rodríguez will remain on the right wing, Iván Cavaleiro attacks from the left flank, Fariña is the playmaker and José Verdú ‘Toché’ is the central attacker.

The list of picked players is the same one that traveled to Malaga for the cup, only that Luisinho and David Gómez were sent back to A Coruña, the first as he’s suspended and the second in order to play with Depor B on Sunday. Winger Lucas Pérez is the only player at the injury room, while centre-back Modibo Diakité is about to leave the club.

Álex Bergantiños talked before the game and analyzed why he thinks that the coach has allowed his return into the lineups, ”My main virtue is the positioning. To be always focused trying to interpret the game. There are other players with better physical and tactical conditions, so I must try to replace those characteristics with my skills. It’s what has helped me to reach this point.”

Meanwhile, Canella was talking of Depor’s intentions for the game, “A draw against Villarreal will be good, but the players are ambitious and we must go there in order to win, we have that hope. We are facing a tough team, with good players and it will be hard.”

Finally, Toché is convinced that Deportivo will improve in the rest of the season, ”Looking at the rivals that we have faced, I believe that this team isn’t among the worst three in the league and we’ll demonstrate it. If I have to bet then I’m convinced that we are going to be saved. In a mental sense it’s important to see you out of the danger zone. Our intention is to not look at the rival and try to add all the possible points.”

List of picked players (22): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Insua, Lopo, Seoane, Sidnei, Juanfran, Canella (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Wilk, Juan Carlos, Fariña, Salomão, Cuenca (midfielders); Postiga, Cavaleiro & Toché (attackers).

VILLARREAL: A YOUNG REVOLUTION
The yellow submarine is currently fighting for the top positions in la liga and remains alive in the Europa League and Copa Del Rey, but it hasn’t been an easy task, especially due to the injuries that have been hitting the squad. Left-back Bojan Jokić (knee), centre-back Mateo Musacchio (muscle) and right winger Hernán Pérez (knee ligaments) are out until next year, while other man like playmakers Gio Dos Santos and Rubén Gracia ‘Cani’ have also missed some games carrying injuries.

Actually, for the past game against Atlético Madrid there were other five players dragging gastric problems, which even put in danger the game at El Calderón, but in the end Villarreal CF won the meeting chaining a fourth straight win in liga and breaking the undefeated condition of the Madrilenians playing at home. So, the team coached by Marcelino Toral is getting the results despite missing key players and the formula for success has been the pleasant response from the young players that have been covering the cracks, some of them are coming from the Villarreal B that played at Segunda División a couple of years ago.

More exactly, twelve of the players currently at the squad played at Villarreal B before and some of them were starters against Atlético, like the case of playmaker/winger Manu Trigueros. Also to emphasize the performance of 22-year-old Gerard Moreno, who is the second top-scorer in all the competitions with nine goals in favour, plus 20-year-old winger Moises ‘Moi’ Gómez, who has been directly involved in the last three liga goals.

At the same time the club has followed the policy of signing young talents and they are currently exploding, like the case of 23-year-old Denís Chéryshev and 21-year-old Luciano Vietto. Left winger Chéryshey, signed from Real Madrid, is a normal starter and has provided seven assists in liga, the third highest mark in la liga just below Koke and Cristiano Ronaldo (both 8). Then Vietto is the top-scorers in all the competitions on this season (10), he arrived from Argentine Racing Club during the summer.

For the game against Depor, Marcelino is ready to continue with the policy of rotations and several of the normal starters are returning into contention. In the end the squad is a combination of veterans with the young players that are recently calling the attention.

It’s expected a 4-4-2 figure. Sergio Asenjo is the keeper, Mario Gaspar covers the right side of the defense, Jaume Costa covers the left sector, while Brazilian Gabriel Paulista and Víctor Ruiz are the centre-backs.

Tomás Pino and captain Bruno Soriano perform at midfield, Mexican Gio dos Santos returns after been off four a couple of weeks. He had some minutes in midweek for Copa and will be again on the bench. The starter on the right wing is Moi Gómez. Chéryshey attacks from the left flank.

Finally, Vietto and Ikechukwu Uche are the central attackers. Nigerian Uche, who in the past was close to sign for Depor, is now living his fourth year at Villarreal CF. He only scored four goals on last season, but already tied that mark on the present campaign and has just signed a contract extension lasting until 2017.

Moi Gómez was targeting to defeat Depor and end a great year for his club, ”I believe you can always improve and we still have room to keep growing as a team, but the true is that 2014 was a great year to us. We ended the last league in a good way and are moving forward now in the Europa League. The team is fine and now we want to see if we can extend the rally against Deportivo. It won’t be easy as it is a good rival, a dangerous team in attack and they need the points, but we hope to end 2014 with a victory.”

List of picked players (18) Asenjo, Juan Carlos (goalkeepers); Gabriel Paulista, Jaume Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Mario, Rukavina, Dorado (defenders); Bruno, Tomás Pina, Manu Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos, Moi Gómez, Cheryshev (midfielders); Uche, Vietto, Giovani dos Santos & Gerard Moreno (attackers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Villarreal: (4-4-2) Asenjo – Mario, Paulista, Víctor Ruiz, Costa – Moi Gómez, Pina, Bruno, Chéryshev – Vietto, Uche
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Juanfran, Lopo, Sidnei, Canella – Álex Bergantiños, Medunjanin - José Rodríguez, Fariña, Cavaleiro – Toché.
Referee: José Luis González González
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (El Madrigal)
Head-to-head Vs. Villarreal: 12 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 9 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)
Record at El Madrigal: 4 wins for Depor, 3 draws, 6 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/14

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