Squad news


25 Jan 2015
Important game at the Riazor. Depor need to defeat a rival in relegation for the first time on the season. Granada is one of the disappointments in the season. Lucas Pérez returns to the starting formation.

Granada CF land at the Riazor as the bottom place at Primera División, which is a consequence of been carrying the worst negative streak in the league after spending fifteen straight matchdays without victories. The Andalusians only won two games so far, the opening matchday hosting Depor (2-1) and the other was a 0-1 win at San Mamés facing Athletic Club (September 20).

The main problem for Granada CF has been the lack of goals, actually they are the outfit with the lesser number of goals at Primera (11) and arrive to the meeting after spending 192 minutes scoreless. Neither Depor can presume of a strong attack. The Galicians only scored 14 goals (the 4th worst mark in la liga) and have only netted one goal within their last four liga meetings.

Deportivo have faced problems at the moment of hosting Granada CF. Since 1972 Los Rojiblancos have visited the Riazor in seven opportunities and Depor only clinched one victory (1-0 on the Segunda season 1979/80).  The last match against Granada at the Riazor was a demolishing 0-3 result on the campaign 2012/13 that provoked the exit of former coach Domingos Paciência (February 9, 2013).

Depor only picked a point facing the three clubs that ended the first round in relegation. That lonely point came visiting Levante UD in what turned to be a tasteless goalless draw, before it suffered painful defeats visiting Granada CF (1-2) and hosting UD Almeria (0-1). It is a battle that Depor cannot lose if they want to achieve the permanence: the fight against the desperate teams trying to avoid the pit.

Now there’s a chance to change the situation as the Galician outfit is opening the second round hosting bottom place Granada CF, a team that only won twice in the season. A win will increase the difference to six points with the last place, while it will also probably put some distance with other direct rivals as they are facing tough matches during the weekend.

Centre midfielder Haris Medunjanin is conscious of the importance of the meeting, ”It’s an important game for us, because our league starts on Sunday. It’s a game of six points, because we will be calmer if we win and if we lose, then it’s something else. Truly all the remaining games are finals, but this one is more final than others. The point is that the next three games [Granada, Rayo Vallecano & Eibar] are important and you must try to add a lot.”

Centre-back Juanfran Moreno had the same opinion, ”We must win the next games before facing Madrid, no matter we are playing badly. In the second round all the games are finals, especially if you face a direct rival. They should feel motivated too for the fact of been the last place and been forced to win. And we must be strong, because we play in front of our audience and we must launch the second round with a victory.”

Coach Víctor Fernández is making two changes compared to the team that lost before FC Barcelona on the previous weekend. José Rodríguez and Lucas Pérez are returning into the starting eleven. For the Galician player it is the first time in three months.

Fabricio Agosto is the starting keeper, Juanfran Moreno covers the right side of the defense, Luisinho performs on the left, while the central positions are for Albert Lopo and Sidnei Rechel.

Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez and José Rodríguez are the centre midfielders, Iván Cavaleiro is switched into the right wing, Lucas Pérez attacks from the left flank, and Oriol Riera repeats at the centre of the attack.

The Catalan striker is the only winter window picked for the game. The work permit of Celso Borges isn’t ready yet, so he’s ineligible, while Hélder Costa is out after only training with the first for three days. The players at the injury room are attacker Hélder Postiga and left-back Roberto Canella. The other players out for tactical reasons are right-back Manuel Pablo, playmaker Juan Carlos, centre midfielder Cezary Wilk and winger Diogo Salomão.

Luis Fariña is available to play and was picked for the game; on Saturday he was confirming his positive feelings, ”I feel prepared and waiting to see the coach naming the team to see if I will play. I thank the coach for his confidence. I don’t know the team that the coach will put, but I’m available for everything.”

List of picked players (18): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Insua, Lopo, Sidnei, Juanfran, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Fariña, Lucas Pérez, Cuenca (midfielders); Oriol Riera, Cavaleiro & Toché (attackers).

At the beginning of the league there were high expectations with Granada CF, a team that struggled to survive in the previous three years and that was now aspiring to bigger goals. But 19 games later Los Nazaríes are the last place and drag the worst negative mark in the competition. Ex-Depor coach Caparrós never found a pattern and is already gone, while the signings were a failure.

The Andalusian club spent €8 million in Jhon Córdoba, but the Colombian striker only scored two goals and faced muscle problems. Youssef El-Arabi, who netted 12 goals last season, is disappeared on this campaign and only scored three times in the first round. Alfredo Ortuño, who revitalized Granada in the first round game entering in the second half and that also gave problems to Depor with Girona FC at Segunda, is gone after his departure to UD Las Palmas.

Therefore the team is lacking offensive potential and it is demonstrated by the fact of been the worst offense in the league. The hope is that the arrival of Abel Resino, who already saved Granada two seasons ago, can fix the mess.

The new boss tested a lineup with several novelties, though it remains to be a 4-2-3-1 figure. Two of the winter signings are starters. Oier Olazábal covers the goal, French Dimitri Foulquier performs at the right side of the defence, Argentine Emanuel Insúa is set to debut after landing during the week performing on the left, then the central positions are for ex-Alcorcón Jean-Sylvain Claude Babin and former Rayo Vallecano Diego Mainz.

Fran Rico is fit to play and returns in order to join Chilean Miguel Iturra at midfield, Juan Carlos Pérez attacks from the right wing, new signing Alhassane ´Lass’ Bangoura does it from the left. Rubén Rochina, who scored one of the goals in the first round game, is the playmaker despite been off injured for the past two months, then Ecuadorian Jhon Córdoba is the centre forward.

Midfielder Manuel Iturra said during the week that everyone at Granada CF should feel responsible for the current crisis, ”On here we all are responsible: officials, players and the coaching staff. I believe that the first ones to blame are the players and we must assume the responsibility.”

Centre-back Diego Mainz didn’t want to describe the match as a final, ”I don’t like to call it a final. A final is when you play for the relegation in Valladolid or Vallecas. The game is very important, but not definitive. We know it will be hard, also that a lot is at stake and that we must change this negative streak as soon as possible. And the team will be mentalized to win. We are conscious of what it’s at stake. Truly that you need to fight and suffer been the last place. We are mentalized.”

List of picked players (18): Oier, Roberto (goalkeepers); Mainz, Babin, Marcelo, Insúa, Foulquier (defenders); Fran Rico, Javi Márquez, Piti, Iturra, Juan Carlos, Robert, Rubén Pérez (midfielders); El-Arabi, Córdoba, Lass & Rochina (attackers)

Deportivo: (4-3-3) Fabricio – Juanfran, Lopo, Sidnei, Luisinho – José Rodríguez, Juan Domínguez, Álex Bergantiños – Cavaleiro, Oriol Riera, Lucas Pérez.
Granada: (4-2-3-1) Oier – Foulquier, Babin, Mainz, Emanuel Insúa – Rico, Iturra – Juan Carlos, Rochina, Lass – Córdoba.
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Granada: 10 wins for Depor, 15 draws, 13 wins for Granada (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 7 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 4 wins for Granada (Primera & Segunda)



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