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PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – CELTA (LIGA)

21 Feb 2015
121st edition of the Galician derby; both teams arrive living a good moment and trying to solidify their positions at the standings. Víctor Fernández recovers some men and relies in his new couple at midfield.

STATISTICS: AT THE EDGE OF BALANCE
Only the six clubs at the top positons in la liga have a positive goal-difference, a demolishing stat that demonstrates the big differences in the tournament. Among the other fourteen clubs, the closest one to balance is RC Celta. Los Celestes have now a -1 after the 2-0 win over Atlético Madrid. It demonstrates that, despite their recent poor form, they are keeping some consistency emphasized by the fact that they only lost twice by two goals: 1-3 Vs. Villarreal and 0-3 at Real Madrid.

Meanwhile the goal-difference of Depor is -16, the fifth worst in the league, only above Levante UD (-26), Elche CF (-22), Granada CF (-21) and Córdoba CF (-19). Los Blanquiazules have been punished by the big losses before the big teams, especially the 2-8 hosting Real Madrid.

But Deportivo is showing a nice reaction in 2015, because it remains as the 7th best team in the new year after adding eleven points in seven games. RC Celta are also arriving in a good moment after adding 7 of the last 9 points in dispute, which allowed them to break the negative run of the previous months.

This is the Galician derby 121 playing for official competitions (65 at Primera, 44 at Segunda, 2 at Segunda B and 10 in Copa Del Rey). RC Celta have a narrow advantage in the series after adding 46 victories before 43 for Deportivo. But Los Coruñeses won three of the last five derbies, including the last two disputed at the Riazor.

DEPORTIVO: THE NEW COUPLE AT MIDFIELD
All season long coach Víctor Fernández has been searching for a couple to perform at midfield. After 23 matchdays he has used 15 schemes needing two centre midfielders (in the other 8 games he used three). And the true is that none of the combinations were used for more than four games.

Juan Dominguez-José Rodriguez was the first combination used in liga, but it was never repeated later. The couple Medunjanin-Álex Bergantiños played four times, but Depor lost three of those games and there was an adjustment allowing the entry of Cezary Wilk joining Medunjanin.

This couple was used in four games and, despite picking points in three opportunities, the coach didn’t like it and Deportivo began the year with the Galician combination of Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez, duo that played three games together until Celso Borges was available to play. Then the Central American joined Bergantiños and this has been the starting couple within the last three liga meetings and will start again in the derby.

Beyond the numbers, the last couple has left a very positive feeling and the coach is confident with both players. Álex begun the season as a starter, but was later bench and got back the job with the start of the year.  The Galician is one of the four players at the team that has performed the full 90 minutes in the 7 games played in 2015 (the other three are Fabricio,  Lopo and Luisinho). In the case of Borges, he has been a starter in the three games in which he has been eligible for the coach.

There will be changes in the 4-2-3-1 figure as there are important men returning in defence. Sidnei Rechel and Juanfran Moreno are fit to play and go directly into the starting eleven. The Brazilian joins Albert Lopo at the centre of the defence, while the ex-Betis man performs at the right side. The defensive positons are completed with Fabricio Agosto covering the goal and Luisinho performing on the left side.

In attack, the doubt on the right wing remains and the one that seems with more chances of playing there, according to what was saw on Friday’s training, is José Rodriguez, so Isaac Cuenca is expected to start on the bench. The left flank is for Iván Cavaleiro, the playmaker role is for Lucas Pérez and Oriol Riera is the centre forward.

Playmaker Luis Fariña didn’t pass a late test and is out of the game. He is one of the four players staying at the injury room, the other three are winger Diogo Salomão plus strikers Hélder Postiga and Toché. Two players are out for tactical reasons: centre-back Borja López and centre midfielder Cezary Wilk.

List of picked players: (19): Fabricio, Lux (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Juanfran, Insua, Sidnei, Lopo, Canella, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Celso Borges, Hélder Costa, Lucas Pérez, Isaac Cuenca (midfielders); Oriol Riera & Cavaleiro (attackers)

CELTA: OVERCOMING THE CURSE
RC Celta was about to be considered as the revelation of the season after their surprising 0-1 win at FC Barcelona, by that moment on the season Los Celestes have only lost once after the first ten matchdays, but suddenly everything fell apart. The team entered into a downward spiral in which they only picked two points in the following ten games and even coach Eduardo Berizzo was about to be sacked.

“The curse of the Camp Nou” doesn’t have a solid explanation, because every department at the team presented its worst version, including the offense, side that established a new negative mark at the club of 725 minutes scoreless in a league competition. But things are returning to a more stable region. And it’s that within the last three liga meetings RC Celta have picked seven points, especially motivating was the latest 2-0 win over champions Atlético Madrid.

Now the fans in Vigo hope that this is a new turning point in a very unstable season for them. For the derby Berizzo is able to repeat the same 4-3-3 figure of the previous week, this since there are no fresh injuries hitting the team.

Sergio Álvarez will continue to defend the goal, Catalan Sergi Gómez performs at the left side of the defence, Jonathan Castro ‘Jonny’ covers the left side. He and Sergio are the only players promoted from the B squad with presence at the starting eleven. Argentine Gustavo Cabral and Catalan Andreu Fontás are the centre-backs.

Serbian Nemanja Radoja, Argentine Augusto Fernández and Danish Michael Krohn-Dehli are the centre midfielders. Chilean Fabián Orellana attacks from the right wing, Manuel Agudo Durán ‘Nolito’ will be playing at the left and ex-Rayo Vallecano Joaquín Larrivey is the centre forward.

Nolito has been a great addition to RC Celta after joining the club in 2013; currently he’s the top scorer with eight goals plus providing six assists, two of those goals were netted within the last three games. But his partnership with Larrivey and Orellana is more important, because this trident has scored 20 of the 23 goals of the team during this season.

For the game Berizzo picked the 24 players at the first team, however only 22 are available as injured Hugo Mallo and Borja Oubiña are also making the trip. Two Celta B players are part of the trip:  right-back Samuel Araújo ‘Samu’ and centre midfielder Borja Fernández.

List of picked players (22): Sergio Álvarez, Rubén (goalkeepers); Fontas, David Costas, Jonny, Sergio Gómez, Planas, Samu, Cabral (defenders); Radoja, Álex López, Madinda, Augusto Fernández, Borja Fernández, Pablo Hernández, Krohn-Dehli (midfielders); Nolito, Larrivey, Charles, Santi Mina, Orellana & Bongonda (attackers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Juanfran, Sidnei, Lopo, Luisinho – Álex Bergantiños, Celso Borges – José Rodríguez, Lucas, Cavaleiro – Oriol Riera.
Celta: (4-3-3) Sergio – Sergi Gómez, Cabral, Fontás, Jonny  – Augusto, Radoja, Krohn-Dehli  – Orellana, Larrivey, Nolito.
Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Celta: 41 wins for Depor, 26 draws, 43 wins for Celta (Primera, Segunda and Segunda B)
Record at the Riazor: 33 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 11 wins for Celta (Primera, Segunda and Segunda B)

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/15

ZAPPING

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