Squad news


13 Mar 2015
Depor search for the lost balance as it visits Mestalla. The coach is ready to make changes searching for a more defensive approach before a team characterized for its collective bet in offense.

Valencia CF have been one of the more regular teams in this league tournament, reason that explains why they are fourth and battling to reach the third place at the standings. Currently they are the second most in-form team in the competition after adding 13 of the last 18 points in dispute.

Los Chés are also the second best home team in the league, adding 34 of the 39 points disputed at Mestalla, a mark only below the one of Atlético Madrid (35) and is even above FC Barcelona (33) and Real Madrid (31). Thy have won the last six home meetings and only dropped points in two opportunities at Mestalla: 0-0 Vs. Athletic Club (matchday 11) and 0-1 Vs. FC Barcelona (matchday 13).

Meanwhile, Depor have passed from been one of the best teams in 2015 to live another mini-crisis after only adding one of the last twelve points in dispute. Los Blanquiazules are again conceding a lot of goals and are now the fourth worse defence in the league allowing 42 goals in 26 matches, mark only above Levante UD (49), Rayo Vallecano (49) & Elche CF (45).

This negative background is completed with the previous results of Depor at Mestalla. The Galicians only won there in nine opportunities after 45 liga visits, the last one was ten years ago: 1-2 with goals scored by Scaloni and Víctor (February 12, 2005).

After a series of good results at the beginning of 2015 that put the team in calm waters, suddenly Depor lost the route and the balance that led to suffer three defeats in four matchdays. For three straight weeks people complaining of the lack of goals, and ironically when the goals arrived then the defence failed as the Galicians lost 3-4 hosting Sevilla CF, just the second time in history that Depor lost a game at the Riazor despite scoring three or more goals. Also, for the fifth time on the season the team ended conceding four or more goals in one single game.

Now coach Víctor Fernández, as it happened in the first round, has to find the way to restore the balance in a team with the sixth worst goal difference at Primera División (-19), either changing the lineup as he did before or adjusting the marks and the movement of the players.

Álex Bergantiños, one of the two men that have played every possible minute in 2015, was talking of the subject, ”The team is creating many goal opportunities and in the end the aim will come, but we must search for balance too, because the goals allowed are our pending subject, especially against the top teams.”

Precisely the rival for this matchday is a top team, Valencia CF, a solid squad that has won 11 of the 13 matches played at Mestalla and that has only allowed 8 goals at home, the second lowest mark at Primera only behind Sevilla CF (7).

Coach Víctor Fernández is ready to make a change in the quest to find that balance ahead of this tough game. The main news is the return of Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’, the idea is to see the Madrilenian and Juanfran Moreno covering the right side, with the ex-Betis man performing in an advance position, while the ex-Fabril covers the defensive sector.  Laure has only played once as a starter in 2015 and it was for the visit against another big club, Real Madrid.

The rest of the team is similar to the one used in previous weeks. Fabricio Agosto covers the goal, Luisinho performs at the left side of the defence, while Pablo Insua stays at the centre despite the most recent criticism performing alongside Sidnei Rechel.

Álex Bergantiños and Celso Borges are the centre midfielders, Iván Cavaleiro attacks from the left wing, Lucas Pérez is the playmaker and Oriol Riera is the centre forward. The Catalan arrives to the game boosted after his brace before Sevilla CF.

Toché didn’t receive the medical okay to play and remain at the injury room with Hélder Postiga. Centre midfielder Haris Medunjanin returns into the roster, while the players out for tactical reasons are left-back Roberto Canella, centre-back Borja López, centre midfielder Cezary Wilk, plus wingers Diogo Salomão and Hélder Costa.

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

Watching the list of strikers at Valencia, led by Paco Álcacer and Álvaro Negredo, the reader might think that they should be the leading scorers at the team and at this point should have more than ten goals added to their tally. Both assumptions are wrong, because the top-scorers at the team are surprising names: winger Pablo Piatti and midfielder Daniel Parejo, both with seven.

And that leads to the other surprising fact, because despite been the fourth best offence in the league no one at Valencia has scored more than seven goals in this league tournament. Beyond been a weakness it is a fortress, because fourteen different players have scored for Los Chés, the second highest mark in la liga only behind Sevilla CF (16). Also, Valencia is the only Primera club with eight players scoring three or more goals.

It’s one of the secrets of this solid Valencia CF: a solid group that doesn’t depend of one or two players in order to net the goals. In this way in only five opportunities they ended scoreless on this season (four in liga and one in Copa del Rey), and one of those occasions was in the first round game at the Riazor.

For the meeting against Depor coach Nuno  is having the important casualties of centre midfielder Javi Fuego and centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, two of the players with more minutes on this season. The first will be covered with Portuguese André Gomes, while in the second case the coach will have to improvise with left-back Lucas Orban, the Argentine has only played 608 minutes on this season and has been often used as a third centre-back.

 To mention that Javi Fuego is part of the roster for the game as Valencia CF presented a second appeal in order to lift the red card saw against Atlético –the first was rejected- but it’s highly improbable that the appeal is going to be accepted, that’s why the roster is composed by nineteen players.

The rest is the same team that drew with Atlético Madrid with one novelty. It’s a 4-3-3 draw, with Brazilian Diego Alvés defending the goal, ex-Depor Antonio Barragán covers the right side of the defense, 19-year old José Gayá, one of the revelations in this league, performs on the left, while Argentine Nicolás Otamendi joins his compatriot Orban at the centre of the defence.

Argentine Enzo Pérez, the most expensive signing during the winter window, performs at midfield alongside André Gómez and Dani Parejo. Algerian Sofiane Feghouli, who has scored three goals plus providing four assists and was a starter against Atlético, is benched in order to allow the appearance of Rodrigo de Paul, who will attack from the right wing, Pablo Piatti plays on the left flank and Negredo is the centre forward.

Ex-Depor Antonio Barragán was talking about the meeting during the week ”The most important thing is to get the victory. Since that point if the rivals have pressure or not then it’s something that doesn’t depend on us. We will try to go out for them since minute one. Deportivo are fighting to surpass their situation and clinch the permanence, while we are approaching to the goal, so it’s going to be a tough game.”

List of picked players (19): Diego Alves, Yoel (goalkeepers); Joao Cancelo, Antonio Barragán, Ruben Vezo, Nicolás Otamendi, Lucas Orban, José Gayà (defenders); Javi Fuego, Filipe Augusto, Enzo Pérez, André Gomes, Dani Parejo, Sofiane Feghouli, Pablo Piatti, Rodrigo de Paul (midfielders); Paco Alcácer, Rodrigo, Álvaro Negredo (attackers)
Valencia: (4-3-3) Alvés – Barragán, Otamendi, Orban, Gayá – Enzo Pérez, André Gomes, Parejo – Rodrigo, Negredo, Piatti
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Laure, Insua, Sidnei, Luisinho – Álex Bergantiños, Borges – Juanfran, Lucas Pérez, Cavaleiro – Oriol Riera.
Referee: Alfonso Álvarez Izquierdo
Kick-off: 20h45 CET (Mestalla)
Head-to-head Vs. Valencia:  27 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 46 wins for Valencia (Primera & Segunda)
Record at Mestalla: 9 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 28 wins for Valencia (Primera & Segunda)



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