Squad news


22 Mar 2015
Important game at the Riazor; Víctor Fernández will introduce Fariña in the lineup while he left Cuenca out of the game. Espanyol is living a calmed situation, but loses Sergio García for the match.

RCD Espanyol are one of the few teams in the league that has practically secured the permanence after a more than acceptable season, but they have a pending subject: the away games. And it’s that the Catalans have lost 9 of their 13 away meetings. They have only wont twice on the road: 3-1 at Rayo Vallecano (matchday 16) & 2-0 at Malaga CF (matchday 23). In this way they are the third worst visiting team in the league just behind Levante UD and Granada CF.

Meanwhile, Deportivo are trying to revert the current negative streak after only adding one of the last fifteen points in dispute, besides the Galicians are trying to re-launch a mediocre record at home after only adding fifteen points in the fourteen matches played at the Riazor during this season. Currently Depor are the fourth worst home team in the league just above SD Eibar (12), Córdoba CF (9) and UD Almeria (9).

Los Periquitos have always faced problems visiting the Riazor; after forty league visits they only managed to win five times there, actually they lost in four of their last six games there and ended scoreless in five opportunities. Their last victory in A Coruña was in the Primera season 2009-10 (2-3).

Coach Víctor Fernández has stated in the past that he was surprised as the media was frequently referring to every liga game as a final, he never understood as a single football match can be labeled as something crucial with so many points still in dispute.

But now the feeling of the game against RCD Espanyol is that yes, it is a final, probably the first on this season. The latest result put the team at the edge of relegation and a victory will mean an important boost in the quest for the permanence either for the meaning of the points or for the message that will transmit to the players.

Veteran Albert Lopo was expressing this idea during the week, ”It’s a very important game. Each and single one that have passed through the press room have said the same thing. It’s the moment to talk on the pitch and especially it’s time to win. It’s the most important thing from here and until the end of the season.”

Lucas Pérez was emphasizing the morale importance of a victory, ”The team is sad for the last results because we are giving our best. We are satisfied for giving everything. This week we are plugged into Sunday’s game. For us it should be the turning page, a victory to get morale high again. We are going to be fine and don’t need the extra pressure.”

Álex Bergantiños had the same opinion, “We need to return to winning ways. We haven’t won within the last home meetings and this is a very important meeting. We need to win in order to recover the confidence that we had before the negative streak. We are better than in previous months, with the injured players returning and playing better than in the first round. It’s a key moment on the season. “

Víctor Fernández isn’t preparing a revolution in the lineup, but there will be changes as Luis Fariña will make his second appearance as a starter in 2015. The injuries and a suspension keep the Argentine out of the starting formations and his previous appearance as a starter was against Athletic Club (January 3).

He will perform on the playmaking function, moving Lucas Pérez to the right wing and keeping Iván Cavaleiro attacking from the left flank and with Oriol Riera at the centre of the attack in a 4-2-3-1 system.

The rest of the team should be the same one of previous matchdays, with Fabricio Agosto defending the goal, Juanfran Moreno playing at the right side of the defence, Luisinho on the left, Sidnei Rechel and Albert Lopo at the centre of the defence, plus the duo Álex-Bergantiños-Celso Borges performing at midfield.

The lineup might not be a revolution, but the roster for the game is full of novelties. Starting with the return of Toché and Diogo Salomão.  The duo is back after a while and will be on the bench. There are surprises too with the players out for tactical reasons, because Isaac Cuenca is off for the first time on this campaign. Haris Medunjanin, Hélder Costa, Borja López, Roberto Canella and Laure are the other players out for tactical reasons, while Wilk and Postiga are the two players at the injury room.

List of picked players (18): Fabricio, Lux (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Juanfran, Insua, Lopo, Sidnei, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Celso Borges, Fariña, Salomão, Lucas Pérez (midfielders); Cavaleiro, Toché & Oriol Riera (attackers)

The Catalan club is one of the few outfits in la liga that practically has no more goals to fulfil for the remaining of the league. Eliminated from Copa a fortnight ago, sixteen points below the European zone and eleven points above relegation, Los Periquitos seem to have ended early their season and should feel content by only confirming the permanence for one more year.

So, it isn’t strange that at this point the attention is focused in other things, like the continuity of some key players or the renewal of coach Sergio González. Even the activism of president Joan Collet is calling more the attention as he supports a possible strike if the Spanish authorities don’t confirm a legislation that will allow a better distribution of the television incomes.

Interestingly Sergio repeated the lineup in straight matches for the first time on the season during the last two games against Real Sociedad and Atlético Madrid, but he won’t be able to do it a third time as midfielder Abraham and attacker Sergio García didn’t recover in time from their injuries and both are out of the game at the Riazor. The latter is the captain of the team and the main reference in attack.

It’s predicted a 4-4-2 lineup; Kiko Casilla is the starting keeper; Anaitz Arbilla covers the right side in defence, Rubén Duarte performs on the left, while the central positions are for Mexican Héctor Moreno and Álvaro González.

José Alberto Cañas claims the spot of Abraham and joins Javi López at midfield, then Lucas Vázquez attacks from the right wing, Víctor Sánchez does it from the left, while Christian Stuani and Ecuadorian Felipe Caicedo are the centre forwards.

Uruguayan Stuani together with Caicedo and Sergio Garcia have scored 24 goals this season, which means the 75% of Espanyol´s goals this term, but curiously they have remained scoreless within the last month. Garcia was the last component of this trio that scored a goal (against Malaga CF on February 14).

Midfielder José Alberto Cañas was talking of the meeting, ”We have a very complicate game and we know that they are fine playing at home. We are going there trying to add the three points and looking up at the standings. I don’t watch the games of Deportivo, but they have good people and got good reinforcements too. It’s a competitive squad that knows what they are doing and lately it’s a strong team at home.”

A Coruña-born Lucas Vázquez told to reporters during the week that he’s a truly Depor’s fan, ”It’s a special game for me, because I’m a Deportivo supporter and I’ve been to their stadium many times. I’m looking forward to playing there and hopefully getting ourselves the three points. I don’t think I could celebrate a goal if I score there. They’re playing some good football lately and we know what they’re capable of. We always go out to win whether it’s home or away. At the same time, we’re aware that Deportivo are a team with a lot of things at stake for the moment.”

List of picked players (18): Kiko Casilla, Pau López (goalkeepers); Felipe Mattioni., Víctor Álvarez, Héctor Moreno, Juan Fuentes, Colotto, Álvaro González, Arbilla, Duarte (defenders); Víctor Sánchez, Salva Sevilla, Cañas, Javi López, Lucas Vázquez,  Montañes (midfielders); Stuani & Caicedo (attackers)

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Juanfran, Lopo, Sidnei, Luisinho – Álex Bergantiños, Borges – Lucas, Fariña, Cavaleiro - Riera
Espanyol: (4-4-2) Casilla – Arbilla, González, Moreno, Duarte – Lucas Vázquez, Cañas, López, Sánchez – Stuani, Caicedo.
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes
Kick-off: 12h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Espanyol: 32 wins for Depor, 17 draws, 32 wins for Espanyol (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 25 wins for Depor, 10 draws, 5 wins for Espanyol (Primera & Segunda)



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