Squad news


24 Sep 2015
Depor travel to Andalusia with Víctor announcing changes, Jonás and Fabricio are part of the trip but won’t be starters. Betis are facing scoring problems in this start to the season.

Among the other nineteen teams at liga BBVA, this has been the most accessible visit for Deportivo in the past two decades. And it’s that the Galicians have won six of the last eleven league matches disputed at the Benito Villamarín stadium (called before Luis de Lopera).

Curiously, Depor missed to add a victory there before the decade of the 1990’s, it was until 1996 that the Blanquiazul outfit clinched a 1-2 win and since then it won six of the next ten matches. The last defeat there was a 2-0 on the campaign 2004/05.

Betis might have only scored two goals on the season, but remains as one of the seven Primera outfits that are undefeated playing at home. Meanwhile, nine clubs remain undefeated on the road, one of them is Deportivo, side that has added four points in the visits to Valencia CF and Rayo Vallecano.

With two games on the horizon only separated by 56 hours, coach Víctor Sánchez is going to make changes between both meetings. Jonás Gutiérrez was picked for the first time after joining the club on deadline day, while Fabricio Agosto and Oriol Riera are returning into contention.

Haris Medunjanin, Miguel Cardoso and Saúl García remain out for tactical reasons, while Cani wasn’t picked despite having the green light from the doctors.  Lopo is also out or tactical reasons, while the only player staying at the injury room is Manuel Pablo. The rest of the squad is part of the trip to Andalusia.

Víctor announced changes in his press conference, though he didn’t give too many clues in the trainings. On Wednesday the squad was divided in two groups for the training match and the only clear thing is that German Lux will remain covering the goal, Arribas and Sidnei will perform at the centre of the defence, and that both Fabricio and Jonás won’t be starters and that probably will be the two men sitting off from the final list of 18 players (the coach picked 20 for the trip).

One of the predictions that seems more accurate is the one with Víctor only making two changes, with Juan Domínguez claiming the spot of Celso Borges joining Pedro Mosquera at midfield. The other is the appearance of Fede Cartabia on the right wing, which could delay the position of Juanfran.

About the rest of the team, Fernando Navarro should stay on the left side of the defence and Fayçal Fajr should be the playmaker. Up front Luis Alberto and Lucas Pérez will try to continue in the latest path after the duo scored three goals within the last two games.

It’s an important game for ex-Sevilla Fernando Navarro, he was praising the rival, ”They have made important signings and have the support from their public. They are hopeful after the stage at Segunda and it’s a difficult game, because the Villamarín is a stadium that is always pushing. Joaquín has returned and is a boost for their morale, he has personality and is a player with a high level and with a long story; he’s a player to have in mind.”

List of picked players (20): Lux, Fabricio, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Sidnei, Arribas, Juanfran, Navarro (defenders); Juan Domínguez, Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Luisinho, Fayçal Fajr, Cartabia, Jonás Gutiérrez, Celso Borges (midfielders); Lucas Pérez, Luis Alberto, Oriol Riera & Jonathan Rodríguez (attackers).

Real Betis have only scored two goals in their return to Primera División, it is a problem more related to the lack of ideas in attack than a lack of aim. And it’s that despite the presence of important men in attack like Rubén Castro and Joaquín, the Andalusian team has only completed 41 shots on this start of season, that’s the fifth worst mark in la liga only above Levante UD (39), Rayo Vallecano (36), SD Eibar (35) and Sporting Gijón (32).

Coach Pepe Mel isn’t worried for the lack of goals, instead he was praising the defensive level of his team during the past visit to Valencia CF (0-0). According to him, his men are starting to perform as a block and the goal is a matter of time.

But for the game against Depor the main worries weren’t located in attack, but in midfield, this since Senegalese Alfred N'Diaye and French Didier Digard are out injured, but luckily for them the competition committee lifted the second yellow card to Dani Ceballos, so the 19-year-old is set to start and Mel only has to make one change in that sector.

It’s predicted a 4-4-2 figure, ex-Real Madrid Antonio Adán is the starting goalie, Francisco Molinero is a last-minute casualty with a muscle problem, so Italian Cristiano Piccini will cover the right side in defence, ex-Fiorentina Juan Vargas performs on the left, with German Heiko Westermann and Bruno González covering the central positions at defence.

Xavi Torres enters the formation and joins Dani Ceballos at midfield, while the media in Andalusia expects that Rafael Van der Vaart  is going to start on the left wing, the Dutch was one of the most surprising signings made during the summer window, but hasn’t played any minute in liga yet.

The right flank should be for Joaquin Sánchez, who returns to his childhood club after nine years. The duo in attack is composed by Rubén Castro and Jorge Molina. Ex-Depor Rubén has settled in Seville, to the point that he is the all-time top-scorer at Real Betis with 115 goals in 204 matches.

Ex-Lugo Enzo Rennella is expected to be on the bench; he talked about the situation in Seville, ”We have a great group. During the summer important and experienced players arrived. Without going too far Joaquín returned and the fans are delighted. He is a reference to Betis. We hope to live a calm season and secure the permanence.”

List of picked players: It will be released until Thursday

Betis: (4-4-2) Adán – Piccini, Bruno, Westermann, Vargas – Joaquín, Xavi Torres, Ceballos, Van Der Vaart – Molina, Rubén Castro
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Laureo r Juanfran, Sidnei, Arribas, Navarro – Juan Domínguez, Mosquera – Cartabia, Fajr, Luis Alberto – Lucas Pérez.
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
Kick.off: 20h05 CET (Benito Villamarín)
Head-to-head Vs. Betis:  21 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 19 wins for Betis (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Seville: 7 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 15 wins for Betis (Primera & Segunda)



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