Competition news


03 Jan 2016
Two of the most in-form teams in the league collide at the Riazor. Luisinho is the main novelty at the lineup, while Villarreal have several young players been the unexpected starts in a brilliant season.

Two of the first six places collide at the Riazor and their current position is a product of their current good form. Villarreal CF is the third most in-form team in la liga with 13 points added within the last 6 games and drags a mark of 4 straight clean sheets in all competitions (3 in liga and 1 in Copa Del Rey).

Meanwhile, Deportivo have added 12 points in the last 6 games and is dragging the 4th best unbeaten streak among the top-five leagues in Europe. The Galicians haven’t lost within the last eight liga matches, mark only below PSG (19), Ajaccio (9) and Barcelona (9). This is the best mark at the club since the 10 straight games without losing at the beginning of the campaign 2002/03.

Villarreal have always faced problems visiting the Riazor, they only won there three times and within the last four visits they only picked one point, it was the 1-1 draw of last season, while in the previous three games they lost without been able to score any goal.

Any bad blood between coach Víctor Sánchez and Luisinho is now part of the past. The Portuguese seemed at the door out ahead of the winter window after his conflicts inside the changing room, but now not even his recent expulsion is taking him out of the coach’s plans. He is part of the roster for the game and it is even expected that he will return into the left wing.

After he was sidelined for a while Luisinho is now the 13th player with more minutes at the team (568) It’s the only expected change in a 4-4-2 formation with German Lux covering the goal, Juanfran Moreno covers the right side, Fernando Navarro performs on the left, while the central positions are for Alejandro Arribas and Sidnei Rechel.

Álex Bergantiños and Pedro Mosquera are the centre midfielders, Fayçal Fajr returns to the right wing, with Luisinho on the left flank and Luis Alberto joining Lucas Pérez up front. In the end it’s the same lineup of the 2-0 win over SD Eibar.

Jonathan Rodriguez surpassed his knee problem, but Víctor left him out of the game. Four men are at the injury room: Fabricio, Celso Borges, Albert Lopo and Cani. The players out for tactical reasons are Stipe Pletikosa, who is already inscribed, plus Haris Medunjanin, Manuel Pablo and Jonathan.

Fede Cartabia is the sacrificed man at the starting lineup compared to the past meeting with Getafe; he was talking of the rival, ”They have a very good team, they are currently fourth and s a block in which everyone knows each other pretty well. But we are searching for the three points in order to approach to the goal, which is the main thing for us.”

List of picked players (18):Lux, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Arribas, Sidnei, Róber, Juanfran, Navarro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Cartabia, Jonás Gutiérrez, Luisinho, Fayçal Fajr, Cardoso (midfielders); Lucas Pérez, Oriol Riera & Luis Alberto (attackers)

Villarreal CF have found the way to present interesting squads built up from unknown and young players, and the results have been pretty good so far. After their relegation a couple of years ago they are again the spotlight and are a normal occupant of the European seats. They arrive to the Riazor fourth at the standing and with one of the most solid streaks in the tournament.

Interestingly, it is one of the youngest squads in la liga (the average age of the excepted lineup is 24.6 years) and some of the most noticed players are young promises completing their first season at the elite. They jumped into the grass after other men suffered injuries and now they are staying at the lineups. It is the case of Denis Suárez, a 21-year-old attacking midfielder that has netted three goals plus providing three assists and that FC Barcelona want to get back.

Another of these interesting youngsters is French Cédric Bakambu, a 24-year-old attacker that nobody knew at the start of la liga and that in just six months has turned into the most important striker at the team netting six goals in liga plus three in the Europa League.

So, the new version of the yellow submarine takes shape and presents solid performances that invites to think of a bright future, or at least of big incomes with the sales. Coach Marcelino Toral is ready to keep playing with the 4-4-2 figure that has been working lately.

French Alphonse Areola is the keeper, Mario Gaspar covers the right side in defence, Jaume Costa is not recovered from an injury, so 18-year-old Adrian Marin will complete his 4th appearance at Primera. Argentine Matro Musacchio joins Víctor Ruíz at the centre of the defence.

Bruno Soriano, the oldest player at the squad (31), performs at midfield alongside Manu Trigueros, Jonathan Dos Santos attacks from the right wing, Denis Suárez does it from the left, then Roberto Soldado joins Bakambu up front. It has been a good start for Soldado scoring three goals in liga plus providing five assists.

List of picked players (18): Barbosa, Areola (goalkeepers); Rukavina, Mario, Víctor Ruiz, Bailly, Musacchio, Adrián Marín (defenders); Pina, Bruno, Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos, Nahuel, Denis Suárez, Samu García (midfielders); Soldado, Leo Baptistao & Bakambu (attackers).

Deportivo: (4-4-2) Lux – Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Navarro – Fajr, Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Luisinho –Luis Alberto, Lucas Pérez.
Villarreal: (4-4-2) Areola – Mario, Musacchio, Víctor Ruíz, Marín – Jonathan, Bruno, Trigueros, Denis Suárez – Bakambu, Soldado.
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán
Kick-off: 18h15 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Villarreal: 12 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 10 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 8 wins for Depor, 3 draws, 3 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)



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