Squad news


08 May 2016
Deportivo search for the permanence visiting a team without motivation as it already secured the fourth position. Luisinho is out of the game, also Lopo, so a Víctor under pressure had to pick two lads from Fabril.

Deportivo need the victory in order to secure the permanence, a draw could also do the job, but it will need to wait for other results. The Blanquiazul outfit needs to fix the bleeding after allowing goals in the past 19 league games, which is now a negative record at the club. Actually, since 2016 started, Depor have allowed 46 goals, the highest mark at Primera División.

Villarreal CF arrive to the game already knowing that they will end fourth, this is their last home game on the season and currently they are fifth in this department after adding 40 points in 18 games at El Madrigal. This is the fifth best mark in la liga, only below Real Madrid (46), FC Barcelona (46), Atlético Madrid (45) & Sevilla CF (43).

Meanwhile, Deportivo are playing their last away game on the campaign and are presenting decent numbers. The Galicians have added 19 points in 18 visits, which is the tenth best mark in the league. Depor suffered big losses visiting three of the six clubs at the top (5-0 at Real Madrid, 4-1 at Athletic Club and 3-0 at Atlético Madrid), against the other two top teams it clinched draws (2-2 at FC Barcelona and 1-1 at RC Celta).

Depor have suffered a lot in its last visits to El Madrigal, the Galicians lost in their last five visits there; actually they ended scoreless in the last four. The last victory visiting Villarreal CF took place during the season 2006/07, it was a 0-2 win with an own goal by Senna and a goal by Joan Verdú (February 11, 2007).

Another crucial game in what’s already a thundercloud end of season for Deportivo, the problem is the issues surrounding the team and that are putting coach Víctor Sánchez in the middle of the fire due to his last decisions. Despite Fernando Navarro is suspended the coach continued pushing Luisinho out of the roster and the Portuguese wasn’t picked for the game.

Neither Alberto Lopo was picked despite there were only eighteen available players at the first team.  In the end nineteen men are traveling to Vila-real, but only after calling David Gómez and Róber Pier from Fabril, plus allowing the entry of Manuel Pablo and Jonathan Rodriguez, duo that only had a handful number of minutes in the second round.

The tension in the media was noticed in the press conference of the coach, but Víctor always said that his only worry is Sunday’s game. It’s expected a 4-4-2 figure for the game. Manu Fernández should stay at the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ will perform on the right side of the defence as Juanfran Moreno is relocated on the left, then the central positions are for Sidnei Rechel and Alejandro Arribas.

With Celso Borges suspended, Álex Bergantiños enters and joins Pedro Mosquera at midfield territory, Cani performs on the right wing with Fede Cartabia moved to the left flank, finally Luis Alberto and Lucas Pérez are the centre forwards.

Three players are out due to physical problems. Juan Dominguez picked an ankle sprain during the week and is out of the game, he is joining German Lux an Fabricio Agosto at the injury room.

List of picked players (19): Manu, Pletikosa, David Gómez (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Arribas, Sidnei, Róber, Juanfran (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Pedro Mosquera, Jonás Gutiérrez, Cartabia, Cani, Fayçal Fajr (midfielders); Lucas Pérez, Luis Alberto, Oriol Riera & Jonathan Rodríguez (attackers)

That’s exactly the combination of words used by vice-president José Manuel Llaneza when he was asked about the performance of the team during this campaign: “excellent season”. The yellow submarine will end fourth and will play the Champions League, while they will miss the final in the Europa League after falling at Anfield Road before FC Liverpool. There’s disappointment for missing the final, but also pride for the solid work done in this campaign.

With everything fixed, it is expected that coach Marcelino Toral will make rotations for the final game at home before Deportivo as the European semifinal took place on Thursday, something that only gives three days for the recovery to a team that’s mentally exhausted.

Still, it is a deep squad with enough resources to face any normal game in liga, especially one against a rival that’s getting nervous for not conquering the permanence yet. A lot of changes are expected, including attackers Cédric Bakambu and Roberto Soldado, duo that will be rested.

The predicted lineup is a 4-4-2, with French Alphonse Areola covering the goal, Mario Gaspar will be performing on the right side in defence, Antonio Rukavina plays on the left, while the central positions are for Italian Daniele Bonera and Ivorian Eric Bailly.

Bruno Soriano and Manu Trigueros are the centre midfielders, Samuel García attacks from the right wing, Samu Castillejo does it from the left, then Léo Baptistão and Adrián López are the centre forwards.

Ex-Depor Adrián has had a discrete season after his arrival from FC Porto, he has scored four goals and provided four assists, but the important thing is that three of his goals came within his last six appearances in the league. He also scored the winning goal in the first-leg before FC Liverpool.

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

Villarreal: (4-4-2) Areola – Gaspar, Bailly, Bonera, Rukavina – Samuel, Trigueros, Bruno, Castillejo - Baptistão, Adrián.
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Manu – Laure, Arribas, Sidnei, Juanfran – Cani, Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Cartabia – Lucas, Luis Alberto.
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (El Madrigal)
Head-to-head Vs. Villarreal: 12 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 11 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)
Record at El Madrigal: 4 wins for Depor, 3 draws, 7 wins for Villarreal (Primera & Segunda)



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