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PREVIEW: DEPORTIVO – REAL MADRID (LIGA)

14 May 2016
A Deportivo facing internal battles is having the uncomfortable role of hosting a Real Madrid that wants to snatch the title to FC Barcelona in the last matchday. Laure and Juanfran are out injured.

STATISTICS: POOR SEASON AT THE RIAZOR
Deportivo have only won four games at the Riazor during this season and only added 20 points playing in this condition, it’s the worst mark in the league and the worst record at the club since the season 1969/70, at the time the Galicians only added 16 points at home in a tournament in which each victory was awarded with two points.

The current form at home is also terrible with the team losing the last three home meetings (1-3 Vs. UD Las Palmas, 0-8 Vs. FC Barcelona & 0-2 Vs. Getafe CF); the last time Depor lost four home meetings in a row occurred between seasons 2006/07 and 2007/08 (1-2 Vs. Valencia, 1-2 Vs. Sevilla CF, 2-5 Vs. Recreativo de Huelva and 0-3 Vs. UD Almeria).

So, the only thing saving the team from relegation has been the away performance; actually Deportivo is the only Primera side that has added more points on the road (22) than at home, and that taking in mind that only one matchday is remaining.

Then, to have in mind the negative streak facing Real Madrid, Deportivo have been unable to defeat Real Madrid during the last ten meetings in liga. The last time Depor defeated the Madrilenians was on the opening matchday of the season 2008/09 with goals scored by Mista and Lopo (2-1, August 30, 2008).

DEPORTIVO: CHAOTIC ENDING
Anyone would have thought that the permanence was going to bring peace to the club, after the suffering of last season the fact of been saved before the last matchday can be considered as a progress. But it turns out that calmness is the lesser thing that can be perceived in A Coruña, a city that sees in shock how each day there’s a new chapter in the battle between coach Víctor Sánchez and some of his players.

Since last week it is known that Luisinho has been sidelined after a series of confrontations with the coach, and on this week the one is the spotlight is Albert Lopo, who apparently was sidelined for skipping two trainings without permission.

And both conflicts escalated on this week, on Thursday the agent of Luisinho, Jorge Teixeira, exploded and practically blamed the coach for everything, including “influencing” in the speech of the players during the press conferences. On that same say Lopo wrote a hard message on Instagram saying “I don’t give up” and “my balls are big”, message that was erased just minutes later after been hammered by the fans (he made private the account after it).

The “saga” continued on Friday with Alejandro Arribas offering a press conference, the centre-back gave more details about his fight with Luisinho and also said that the Portuguese should have left the club before. He also reaffirmed the words of Pedro Mosquera saying that some players didn’t give their best during this season.

So, this is the Deportivo of the last matchday: a battlefield where no one seems to be in command of the situation. And beyond the poor impression that the club is leaving, the sporting situation, because this team has only won two games in the second round, a worrying stat ahead of the following campaign.

Víctor also has problems in defence as both Laure and Juanfran are out injured, so Manuel Pablo will be a starter. The Canarian veteran could be announced his retirement on next week and will start at the right side of the defence, Fernando Navarro returns from suspension and covers the left, Manu Fernández is the keeper, while Alejandro Arribas and Sidnei Rechel are the centre-backs.

Celso Borges returns from suspension and joins Pedro Mosquera at midfield, the 4-4-2 formation is completed with Fede Cartabia and Fayçal Fajr performing on the sides, while Lucas Pérez and Luis Alberto are the centre forwards.

Lux, Juan Dominguez and Fabricio are joining Laure and Juanfran at the injury room, and with Lopo and Luisinho suspended by the club the coach decided to pick Róber from Fabril in order to fill the gaps.

List of picked players (18): Manu, Pletikosa (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Arribas, Sidnei, Róber, Navarro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Pedro Mosquera, Borges, Jonás Gutiérrez, Cartabia, Cani, Fayçal Fajr (midfielders); Lucas Pérez, Luis Alberto, Oriol Riera & Jonathan Rodríguez (attackers).

REAL MADRID: ZIZOU EFFECT
There’s a sense of relief at Real Madrid with Zinedine Zidane. The exit of Rafa Benitez left a powerless feeling as it seemed this was going to be another year in blank for the Madrilenians, but at this point, with the season about to end, they still have options for the local title and are already planted in the final of the UEFA Champions League. So, no matter if Los Blancos can snatch the title from Barca or not, the sense is that the club has found a solid coach for the upcoming seasons.

Zidame will present the best possible lineup for the game as they need to win and wait for what can happen at the Camp Nou.  Gareth Bale is set to start after joining the trainings on Thursday, but Galician Lucas Vázquez won’t be risked after suffering an ankle sprain.

Keylor Navas and Daniel Carvajal are returning after skipping the past game with Valencia CF; the first will cover the goal, the latter will perform at the right side of the defence. Marcelo plays at the left, with Pepe and Sergio Ramos covering the central positions in defence.

Croatian Luka Modrić, German Toni Kross and Brazilian Henrique Casemiro are the midfielders, then Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are the trident in attack in the 4-3-3 draw.

The BBC has scored 76 goals in liga, an astonishing mark that’s even above the number of goals netted by Depor on the season (45). This is the second best trident in la liga only behind the MSN (Messi, Suárez & Neymar) of Barcelona (80 goals).

List of picked players (23): Navas, Kiko Casilla, Rubén Yáñez (goalkeepers); Varane, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa, Danilo (defenders); Kroos, James, Bale, Casemiro, Kovačić, Modrić, Isco (midfielders); Ronaldo, Benzema, Lucas Vázquez & Jese (attackers)

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Manu – Manuel Pablo, Arribas, Sidnei, Navarro – Cartabia, Borges, Mosquera, Fajr – Lucas. Luis Alberto.
Real Madrid: (4-3-3) Navas – Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo – Kross, Casemiro, Modrić – Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Kick-off: 17h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Real Madrid: 18 wins for Depor, 19 draws, 50 wins for Real Madrid (Primera)
Record at the Riazor: 16 wins for Depor, 14 draws, 13 wins for Real Madrid (Primera)

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/16

ZAPPING

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