Squad news


06 Jan 2017
Garitano is planning to play with two strikers as Andone is back. The rival is doing a good season, but has injury problems and is coming after a bad streak at the end of 2016.

Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Kick-off: 20h45 CET (RCDE Stadium)

Deportivo have improved lately and it has to do with the awakening of its offensive power. The Galicians have scored at least two goals in each one of their last five games in the competition (13 goals playing against Sevilla CF, Málaga CF, Real Sociedad, Real Madrid and CA Osasuna).

It’s an unseen mark since the days of the Champions League. Back on the season 2003/04, Irureta’s Deportivo spent seven straight liga games scoring at least twice (18 goals playing against Athletic Club, Sevilla CF, Albacete Balompié, CA Osasuna, Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona & Valencia CF).

And the visit to RCD Espanyol is quite a challenge for Depor as the Galicians have been unable to win at the RCDE Stadium since its foundation in 2009; actually, Deportivo have remained scoreless in its last five visits to RCD Espanyol.

The Catalans are making a solid season as they are currently 9th at the standings, but are having a grey season at home after only adding ten points in eight home meetings. They already lost twice at the RCDE Stadium: 0-2 Vs. Real Madrid (matchday 04) and 0-2 Vs. RC Celta (matchday 06).

Coach Gaizka Garitano is thinking of putting two strikers at the starting lineup, it would the reaction after the exit of Ryan Babel. It is what the Basque coach tested in the last training before the game, with Joselu joining Florin Andone, while Emre Çolak is moved to the left wing. This is the second system that the coach has been developing during this season, though it hasn’t been used since September (Athletic Club at the Riazor).

Team news: Florin Andone has surpassed a hamstring injury and is going directly into the starting eleven after skipping the game in Copa. Right-back Laure and right winger Carles Gil are the players at the injury room, while keeper Rubén Martínez and midfielder Álex Bergantiños are out for tactical reasons. Playmaker Fayçal Fajr is concentrated with Morocco ahead of the African Cup, while Fabril’s attacker Óscar García was picked again after playing in Copa.

Man to watch: Right-back Juanfran Moreno. One of the best players of Deportivo on the season, a leader outside the pitch that has been growing also on the ground. He will have the challenge to face a quick player like Piatti, but can also take advantage in attack as novel Aarón Martín will be defending his side.

Picked players: (18) Tytoń, Lux (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Arribas, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro, Luisinho (defenders); Borges, Pedro Mosquera, Çolak, Guilherme, Bruno Gama (midfielders); Joselu, Marlos Moreno, Borja Valle, Óscar García & Florin Andone (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Tytoń – Juanfran, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro – Bruno Gama, Borges, Guilherme, Çolak – Joselu, Andone.

The Catalans are also facing problems with the injuries, two months before coach Quique Sanchez Flores saw how his team started to climb positions with their good results, but recently they only won one of the last five official games and now face a mini-crisis as three key man are injured. In the end, Flores is picking five lads from the academy in order to build up a 19-men roster.

Team news: Keeper Diego Lopez is out for the long-term with a knee problem, playmaker Leo Baptistão and right-back Javi López (both Achilles) are the other two normal starters out for injury reasons, while midfielder Pape Diop is with Senegal ahead of the African Cup 2017 and centre-back Martín Demichelis is about to rescind his contract with the club.

Victor Sanchez was having a calf problem, but should start at the right-side of the defence. Among the five lads from the academy picked for the match, left-back Aarón Martín is the only one expected to be a starter.

Man to watch: Striker Gerard Moreno. The Catalan attacker is living his second season at RCD Espanyol and is the top-scorer at the team as he already netted six goals after sixteen league appearances, just one less goal than what he netted in the entire previous campaign.

Picked players: (19) Roberto, Andrés Prieto (goalkeepers), Víctor Álvarez, Óscar Duarte, Diego Reyes, Aarón Martín, Marc Navarro (defenders); Víctor Sánchez, Salva Sevilla, Reyes, Jurado, David López, Hernán Pérez, Javi Fuego, Piatti, Marc Roca, Óscar Melendo (midfielders) Gerard Moreno & Caicedo (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Roberto – Víctor Sánchez, David López, Reyes, Aarón – Hernán Pérez, Jurado, Fuego, Piatti – Caicedo, Gerard Moreno.



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