Squad news

PREVIEW: ATHLETIC – DEPORTIVO

11 Feb 2017
Garitano wants to see a Deportivo better placed at the standings and is ready to repeat the squad that was going to face Betis. For Athletic, it’s a turning point as the team also starts the knockout stage in the Europa League.

Referee: Mario Melero López
Kick-off: 18h30 CET (San Mamés)

STATISTICS: AWAY SORROW
Deportivo remain as one of the four teams that haven’t won yet in liga playing away from home (the other winless teams are Málaga CF, Sporting Gijón and Granada CF).  The Galicians have played eleven games outside the Riazor and only grabbed five draws.

The last time Depor spent too many time without winning on the road was for the campaign 2012/2013, at the time the team spent fourteen away games without winning at Primera. Meanwhile, Athletic Club represent the third best local team in the league. The Basques have added 24 points after 10 home games and they only lost once: 0-1 Vs. FC Barcelona (matchday 02).  So, they remain undefeated after their first home game on the season.

Depor have visited the new San Mamés in three opportunities and lost for the first time in the last game played there: 4-1. Before it grabbed two 1-1 draws. Los Blanquiazules have only lost two of the last ten visits to Athletic Club.

DEPORTIVO: SEARCHING FOR PEACE
In a curious situation Deportivo advanced one place at the standings during the weekend despite it’s game was postponed, but coach Gaizka Garitano has been insisting that his team cannot relax as the drop zone remains six points away. It’s the speech he has been trying to introduce into his players’ mind: a series of straight victories will allow the team to be closer to salvation and therefore it will allow them to play with more confidence.

The other pending subject is to finally win on the road, San Mamés doesn’t seem to be a good place to conquer the first away success, but Garitano is confident as he finally counts with enough offensive weapons to plan the meeting. For this game it is expected the same lineup that was going to face Real Betis on the week before.

Team news: Playmaker Fayçal Fajr is on the roster after joining the team during the week. Goalkeeper Davy Roef is the only man at the injury room. Garitano ruled out four players for tactical reasons: right-back Laure, centre midfielder Álex Bergantiños, right winger Bruno Gama and attacker Marlos Moreno.

Man to watch: Winger Gaël Kakuta. The Frenchman is expected to debut as a starter after the failed game with Betis, he played a few minutes against SD Eibar and left positive feelings. The left wing has given problems to Depor lately and Kakuta seems to be the natural choice to fix the situation.

Picked players: (18) Tytoń, Lux, (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Arribas, Albentosa, Sidnei, Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Borges, Pedro Mosquera, Çolak, Guilherme, Fajr, Carles Gil, Kakuta, Ola John (midfielders); Joselu & Florin Andone (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Tytoń – Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Navarro –Borges, Guilherme – Carles Gil, Çolak, Kakuta – Andone.

ATHLETIC: KEY MOMENT
Good season for Athletic Club, fighting to enter into European places in la liga and already qualified to the knock-out stages in the Europa League (they play the first-leg against APOEL Nicosia on Thursday). So, this is a key moment for them, especially since they have lost some impulse lately with only two wins within the last six games, which means to be out of the first six places.

Team news: Coach Ernesto Valverde will not make rotations as he believes his team is fresh enough to face Depor on Saturday and then APOEL Nicosia on Thursday. Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (quadriceps) and striker Sabin Merino (groin) are the men out for injury reasons, while centre-back Aymeric Laporte is recovered from a knock and should be a starter.

Man to watch: Attacker Iñaki Wiliams. This talented attacker has been converted into a very dangerous winger that has been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Juventus. He already scored twice and provided five assists, two of them within the last three liga meetings (Sporting and Atlético). It’s a big challenge for Juanfran on Depor’s right defensive side.

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Iraizoz – De Marcos , Laporte, Yeray, Balenziaga – Extebarria, San José – Williams, Raúl García, Muniain – Aduriz.

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/17

ZAPPING

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