Squad news


02 Mar 2017
Pepe Mel debuts at Deportivo making changes and facing an Atlético that’s now thinking of securing the spot for the next Champions League tournament.

Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez
Kick-off: 20h45 CET (Riazor)

Atlético Madrid could be realizing that they are no longer contenders for the title, this after losing against FC Barcelona, result that means to be sitting now ten points away from the top spot, but this has been a new solid season for them. They are currently the third best defence in the competition (21 goals allowed) and at the same time represent the fourth best offensive line (44 goals scored). Besides, they have great chances of advancing in Champions League, which is their main target. So it can be said that it is a new solid season for the Madrilenians.

Meanwhile, Deportivo and CA Osasuna are the worst teams at Primera División during 2017. Both outfits are winless in the new year and only picked three points in the period, though in the case of the Galicians they only played seven games as there’s a pending encounter hosting Real Betis.

Deportivo only clinched one victory in their last fifteen liga meetings with the Madrilenians; that win occurred at the Riazor for the season 2009/10. It was a 2-1 victory with goals scored by Andrés Guardado and Diego Colotto.

Pepe Mel debuts at Deportivo after only directing two training sessions, it’s a tough moment as the team will play four liga games in a matter of eleven days. Perhaps that’s why he is only making a few changes to the normal starting eleven of his predecessor, Gaizka Garitano.

And it’s that the new coach is keeping the 4-2-3-1 figure, Borges is available, but Guilherme is having a muscle issue and will probably miss the match. Gaël Kakuta is moved to the right wing opening a slot for Fayçal Fajr, while Florin Andone returns to the starting formation.

Team news: Centre-back Raúl Albentosa is suspended after been sent off in the past liga game. The coach will release the roster for the game until Thursday, but it’s expected that Guilherme will miss the game as he had muscle issues on Wednesday, the coach revealed later that he is dragging the problem since the last game with Leganés. With these two casualties, Mel will have 21 players available, so he will have to rule out three men before the kick-off.

Man to watch: Striker Florin Andone. Depor need points and for that the goals are urgently needed, the best scorer at the team is the Romanian (7), but he has only netted once in 2017, it was on January 20 as Depor visit UD Las Palmas (1-1).

Picked players: Pepe Mel will release the roster until Thursday, after a training session behind closed doors (Abegondo, 11h00 CET).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Navarro –Mosquera, Borges – Kakuta, Çolak, Fajr – Andone.

Atlético Madrid are now focused in advancing to further rounds in Champions League and at the same time secure their participation in the next big European tournament, something already admitted by coach Diego Simeone, the reason why Los Colchoneros are out of the liga race earlier than expected is their failures against the top teams

And it’s that they have only picked one point in the six matches they have played against the top six teams at the standings. That point was the 1-1 draw at FC Barcelona during the first round, later they were defeated by
Sevilla (0-1), Real Sociedad (0-2), Real Madrid (0-3), Villarreal (0-3) and the latest one was the defeat with Barcelona (1-2).

Team news: Four men are unavailable for the match. Winger Saúl Ñíguez misses the game due to suspension, while right-back Juanfran Torres (muscle) and centre midfielder Augusto Fernández (knee ligaments) are out due to injury reasons. The last casualty is midfielder Tiago, who didn’t recover in time from a knee problem.

Man to watch: Striker Kevin Gameiro. Normally the attention in attack is focused in French attacker Antoine Griezmann, but the true is that his compatriot Gameiro is one of the most in-form players in la liga. The ex-Valencia man has scored five goals and provided two assists within his last five appearances, including a hat-trick in five minutes coming out from the bench against CA Osasuna, plus a goal and an assist visiting Bayer Leverkusen for the Champions League. It’s surprising to see that he’s expected to start on the bench, but what he did against Sporting invites to keep an eye on him.

Picked players: (18) Moyá, Oblak (goalkeepers), Godín, Filipe, Savić, Vrsaljko, Lucas Hernández, Giménez (defenders); Koke, Carrasco, Gabi, Thomas, Gaitán, Caio Henrique (midfielders); Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Correa & Gameiro (attackers)

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Oblak – Vrsaljko, Giménez, Godín, Filipe – Thomas, Koke, Gabi, Carrasco – Torres, Griezmann



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