Squad news


12 Mar 2017
Depor have chained three straight games without losing, but now face a giant in its best moment of the season and with Pepe Mel having four casualties due to injuries and suspensions.

Referee: David Fernández Borbalán
Kick-off: 16h15 CET (Riazor)

FC Barcelona have been a demolishing force at the Riazor during its last five visits, with five straight victories and an impressive 24-5 aggregate score, including a devastating 0-8 win on last season, which is the worst home defeat in the history of Deportivo.

And this is the best FC Barcelona on the season, the Catalans just achieved a miraculous comeback in Champions League and have also chained nineteen liga games without defeats, including six straight victories, a god run that has allowed them to reach the first place at the standings.

At least this Deportivo also arrive in a good “mood” after adding five of the last nine points in dispute, the same ones disputed under new boss Pepe Mel. Currently, only other four clubs have chained three or more straight games without losing in la liga: FC Barcelona (19), Sevilla CF (6), Real Madrid (3) and Real Sociedad (3).

The casualties are forcing coach Pele Mel to make changes, but the new boss is also planning to rotate the team, among the big novelties is to see Carles Gil performing as a playmaker and the return of Bruno Gama to the right wing. Meanwhile the two novelties related to casualties are Álex Bergantiños, who debuts as a starter on this season, and Raúl Albentosa, who returns to the starting formation after been sent off against CD Leganés. 

Team news: Joselu passed a late test and will be the lonely striker in this game. With the Galician on the coach had nineteen players available, and all of them were included into the roster for the game, including attacker Marlos Moreno, who is returning after been off for some weeks. Sidnei and Guilherme are at the injury room, while Pedro Mosquera and Florin Andone are suspended with five yellow cards.

Man to watch: Centre-back Raúl Albentosa. With Sidnei injured the Valencian is going to be the partner of Arribas at the centre of the defence, just in the meeting against the best offense in la liga and just when he was passing through his lowest moment in his short career at Depor. He will be on the spotlight after a series of unfortunate plays, he provoked the penalty that cost the game with Alavés, one week later was sent off before Leganés, and against Betis he was close to cost an upset entering the pitch in the final minutes just to make a last-minute foul at the edge of the area.

Picked players: (19) Tytoń, Lux, Roef (goalkeepers); Laure, Juanfran, Arribas, Albentosa, Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Borges, Fajr, Çolak, Carles Gil, Ola John, Kakuta, Bruno Gama (midfielders); Joselu & Marlos Moreno (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lux – Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Navarro – Borges, Álex Bergantiños – Bruno Gama, Carles Gil, Fajr – Joselu.

Crazy days in Catalonia, only a couple of weeks ago there was a sense of disappointment as the team was at the edge of elimination in Champions League and far from the top in liga, only the Copa Del Rey was at reach after reaching the final game. Even coach Luis Enrique announced his exit after been frustrated with the pressure.

But everything changed in a few days, Real Madrid suffered unexpected bad results and the Catalans reached the top after winning six games in a row, then the crazy tie with PSG that witnessed how the Catalans overcame a 0-4 aggregate score. Now the team is shocked and at the same time motivated as the treble is a real possibility, there’s a big enthusiasm now surrounding the club as the phase of definitions approaches.

Team news: Like the case with Depor, FC Barcelona are paying a price for the busy calendar, this since Neymar (adductor) and Rafinha (gastroenteritis) are out of the game after skipping the last training session.  The other players out are  Jérémy Mathieu (ankle sprain) and Aleix Vidal (ankle fracture).

Man to watch: Attacker Lionel Messi. The top-scorer in la liga (23 goals added to his tally) is always the first explanation that must be searched at the moment of describing why FC Barcelona are living a good moment, and the stats demonstrates this. The Catalans have chained six straight wins and within the period the Argentine star has scored seven times plus providing three assists.

Picked players: (18) Ter Stegen, Cillessen (goalkeepers), Piqué, Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, Umtiti (defenders); Rakitić, André Gomes, Sergio Busquets, Denis Suárez, Arda Turan, Iniesta, Carles Aleñá (midfielders); Luis Suárez, Messi & Paco Alcácer (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Ter Stegen – Sergi Roberto, Umtiti, Piqué, Jordi Alba – André Gomes, Busquets, Iniesta – Messi, Suárez, Arda Turan.



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