Squad news


20 Aug 2017
Debut in liga for Depor and not an easy task, the rival is a team that just won the Supercup in Europe and Spain. Andone will be a starter for the Galicians.

Referee: José Luis González González
Kick-off: 22h15 CET (Abanca Riazor)

Deportivo have suffered a lot hosting Real Madrid in recent years, the Galicians lost five of the last six home meetings with the Madrilenians, and in the last four they allowed 18 goals, including two heavy losses: 2-8 (2014/15) ad 2-6 (2016/17), the last one with Pepe Mel on.

Deportivo have been unable to defeat Real Madrid during the last thirteen meetings in liga, and this is the third time on this century with both sides facing each other in the opening matchday. For the season 2004/05, Depor defeated Real Madrid at the Riazor in matchday 01 (2-0), while on the season 2009/10 the Madrilenians were the ones clinching the victory (3-2 at the Santiago Bernabéu).

Zinedine Zidane already completed 68 official games commanding Real Madrid and the surprising stat is that he has only lost seven games. The last defeat of the Madrilenians was for the Champions League 2016/17 visiting Atlético Madrid in the second leg of the semifinals (2-1, May 10). Since then, they have clinched seven straight victories, including the final in the Champions League, the UEFA Supercup, plus both legs in the Spanish Supercup facing FC Barcelona.

Coach Pepe Mel is convinced that the 4-2-3-1 is the system to use throughout the season, but that doesn’t mean he will use it in all the games; actually it’s expected that he will use the 4-3-3 in the debut in liga, this since Carles Gil and Emre Çolak are unavailable, so he replaces the figure of the playmaker with three centre midfielders.

So, Borges goes in, while Fede Cartabia and Zakaria Bakkali will be supporting on the wings, both are new arrivals and, together with Schär, complete the trio of debutants in this match.

Team news: Florin Andone was facing a groin problem, but passed the late test and is available for the meeting. Carles Gil starts the season at the injury room, Fede Valverde is ineligible as Real Madrid is his parent club, while Emre Çolak is dragging a suspension from last year. Fabril’s Edu Expósito is in the list for the game, while the players out for tactical reasons are Albentosa, Gerard Valentín, Bicho, Saúl and Juan Dominguez.

Man to watch: Defender Fabian Schär. The Swiss international impressed during the Teresa Herrera with his long passes, now he is one of the three new arrivals that will debut in this game. The challenge is not only to help in the output of the ball, but to contain the white machinery.

Picked players: (18) Rubén Martínez, Tytoń (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Schär,
Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Guilherme, Mosquera, Borges, Edu Expósito, Bruno Gama, Cartabia, (midfielders); Bakkali, Borja Valle, Adrián & Andone (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Rubén Martínez – Juanfran, Schär, Sidnei, Luisinho – Guilherme, Borges, Mosquera – Cartabia, Andone, Bakkali.

The media has emphasized all week long the fact that Real Madrid is the new undisputed best team in Spain, Los Blancos dispatched FC Barcelona in the Supercup without too major problems and is the main candidate to clinch the title. The confidence is so big, that the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo for the first four matchdays isn’t considered a problem in the team coached by Zinedine Zidane.

Team news: Defender Jesús Vallejo is out with a muscle problem, while Cristiano Ronaldo is not available due to a suspension. The rest of the team is fit to play. It’s expected that Zidane will make four changes compared to the returning leg in the Supercup. Marco Asensio scored goals in both legs with FC Barcelona, but it’s expected that he will be on the bench as Isco should be a starter.

Man to watch: Playmaker Francisco Román Alarcón ‘Isco’. Ronaldo is out and Asensio will start on the bench, so Isco will be on the spotlight attacking from the right wing. He scored once and provided four assists within his three visits to the Riazor with Real Madrid.

Picked players: To be released until Sunday before the trip to A Coruña

Predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Keylor Navas - Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo - Casemiro, Modric, Kroos - Isco, Benzema, Bale.




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