Squad news


14 Apr 2018
Deportivo need a new victory in order to stay alive in the quest for the permanence. Athletic are passing through a disappointing season.

Referee: José Luis González González
Kick-off: 20h45 CET (San Mamés)

Athletic Club are living a bitter season, they were already eliminated in the Europa League and are only 12th at the standings, their worst position at this stage since ending 17th for the campaign 2006/07. Big part of the problem is the results at San Mamés. Surely they only lost twice there (1-2  Vs. Atlético Madrid and 0-2 Vs. FC Barcelona), but the fact is that they have only won five times at home. So, they are the fifth worst local team in the competition: 23 points in 15 games. Mark only above Levante UD (18), Deportivo (17), UD Las Palmas (14) and Málaga CF (12).

Meanwhile, Deportivo are the second worst visiting team in la liga. The Galicians have only added six points on the road, mark only above Málaga CF (5). Actually, Depor have only won 2 of its last 35 away games at Primera División and drag a mark of six straight away loses and five straight away matches without scoring a goal.

Depor have added positive results visiting Athletic within the last two decades, in the last 18 games at San Mamés, the Galicians added 5 victories and 7 draws. But Depor have suffered in the three visits to the new version of San Mamés. In three games played there the team only added a point and it was a suffered one with Lopo scoring in the stoppage time during the campaign 2014/15 (1-1).

The last victory over Málaga CF only extended the agony of Deportivo, the Galicians need to seize the coming week of three games and hope that Levante UD are going to end their positive streak. Coach Clarence Seedorf is determined in keeping his diamond figure at midfield, but he will have to make changes as Sulleyman Muntari is injured and Guilherme is suspended.

Michael Krohn-Dehli and Celso Borges are expected to start, while there will two more modifications as Luisinho is returning from a suspension, while Fabian Schär will start at the centre of the defence as Sidnei didn’t pass a late test.

Team news: Sidnei didn’t train on Friday and he will be rested as Seedorf explained that there’s a high risk he might fell injured. Fabian Schär, Fede Valverde and Sidnei Rechel surpassed their physical problems and are available for the meeting. So, the three men staying at the injury room are Sulleyman Muntari, Fede Cartabia and Eneko Bóveda. Apart for Sidnei’s case, the only man out for tactical reasons is goalkeeper Tytoń.

Man to watch: Midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli. The winter signing has been a disappointment so far, Seedorf noticed his low level and the Danish hasn’t played since March 03 (1-1 Vs. SD Eibar). Now he has a new chance due to the casualties, just when Depor cannot fail anymore

Picked players: (19) Rubén Martínez, Kóval (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Gerard Valentín, Schär, Albentosa, Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Mosquera, Fede Valverde, Borges, Krohn-Dehli, Çolak, Bakkali, Carles Gil (midfielders); Adrián, Lucas Pérez, Andone & Borja Valle (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Rubén Martínez - Juanfran, Albentosa, Schär, Luisinho - Krohn-Dehli, Mosquera, Borges - Çolak, Lucas, Adrián.

There’s a sense of disappointment in Bilbao with Athletic Club. In recent years the fans have been pleased as the team qualified for the Europa League and, more importantly, it was leaving the classic mark of been a fighting team on the pitch.

But that image is gone for the current season. The team has been under fire and there was a huge protest at San Mamés after been eliminated by Marseille in the knock-out stage (March 15). Now everybody is convinced that coach José Ángel Ziganda is not going to continue ahead of next season, not even the recent improvement is changing the feeling of frustration.  So, Depor are meeting a team with a weird mix of relaxation with the end of the season approaching and at the same time pressure to fix the anger at the stands.

Team news: Left-back Mikel Balenziagaand centre-back Yeray Álvarez are recovered from their physical problems. The casualties for the game are defender Unai Núñez and midfielder Ander Iturraspe , duo that’s suspended.

Man to watch: Attacker Iñaki Williams. His performance has been criticized, mainly after signing a contract renewal in January, but his level has been improving within the last month. He has scored twice and provided an assist within his last four appearances. Monday’s game at Villarreal CF (1-3) was his best on the campaign with the 23-year-old attacker scoring a goal and providing an assist; enough to sit top-scorer Aritz Aduriz for one more week.

Picked players: (18) Kepa, Iago Herrerín (goalkeepers); Iñigo Martínez, Yeray, Lekue, Etxeita, Balenziaga (defenders); Iñigo Córdoba, Mikel San José, Beñat, Susaeta, Mikel Rico, De Marcos, Mikel Vesga, Raúl García, (midfielders); Muniain, Iñaki Williams & Aduriz (attackers),

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kepa – De Marcos, Yeray, Iñigo Martínez, Balenziaga – San José, Beñat – Susaeta, Raúl García, Iñigo Córdoba – Iñaki Williams.



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