Squad news


12 May 2018
Villarreal CF are trying to secure a Europa League spot facing an indifferent Deportivo that’s counting the days to leave the elite.

Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
Kick-off: 18h30 CET (Riazor)

Deportivo have only won four games at the Riazor during this season, it’s the same number of the campaign 2015/16. It’s necessary to go back to the campaign 1942/43 in order to see Depor winning less games at home: Three. At the time only fourteen teams were competing at Primera. Another terrible number is the number of goals allowed so far: 70. It’ the worst mark since the 80 allowed in the campaign 1955/56.

Meanwhile, Villarreal CF arrive to the meeting as the sixth best visiting team in la liga. The Yellow Submarine has added 22 points in 18 visits, mark inly below FC Barcelona (42), Real Madrid (35), Atlético Madrid (34), Valencia CF (28) and Real Betis (26).

The positive thing for Deportivo is that the Galicians have chained four straight games without losing against Villarreal CF, this includes the last three visits to the Estadio de La Cerámica, in two of those meetings los Blanquiazules were certifying the permanence at the elite.

Closing game at the Riazor, the team is already relegated and not too much is expected from a Deportivo that’s distracted in other things, like the future of a group of players that could be receiving the last protests of the season. Nothing has been planned by the peńas, but it cannot be ruled out a negative environment at the Riazor.

Coach Clarence Seedorf is set to keep the block of the last games, but he will make some changes due to the casualties, starting at the centre of the defence. Fernando Navarro will join Raúl Albentosa, while Fede Valverde Will have the chance to play as a starter. Borja Valle is also expected to start.

Team news: Fede Cartabia, Carles Gil (both hamstring) and Florin Andone (groin) are last-minute casualties and join Sidnei Rechel and Eneko Bóveda at the injury room. 18-year-old centre-back Mujaid Sadick was picked for the first time by the first team as Fabian Schär is suspended, while the players out for tactical reasons are Przemysław Tytoń and Celso Borges. The latter is a surprise, because this is last game after the club accepted to release him early in order to prepare the World cup with Costa Rica. Seedorf explained that he doesn’t want to risk the midfielder.

Man to watch: Striker Borja Valle. The Asturian is one of the few players that haves left positive feelings, to the point that many fans are asking why he didn’t have more opportunities before. He has scored once and provided two assists. Seedorf will give him the chance to play as a starter playing behind Lucas and Adrián.

Picked players: (18) Rubén Martínez, Kóval (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Gerard Valentín, Albentosa, Mujaid Sadick, Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Pedro Mosquera, Fede Valverde, Guilherme, Krohn-Dehli, Çolak, Bakkali (midfielders); Adrián, Lucas Pérez, Andone & Borja Valle (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-3-1-2) Rubén Martínez - Juanfran, Albentosa, Navarro, Luisinho – Krohn-Dehli, Guilherme, Valverde – Borja Valle – Adrián, Lucas.

Despite the current position at the standings, it hasn’t been a good season for Villarreal CF. The Valencians changed the coach once during the campaign and have lived ups and downs, as example what happened to them after the first-round game with Depor. That 1-1 draw was followed by four straight wins (3 in liga and 1 in Copa), and later they fell in a hole of four loses and one draw in the next five official meetings.

Coach Javier Calleja has been unable to find stability at the team and, despite the numbers, it seems that he will continue on next season. Because no matter the results, the team has managed to be sixth with only two game remaining, which means to qualify for the Europa League, but for it they need to win at the Riazor, because later they host Real Madrid. They need the three points to certify the qualification and that’s why Calleja stated that “our war is on the weekend” after been trashed 5-1 by FC Barcelona on Wednesday.

Team news: Midfielder Bruno Soriano is the only casualty for the game, he has missed the entire campaign due to a knee injury. Right-back Antonio Rukavina is available after been suspended for the game against FC Barcelona, though in this game he will perform on the left flank.

Man to watch: Striker Carlos Bacca. The Colombian will arrive to the World Cup in shape, he has scored fifteen goals and provide five assists in the Primera tournament, the point is that six of those goals came in his last six appearances, including a hat-trick against RC Celta (April 28).

Picked players: (18) Asenjo, Andrés Fernández (goalkeepers); Mario Gaspar, Álvaro González, Víctor Ruiz, Jaume Costa, Rukavina, Bonera (defenders); Cheryshev, Pablo Fornals, Samu Castillejo, Manu Trigueros, Rodrigo Hernández ‘Rodri’, Javi Fuego, Dani Raba (midfielders); Carlos Bacca, Enes Ünal & Nicola Sanone (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Asenjo – Gaspar, Álvaro González, Víctor Ruiz, Rukavina – Rodri, Trigueros – Castillejo, Raba, Cheryshev – Bacca.



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