Squad news


17 Aug 2018
First official game of the season, Depor return to Segunda presenting a lineup full of new names and a new coach with a very different scheme. The rival has been trying to work in the shadows and promises a surprise in set-pieces.

Referee: Valentín Pizarro Gómez
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (Carlos Belmonte)

Deportivo return to Segunda División in what represents their 40th participation in the second tier of Spanish football. The Galicians are searching for their 11th promotion to the elite. Depor have won the first game in each one of its last eight seasons at Segunda, the last time they lost a season opener on this league was visiting Barcelona Athletic (3-1, season 1983/84).

Meanwhile, Albacete Balompié is starting their 22nd season at Segunda División, league where they have played in 3 of the past 4 years. They earned the promotion to Primera only twice in the past (1990/91 & 2002/03).

This is the 10th visit to Albacete playing for a league competition; Depor won the last two games at the Carlos Belmonte stadium when both teams were competing at Primera. The last visit playing for Segunda meant a 2-1 defeat (October 28, 1990).

After a disappointing season at Primera, Depor returns to Segunda and has the mission to start all over again. And it does it with a new coach and a very different squad. And it’s that at least six of the expected starters arrived this summer, without counting Eneko Bóveda, who landed in A Coruña in January.

Even the draw is a novelty as new boss Natxo González has brought the 4-3-1-2 he was implementing at Real Zaragoza. He didn’t’ give clues during the last training sessions, so there are question marks in some positions like who will be the goalkeeper, but other things are clear like the right-back position or the presence of key players like Pedro Mosquera or Cartabia.

Team news: Natxo had 21 players available for the debut in liga, Christian Santos and Bicho are at the injury room, while he ruled out three men for tactical reasons: Saúl Garcia, Albentosa and Guilherme. New signing Didier Moreno arrives until next week.

Man to watch: Fede Cartabia. The Argentine is the main hope of the fans, in a transfer window full of unknown names the playmaker, now acting as a second striker, is the main hope in attack of a team that the same coach has admitted isn’t ready yet.

Picked players: Dani Giménez, Ortolá (goalkeepers); David Simón, Gerard Valentín, Bóveda, Pablo Mari, Domingos Duarte, Dubarbier, Caballo (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Edu Expósito, Krohn-Dehli, Mosquera, Pedro Sánchez, Cartabia, Carles Gil (midfielders); Borja Valle & Quique González (attackers)

Predicted lineup: (4-3-1-2) Ortolá – David Simón, Bóveda, Pablo Mari, Dubarbier – Mosquera, Álex Bergantiños, Krohn-Dehli – Pedro Sánchez – Cartabia, Quique González.

Los Manchegos suffered a lot last season in order to clinch the permanence; they had a poor start only picking a point within the first five matches. In the end they were saved, but it was only by a point. Now new coach Luis Miguel Ramis wants to correct this and for him the key is to face the first games with secrecy, so he can surprise the rival with prepared moves in set-pieces.

On this week the team completed four training sessions, three of them behind closed doors with the press only allowed to watch the first fifteen minutes. Then they closed the doors at the moment of practicing the lineup for the game. For this reason it was known until Thursday the players that aren’t fit to play. Ramis told reporters that he was afraid the team could be “recorded by spies” and also because he was preparing the set-pieces, actions that for him are definitive at Segunda División.

Team news: Defenders Álvaro García, Chus Herrero, Ángel Moreno and Mathías Olivera are all out of the game as they didn’t surpass their physical problems. The coach only had five defenders for the game and picked Georgian midfielder Lado Mokhevishvili from the B squad in order to fill the gaps.

Man to watch: Striker Roman Zozulya. The Ukrainian is well-known in Spain after a political incident with the fans of Rayo Vallecano, but what’s less known is that he was the best scorer of Albacete on the last season. He scored 9 goals, 6 of them within the first 18 matchdays. Now he wants to repeat that same solid start. 

Picked players (19): Tomeu Nadal, Antonio Caro Díaz (goalkeepers); Antonio Caro Martínez, Álvaro Arroyo, Fran García, Gorosito, Álvaro Tejero (defenders); Jon Erice, Néstor Susaeta, Aleix Febas, Mickael Malsa, Eugeni Valderrama, Jean Jules, Jérémie Bela, Lado Mokhevishvili (midfielders); Carlos Acuña, Rei Manaj, Zozulya and Alfredo Ortuño (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Tomeu Nadal - Álvaro Arroyo, Caro Martínez, Fran García, Tejero - Acuña, Jon Erice, Febas, Bela – Rei Manaj, Zozulya.



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