Squad news


16 Dec 2018
Last home game in 2019; Deportivo will try to extend its positive streak, a run that remain on despite the problems with injuries and suspensions. The rival is the disappointment of the season and arrives in relegation.

Referee: Juan Luis Pulido Santana
Kick-off: 20h30 CET (Riazor)

Back in September Real Zaragoza eliminated Deportivo from Copa Del Rey, and since then both teams followed an opposite run that’s marking their season. The Aragonians have only won one of the fourteen games (thirteen in liga and one in Copa) after eliminating the Galicians, while Depor lost three days later at AD Alcorcón and then remained undefeated for twelve league meetings.

Now Real Zaragoza is in relegation, been the forth worst defence in the league (21 goals allowed) and the fifth worst offensive line (17 goals scored), while Deportivo is promotion seats been the second best defence (12 goals allowed) and the best offense in the league (28 goals scored).

Real Zaragoza have visited the Riazor in twelve opportunities during this century; within the period they added two victories and six draws, and their last victory in A Coruña is from the campaign 2009/10 (0-1).

For a month coach Natxo González has witnessed how his team has been affected by injuries and suspensions, but for every game he always ended having at least one man available per position, which is the result of a large squad composed by 24 players and at least two men for every position on the field.

Even this week he was about to lose both men used so far on the left side, Diego Caballo and Saúl García, but still had a backup with the return of Sebastián Dubarbier from a long-term injury. So, despite the problems Natxo hasn’t been forced to improvise and it’s another reason that has allowed the current positive streak of twelve straight games without defeats.

Team news: Fede Cartabia received the okay from doctors after ending Saturday’s training and is available, also David Simón and Diego Caballo, duo that skipped the last game against CD Numancia due to knocks. So, the only players at the injury room are Carlos Fernández and Gerard Valentín. A third casualty or the game is Saúl García, who is suspended after been sent off in the previous matchday.  The coach announced that the final roster for the game will be released until Sunday.

Man to watch: Striker Quique González. The 28-year-old attacker had an explosive start in the league, but has remained scoreless within the last four matchdays and also leaving a negative impression. Depor need him now that Carlos Fernández is off.

Picked players: Roster to be released on Sunday.

Predicted lineup: (4-3-1-2) Dani Giménez – David Simón, Domingos Duarte, Pablo Mari, Caballo – Mosquera, Vicente Gómez, Edu Expósito – Carles Gil – Quique González, Borja Valle.

Real Zaragoza is the disappointment of the season, after ending third last campaign they were considered as one of the main favorites for the promotion. Natxo González left and there was confidence in Joseba Idiakez and his young team (third lowest average age in the league, 25.75 years), but that impression was wiped off quickly as after ten games they only won twice and the coach was sacked.

Things didn’t improve with the arrival of Lucas Alcaraz, who only added one win and two draws in the next seven matches, reason why he can be sacked in a case of a defeat at the Riazor. The veteran coach dropped the system with three centre midfielders installed by Natxo (5-3-2) and started to use a 4-4-2, but for the game at the Riazor it’s expected that he will return to the previous figure as Los Maños search for an identity and fresh air that can pull them out of the pit.

Team news: Centre-back Álex Muñóz is out of the game due to a hamstring knock suffered on Friday. Other four players are out injured: midfielder Iñigo Eguaras (groin), attackers Gaizka Toquero (knee) and Giorgi Papunashivili (groin), plus centre-back Simone Grippo (knee ligaments). New signing Alberto Guitián was picked for the game and is expected to start.

Man to watch: Centre-back Alberto Guitián. The 28-year-old defender returns to Zaragoza after a short career at Valladolid and Sporting Gijón, he left as a solid player and returns as the replacement of long-term injured Simone Grippo, and with the mission of helping a defence with only two clean sheets on the season.

Picked players: (18) Cristian Álvarez, Álvaro Ratón (goalkeepers); Alberto Benito, Daniel Lasure, Bruno Perone, Diogo Verdasca, Alberto Guitián, Carlos Nieto, Julián Delmás (defenders); Pep Biel, Javi Ros, James Igbekeme, Raúl Guti, Marc Gual, Alberto Zapater (midfielders); Jorge Pombo, Álvaro Vázquez & Alberto Soro (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (5-3-2) Cristian Álvarez – Delmás, Benito, Guitián, Verdasca, Lasure - Pep Biel, Raúl Guti, Javi Ros – Gual, Álvaro Vázquez.



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