Squad news


07 Mar 2020
Fernando Vázquez will keep playing with the system of three centre-backs, the only expected novelty is Gaku. UD Almería are third, but their situation is more complicated of what could be expected.

Referee: Daniel Jesús Trujillo Suárez
VAR Official: Miguel Ángel Ortiz Arias
Kick-off: 21h00 CET (Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos)

Despite only adding 2 of the last 9 points in dispute, Deportivo is the best team in the second round with 20 points added in 9 meetings. The problem is that the Galicians are only two points above the pit as the other teams in relegation are starting to react. Meanwhile, UD Almería remain in promotion seats despite spending six games without winning. The Andalusians have only added 11 points in the second round, which is only the 12th best mark in the league.

UD Almería have added 24 points in the 14 home games of the season, this is only the 9th best mark in the league. The problem is that Los Rojiblancos have only won one of their last five home meetings, and three of those matches ended in a defeat for them.

This is the eighth visit to UD Almeria playing for a league competition and Depor were only able to win once at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos, it was a 0-1 for the campaign 2008/09 thanks to a goal scored by Joan Verdú. Since then the Galicians have played five games there getting four draws in the period.

Coach Fernando Vázquez will keep the line of three centre-backs, which includes the presence of Peru Nolaskoain. During the week he tested with Álex in defence and Peru at midfield, but on Friday the coach confirmed that the normal thing is to keep the previous positions. The only expected change is the re-introduction of Gaku at midfield. Therefore, the Galician coach will keep insisting with the 5-4-1 after only adding two draws within the last three matchdays.

Team news: Salva Ruiz didn’t receive the medical okay despite been training with the group, so he remains at the injury room together with Michele Somma. Gaku Shibasaki returns from suspension and will be a starter. Five players are out for tactical reasons: Salva Ruiz, Borja Valle, Christian Santos, David Simón and Luis Ruiz.

Man to watch: Centre-back Mujaid Sadick. The 19-year-old defender has been among the best player at Deportivo in recent matchdays and now Depor are facing the best offense in the league (45), though the Andalusians have ended scoreless in three of their last six games.

Picked players: (18) Dani Giménez, Aleksandar Jovanović (goalkeepers); Eneko Bóveda, Javi Montero, Mujaid Sadick (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Vicente Gómez, Peru Nolaskoain, Uche Agbo, Gaku Shibasaki, Ager Aketxe, Emre Çolak, Víctor Mollejo, Keko Gontán (midfielders); Mamadou Koné, Claudio Beauvue, Hugo Vallejo & Sabin Merino (attackers)

Predicted lineup: (5-4-1) Dani Giménez – Bóveda, Nolaskoain, Mujaid, Montero, Mollejo – Aketxe, Álex Bergantiños, Gaku, Çolak – Sabin Merino.
It might seem exaggerated to describe as chaotic the current situation of a club that’s third and that has been in promotion seats all season long, but it’s the reality of a club involved in all kind of weird situations after the arrival of Turki Al-Sheikh. The sheikh fired coach Óscar Fernández during the pre-season only one month after been signed, then fired his replacement, Pedro Emanuel, when the team was second at the standings.

Then José María Gutiérrez ´Guti’ was signed and it was seen as move trying to call the attention of the media, but the ex-Real Madrid player has been unable to convince as his team has spent six games without wins, to make things worse the new coach criticized the level of the new signings (The winter singings have barely played) and the comment in Almería is that there was an attempt of strike at the squad. With all this in mind it’s easy to see why the environment is described as chaotic and shouldn’t be a surprise if UD Almería end having a fourth coach on the season if the negative results continue.

Team news: Juan Carlos Lazo is a big casualty for the game as the left winger is the second-best scorer at the team (8). He suffered a thigh injury in the last training before the game with Cádiz CF. The other players out injured are centre-back Juan Ibiza (knee ligaments), plus centre midfielders Ante Ćorić (knee sprain) and Radosav Petrović (muscle). Playmaker Fran Villalba is expected to start after surpassing a knock.

Man to watch: Striker Darwin Núñez. The Uruguayan attacker is only 20 but is already the top-scorer at the team with ten goals added to his tally. He remains to be the most dangerous player at his team despite only scoring once within his last five appearances.

Picked players: (21) Antonio Sivera, Fernando Martínez (goalkeepers); Francis Guerrero, José Romera, Iván Balliu, Nikola Maraš, Valentine Ozornwafor, David Costas, Iván Martos, Jonathan Silva (defenders); Sergio Aguza, César de la Hoz, Wilfrid Kaptoum, Valentín Vada, Fran Villaba, Enzo Zidane, José Corpas, Arvin Appiah (midfielders), Juan Muñoz, Darwin Núñez & Iván Barbero (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Fernando – Balliu, David Costas, Maraš, Iván Martos – Fran Villalba, Kaptoum, Vada, Appiah – Juan Muñoz, Darwin Núñez.



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