Squad news


01 Apr 2009
The conformation of midfield plus the problems in the striking zone are the headaches of Lotina for Sunday’s game at Montjuic. The Basque is seriously thinking in putting Z? Castro at the centre of the pitch, while the four strikers at the squad are doubtful.

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina is having two major problems trying to build a competitive squad for the clash against RCD Espanyol (Sunday, 17h00 CET). The main one is occurring at midfield, with Juan Rodriguez and Sergio suspended for the game, and especially with Antonio Tom??s struggling to be fit for the encounter, the Basque coach only has Julian De Guzm??n for one of the two pivote positions.

The option of Joan Verd?? delaying his position should be the first choice, but Lotina already tested with central defender Z? Castro covering the position. The Portuguese has been out for a month due to injury reasons and now he is ready to return after surpassing early on the week his tonsillitis.

On Wednesday, the coach tested with him in the pivote position and he will take a final decision in the next hours about the entry of the Portuguese player in midfield. And it’s that Lotina considers that Antonio Tomas will not fully recovered for the game, as he explained to reporters, ?I don’t know if he will be ready to play for a moment in the game, but surely he won’t be fit for the full game. That’s why I’m testing with Ze Castro; he knows to play backwards the goal and has the characteristics of a midfielder, though he never played there.?

The same Z? Castro was affirming he won’t have a problem to perform in that function, ?I believe that for my characteristics, I can still play there. Not like a pure midfielder, because customs is something very important for any position. But if they need me, surely I’m disposed to help.? He said to reporters.

Other two options mentioned by the newspapers are to put Pablo Amo in that position and to even play with De Guzm??n has the only pivote, something the Canadian will do without problems, ?I already played like that with Lotina. There won’t be a problem, because you always have the aids of the central defenders and the midfielders above me.? De Guzm??n said.

The other concern for Lotina is at the striking zone, because the four attackers at the squad are dragging different problems. Riki is struggling with a Malleolus problem (ankle) since the game with Betis, while Lassad came back with a hamstring problem from his concentration with Tunisia. Rodolfo Bodipo already surpassed his hamstring strain injury, but the Guinean has been suffering from pharyngitis during the week. The other striker, Mista, is already discarded due to a pubalgy case.

Lassad seems to be the player with more chances at the starting squad that will play in Montjuic, while on Tuesday Riki was confessing to reporters that he won’t be ready for the game, "I don’t have positive sensations, and I don’t think I will be ready for Sunday.? However, the Madrilenian talked to Lotina on Wednesday and manifested his intentions to be ready for the game. Actually, on Wednesday’s training session, Lotina alternated Bodipo and Riki in the tests for the game, both men played during twenty minutes in the striking zone, while Lafita was probed as part of a ?plan C?.

Besides, to add that Laure and Andr?s Guardado represent other two doubts for the game. The right-back has a tear in the muscle and has been fit to play lately, but his case should be followed really closely as Manuel Pablo is delaying his return due to a Soleus injury. Meanwhile, the Mexican is playing with his national team in the FIFA qualifying game against Honduras and his return is expected until Friday, Lotina still has to check his situation taking in mind that he is just coming back after an injury.



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