Competition news


13 Mar 2010
Depor dreams with the Champions League as it visits the always difficult Sevilla FC. For the occasion Lotina is switching the system into a 4-3-2-1, while Jimenez has doubts with Kanouté and Luis Fabiano.

Deportivo is the only Primera club that hasn’t scored yet any goal playing away from home within the year 2010, this after five visits: 0-0 at Zaragoza (matchday 16), 0-2 at Mallorca (matchday 18), 0-0 at Malaga (matchday 21), 0-2 at RCD Espanyol (matchday 22) and 0-1 at Villarreal (matchday 24). Depor’s last away liga goal was scored in December at UD Almeria (1-1), which means 466 minutes scoreless playing in this condition, the worst mark for Depor since 1966.

Curiously, in the middle of this negative streak Depor played two away matches in Copa Del Rey, and in both opportunities the Galician team not only scored some goals, but also won the games, and one of those encounters was against Sevilla FC at the Sánchez Pizjuán, game that ended 1-0 for Depor (the other away match in Copa was the 2-1 win at Valencia)

Despite the recent problems playing away from the Riazor, the previous visits are leaving Depor at the sixth position at Primera in this department (15 points added after 13 visits), while Sevilla FC is the seventh best home team in the division with 25 points added after 13 home encounters. The Andalusians have only lost twice playing in this condition: 1-2 Vs Getafe (matchday 15) and 1-2 Vs Racing Santander (matchday 17)
Also, this is the eighth confrontation between Depor and Sevilla within the last two seasons (four in liga and four in Copa), which converts the series into the most played one in Spain since the year 2008. On the past campaign the Andalusian won the four matches, and on the present season the Galicians have the advantage as they won two of the three games, though they have been eliminated twice in Copa Del Rey.

For the first time on the season Depor will start an away game with a 4-3-3 (4-3-2-1) formation, it already did it in three opportunities at the Riazor (1-0 Vs Sevilla, 1-3 Vs Barcelona and 3-1 Vs Athletic Bilbao), but this will be the first time that Lotina uses the scheme away from La Coruña. The main goal is to control the always dangerous duo of Sevilla at the wings and to strengthen Depor’s midfield, which will allow to release a few deadly counterattacks.

The key is to known the physical condition of striker Lassad Nouioui, the Tunisian isn’t a starter since November and Lotina is planning to use him for one of the two playmaking roles, but if he isn’t fit enough, then Adrian will delay his position, which will open a space for Rodolfo Bodipo upfront.

The scheme starts at defence, with Daniel Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ at the left side, while Diego Colotto and Albert Lopo will cover the central positions.

At midfield, the trio of pivotes will have Antonio Tomás at the centre, Juan Dominguez playing towards the right and Mexican Andrés Guardado performing towards the left. During the week there was the big doubt of who was going to compose the line of two playmakers, and the response of Lotina is to play with Juan Rodriguez towards the right and Lassad towards the left.

Adrián López completes the formation playing as the central attacker, though as it was mentioned before, Lotina isn’t sure about Lassad’s fitness and will wait until Saturday, if he thinks the Tunisian isn’t ready, then Adrian will delay his position and Bodipo will enter into the formation. Meanwhile, Mista and Zé Castro were discarded for technical reasons, while five players still at the injury room: Angulo, Filipe, Sergio, Juca and Sergio.

Albert Lopo gave his opinion about the key to stop Sevilla, “We must clinch a clean sheet, then we need to steal the ball and start a fast counterattack, we have fast people and can make some damage. They have dangerous people on both wings: Jesús Navas,  Perotti, Capel and then Kanoute, Negredo… you don’t have time to list the large list of names. We need to be focused and search for our options.”

About the goals for the season, the Catalan said that, “We already achieved the goal, which was the permanence, but it’s time to be ambitions and look to the top. Who would have thought we were going to be up there? It will be pretty to enter into the Champions League, but the team must keep fighting without thinking too much of it. We know that when we don’t go out at 100% then the team is very normal, but when we are focused then we are able to do a lot of damage, and that if we are up there is for our own merits. And there’s no better way than defeating a direct rival and playing in a tough stadium like theirs.”

Juan Rodríguez was also giving his opinion on the game, “We know it’s going to be complicated, because both sides play for a lot of things, but we have the advantage of have faced them in three opportunities during this season. We already know the rival and the players they have, therefore we are aware that if the team maintains its identity, then we will have options to win the match.”

Meanwhile, keeper Daniel Aranzubia was trying to be more realistic about the Champions League chances of Depor, “I think Sevilla is above us despite the short difference at the standings, we must be conscious that they are superior ad that in the end they should end very high on the table. To achieve a victory will be very important and will allow us to face the last part of the tournament in the better way, but a priori a draw will be a good result.”

“It’s pretty to be among the Champions League places, but I think the four teams currently there are superior to us. In the end they will put a high pace and I don’t know if we will be able to keep that pace. But it’s also truth that we are facing the game searching for revenge, because within the last two years they eliminated us from Copa, though on this season we won two of the three matches.” The Basque keeper added.

List of picked players (18): Aranzubía, Manu (goalkeepers), Laure, Manuel Pablo, Seoane, Lopo, Colotto, Adrián López 'Piscu' (defenders); Antonio Tomás, Iván Pérez, Guardado, Juan Rodríguez, Juan Dominguez, Valerón, Pablo Álvarez (midfielders); Bodipo, Adrián and Lassad (strikers).

In Spain all eyes all over the Barcelona of the six titles or the millionaire Real Madrid of Florentino Pérez, and nobody seems to remember that Sevilla is the only Spanish club still alive in the three major competitions (liga, Champions League and Copa Del Rey). The Andalusians don’t have options to conquer the title in liga, but have a clear opportunity to clinch a second straight participation in the next UEFA Champions League, while in the current tournament they host on Tuesday CSKA Moscow with the important advantage of the away goal scored in the first-leg of the round of 16 (1-1).

Meanwhile, Sevilla is already qualified to the final in Copa Del Rey in a date still to be determined, the rival will be Atletico Madrid, which is the other Spanish team that still competing in three fronts as they still alive in the UEFA Europa League after been eliminated in Champions, but the truth is that the Madrilenians are having a terrible performance in liga, ten points under the European zone.

Therefore it can be said that Sevilla, and not Barcelona nor Real Madrid, is demonstrating to be the most consistent Spanish team on this season. And president José María Del Nido, who is known for talking too much, is aware of the situation; as he said during the week, “We at least have 50% chances of winning the Copa, we have all the cards in our favour to dispute the Champions League in the coming year and we are in the last-16 round of the current tournament. What would some give in order to be at the top of the three competitions in which they started to participate at the beginning of the season?” 

For the game against Depor coach Manolo Jimenez is having a problem in the striking line, because both, Luis Fabiano (chest) and Frederic Kanouté (ankle), aren’t totally fit to play, both were picked, but won’t start the match, actually the idea of Jimenez is to discard one of them ahead of Tuesday’s clash in Champions League. To mention that in the past Kanouté already scored six times against Depor (four in liga and two in Copa), while Fabiano has the same number in his tally against the Galicians (two in liga and four in Copa).

There is also a problem at defence since right-back Abdoulay Konko wasn’t able to surpass a muscular problem, while left-back Fernando Navarro is suspended  At least Sébastien Squilacci is returning after been out for three months due to an ankle injury. Brazilian Renato is also returning after missing the match with Real Madrid due to a leg bound.

It’s expected that Jimenez will present a 4-4-1-1 formation; with veteran Andrés Palop at the goal; Lithuanian Marius Stankevicius at the right-back position, Brazilian Adriano Correia as the solution to cover the left side at defence, and with French Julien Escude and Serbian Ivica Dragutinovic playing at the centre.

In midfield, Argentinean Federico Julián Fazio and ex-Tottenham Didier Zokora will perform as the two pivotes, Jesús Navas will threat Depor from the right wing and Argentine Diego Perotti will do the same on the left. Brazilian Renato Dirnei will be the link between midfield and attack, while ex-Almeria Alvaro Negredo will be the central forward.

Defender Marius Stankevicius was emphasising the necessity to improve the performance of the team, “We face the mach in a calmed way, but at the same time aware, because we need a positive outcome. We need to improve in all aspects against Deportivo, nut just the defence or midfield. Truly we failed in our concentration against Real Madrid, and that’s what we need to improve. Right now we don’t think of CSKA. We are going game after game. As soon as this match passes, then we will think of the next one.”

Finally, striker Frederic Kanouté said that he is careless about the switch in the system announced by Lotina, “I don’t care, it doesn’t matter the system they will use, because we are professionals, we are going to prepare the game and we all know for which we are playing. After the little disappointment of the past week, now we face a direct rival and if we win, then we will be more calmed.”

List of picked players (20): Palop, Javi Varas (goalkeepers); Stankevicius, Fazio, Dragutinovic, Adriano, Squillaci, Escudé (defenders); Lolo, Duscher, Romaric, Zokora, Jesús Navas, Acosta, Renato, Perotti, Diego Capel (midfielders); Negredo, Kanouté and Luis Fabiano (strikers).

Sevilla: (4-4-1-1) Palop - Stankevicius, Escudé, Dragutiniovic, Adriano - Jesús Navas, Fazio, Zokora, Perotti - Renato - Negredo.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Lopo, Laure – Juan Domínguez, Antonio Tomas, Guardado – Juan Rodríguez, Lassad – Adrián.
Referee: Alfonso Javier Alvarez Izquierdo (11 games on the season, just one win for the visitor)
Kick-off: 22h00 CET (Sánchez Pizjuán)
Head-to-head Vs Sevilla: 35 wins for Depor, 19 draws, 29 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)
Record at Sevilla: 8 wins for Depor, 9 draws, 24 wins for Sevilla (Primera & Segunda)



Related news


Related matches

13.03.2010: DLC vs. Sevilla CF

Back to Competition news