Squad news


27 Aug 2011
Football returns to the Riazor as Deportivo stars its quest searching for the promotion to Primera; Oltra debuts presenting the same squad that faced the Teresa Herrera, while Recreativo is still trying to assembly its team for the Segunda season.

Deportivo returns to Segunda after twenty years at the elite of Spanish football; however it isn’t an unknown league for the Galicians as they already spent 37 campaigns at Spain’s second division. Actually, of the current twenty-two clubs at Liga Adelante, Depor is the second team with more campaigns in the division, only below Real Murcia (50).

Clearly the goal is to achieve the promotion, but before Deportivo must demonstrate that it can surpass its weaknesses, and last season the main problem was the lack of goal as Lotina’s Depor only scored 31 goals in 38 matches, which was the third worst mark at Primera within the last decade. Now the goals are a fundamental asset if the team wants to live among the top places at the standings.

The rival in the debut at Segunda is an historic club from Andalusia: Recreativo de Huelva, the oldest club in Spain (founded in 1889), with an experience of 34 seasons at Segunda División, but with only five campaigns at Primera.

The club is currently passing through difficult times as they entered administration, situation that’s reflected in its results. Three seasons ago they were at the elite of Spanish football, now they are trying to avoid problems at Segunda, last season they ended 12th, just in nowhere’s land: ten points over relegation and same distance from the promotion spots. To emphasize that, like Deportivo, the main strength of the team is its defense, last season the Andalusians were the best defense at Segunda with 37 goals allowed, the problem is that they only scored 44 times. This unbalance caused Recre to end as the team with more draws in the league (20).

Without doubt the home condition is the key factor for any team targeting a promotion to Primera División, within the last three seasons the clubs ending at the top two positions have at least added the 70% of the points disputed at their stadiums. And the home condition is precisely one of the strongest points at Deportivo, because the Galicians have the largest stadium (34,771 seats) plus the largest crowd (22,000 socios for now and targeting to reach 25,000 in the short term).

The match also represents the official debut of new coach Jose Luis Oltra at Depor’s bench. The team left a positive impression during the pre-season, especially during the Teresa Herrera, that’s why the Valencian trainer is sending the same squad that drew with Sevilla CF, with the only exception of new signing Bruno Gama, who fell down injured during that match (groin). His place will be claimed by Pablo Álvarez, though on Friday the coach also tested with left-footed Salomão on that position.

It will be a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Dani Aranzubia at the goal, Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Ayoze Diaz will made his official debut covering the left sector, while the central defenders will be Aythami Artiles and Diego Colotto.

At midfield, new signing Jesús Vázquez will join Álex Bergantiños at the pivote positions,Pablo Álvarez or Salomão will attack from the right flank, Mexican Andrés Guardado will do it from the left, Juan Carlos Valerón will be the playmaker in the formation and Riki, the Pichichi during the pre-season, will be the central attacker.

Borja Fernandez is joining Bruno Gama at the injury room, while Saul Fernandez wasn’t picked for the clash despite he was training with normality after surpassing a hamstring problem, but Juan Dominguez was able to join the list after missing the whole pre-season due to a muscular problem.

As it could be expected, the players that don’t count for Oltra weren’t picked for the meeting: right-back Diego Seoane, left-back Claudio Morel, playmaker Iván Pérez and striker Rodolfo Bodipo; also David Rochela was sidelined as his father is very sick, while playmaker Juan Carlos Real will join Fabril for its debut at Tercera against SD Negreira (Sunday, 18h00 CET). Finally, Rubén Pérez still in Madrid trying to close his exit to Getafe.

Álex Bergantiños warned before the game that Depor shouldn’t be thinking about been the favourite for the promotion, ”The start in liga is going to be important and we can’t despise anybody. We must respect the rivals. Nobody earns the promotion in the first round and I remember very strong teams that suffered a lot at Segunda.”

Jesús Vázquez is facing his former club, the midfielder said that he is ready to play against his ex-team, ”The sensations will be different, but only before and after the game, because you forget of everything when you are playing and only think of doing the right things.” About the goal of Recre, Vázquez said that, “Their main goal is the permanence and for that reason they need a whole new team, but historically they always assembled pretty solid teams and I’m sure that they will do it now.”

List of picked players (18):Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Colotto, Ze Castro, Aythami, Ayoze (defenders); Jesús Vázquez, Alex Bergantiños, Pablo Álvarez, Valerón, Juan Dominguez, Salomão, Guardado (midfielders); Riki, Xisco and Lassad (strikers).

El Decano hopes that this will only be a transition year for them; the Andalusians are currently on administration and are battling to assemble a competitive squad in order to achieve the permanence as soon as possible, which is not an easy task when a club is not able to keep its best assets as it’s unable to pay the wages of its players. And it’s that Recreativo has lost men that were important on the past season.

Like the case of former Depor goalie Fabricio, who went to Betis after been third in the list of Zamoras at Segunda, or two of the four men that scored five goals during the past campaign: striker Aarón Ñíguez, who is now at UD Almeria, and midfielder Jesús Vázquez, who precisely joined Deportivo.

The true is that this game is coming too soon for new coach Álvaro Cervera, because he’s in the middle of the process of assembling his team. The Cantabrian coach has made nine signings, among them ex-Depor goalie Manu and former Villarreal man Héctor Font, but still searching for another reinforcements, like a new striker or a left-back defender.

But before allowing an arrival the club must first resolve the cases of the discarded players, a requirement of the administrators at the club, so far coach Cervera is searching to get rid of strikers Kepa, Kike Tortosa , midfielder Borja Granero and defender Manu Micó. So, he has been busier planning the exits and arrivals rather to think of Deportivo.

Neither encouraging were the results during the pre-season; the Andalusian team left a positive impression during the Colombino trophy despite losing against Atletico Madrid (1-2), but three days before it lost against San Roque (1-2), a humble club from Huelva. Other problems are the injuries as the team already has three men out for the opening matchday: left-back defender Daniel Cifuentes (nose fracture), central defender Andrés Lamas (knee ligaments) and striker Miguel Muñiz Fernández ‘Miguelito’ (torn knee).

In the end Cervera is planning a 4-1-4-1 lineup; with Manu Fernandez at the goal, new signing Joaquín ‘Ximo’ Navarro performing at the right-back position, ex-Barcelona B David Córcoles will be the improvised left-back defender as there’s no one else for the spot, while youngster Álvaro Vega and veteran Manuel Martinez will team mate at the centre of the defense.

Alejandro Zambrano, a recently promoted player from Recreativo B, will be the only pivote in the formation, Jordi Matamala and Pablo Sánchez Alberto will compose the line of two playmakers in the scheme, this last player was one of the two men that scored five goals on the previous season and that are staying at the team.

The other is Aitor Tornavaca, a veteran left winger that already played at Primera and that will be a starter in this game. Juan Villar Vázquez, another product of Recreativo B, will attack from the right-flank; finally unknown Jaime Asensio de la Fuente ‘Asen’ will be the central attacker, the Madrilenian veteran has plenty of experience at Segunda, but on last season he only scored four times after eighteen presentations with relegated club Albacete.

Before the match, ex-Depor Manu expressed his feelings for been facing his former club, ”I would have loved to have succeeded at Depor, but I never received a renewal offer; I sought for the door out and the memories are pretty; I left good friends there and I believes that my work was solid.” He was also warning Depor about what lies ahead, ”They kept players that we thought were going to leave, but must be careful as stronger budgets have failed before at Segunda.

List of picked players (18): Manu, Alejandro (goalkeepers); Córcoles, Ximo Navarro, Álvaro Vega, Borda, Manolo Martínez, Alejandro Zambrano (midfielders); Álex Quillo, Matamala, Ramón Arcas, Aitor, Fidel, Juan Villar (midfielders); Javi Álamo, Asen, Sergi Enrich and Pablo Sánchez (strikers).

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Aythami, Ayoze – Álex Bergantiños, Jesús Vázquez - Pablo Álvarez or Salomão, Valerón, Guardado - Riki.
Recreativo: (4-1-4-1) Manu Fernández - Ximo Navarro, Álvaro Vega, Manolo Martínez, Córcoles - Alejandro Zambrano - Juan Villar, Matamala, Pablo Sánchez, Aitor - Asen.
Referee: Francisco Manuel Arias López (35, promoted this season from Segunda B)
Head-to-head Vs. Recreativo: 11 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 15 wins for Recreativo (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 10 wins for Depor, 3 draws, 4 wins for Recreativo (Primera & Segunda)



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