Squad news


04 Feb 2012
Depor searches a seventh straight victory in liga, but it also faces a lot of problems due to the last-minute casualties. Oltra is making several chances as his team faces a Recreativo de Huelva that’s growing up on the season.

Deportivo is at the edge of tying its historic record of more straight victories on a league competition: seven. It happened twice, first on the Segunda season 1963/64 and later on the Primera campaign 1999/2000, the one of la liga title, in this last opportunity Irureta’s team clinched seven straight wins between October and December of 1999: 2-1 Vs. FC Barcelona, 1-0 at Real Oviedo, 5-2 Vs. Sevilla FC, 3-1 at Atlético Madrid, 3-2 Vs. Rayo Vallecano, 1-0 at Real Sociedad and 1-0 Vs. RC Celta.

To mention that in both opportunities Deportivo ended at the top of the standings. Now, Oltra´s team is trying to follow the same path in order to continue on its way back to Primera División, but the Nuevo Colombino doesn’t seem to be the best place to do it, because the Galicians have only won in one opportunity after seventeen visits to Huelva (Primera and Segunda División). And that victory took place in the last match played there, a 2-1 win at matchday 35 of the season 2008/09, result that certified the relegation of Recre to Segunda.

Besides, El Decano has improved a lot in recent months; they just won two of the first eleven games in liga, but later achieved the three points in six of the next eleven meetings, including two 3-0 wins within the last two matches (Girona CF and Real Murcia), definitely a tough opponent to bet as it’s living its best moment of the season.

It seemed that the injury problems were part of a distant past as Deportivo entered into the year 2012 as a rocket that reached the top of the standings and even clinching a rally of six straight victories, but suddenly the plague of injuries is sweeping off Deportivo. Two weeks ago it was striker Lassad Nouioui, who sustained a Soleus injury that will keep the Tunisian at bay until the end of the month.

Then the team lost three players in a matter of three days; central defender Ze Castro barely ended the past meeting with FC Cartagena and late on Wednesday the club informed the results of the scans: an elongation on the quadriceps muscle of his right leg, an injury that’s sidelining the Portuguese at least until next week. Later, on Thursday, right winger Pablo Álvarez fell down after picking a hamstring injury.

It wasn’t the last surprise of the day, because late on Thursday the club informed about the case with right winger Bruno Gama. He ended the training of the day without problems and seemed fine, actually Oltra never mentioned him in the press conference, but it turns that the Portuguese sustained a tear in the Vastus lateralis muscle of his right leg, so he isn’t only missing this game, but probably the next four weeks of competition.

Therefore, these four men are joining Manuel Pablo at the injury room; besides left-back Ayoze Diaz is suspended and striker Rodolfo Bodipo still concentrated with Equatorial Guinea in the African Cup, so Oltra has seven casualties for the match at the Nuevo Colombino, in other words he only has 18 men available for the meeting, exactly the necessary resources to build up the list of picked players.

Still, Oltra is able to present a strong lineup that will try to defend the leadership and chain a seventh straight victory in the competition. It will be a 4-2-3-1 scheme, with Daniel Aranzubia at the goal, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ should continue at the right-back position as it’s expected that Claudio Morel will reappear at the left side, the last time the Paraguayan played in liga was in October before FC Cartagena.

Aythami Artiles is also returning in order to join Diego Colotto at the centre of the defense; the Canarian was a regular starter until matchday 14, but since then he has only played as substitute, and in some opportunities he was even out of the list of picked players. The last time he played in liga was in the 3-1 win over CD Numancia (December 10).

At midfield, Juan Dominguez and Álex Bergantiños will continue performing on the pivote functions; the doubt is who will be the playmaker in the formation, it seems that Oltra likes to play with Borja Fernandez for the away matches, though Juan Carlos Valerón also has his options.

Bruno Salomão is another player returning into the lineup after been out for a while, the Portuguese will perform on the left wing and this is his first appearance at the starting squad since the 2-3 defeat at Elche, precisely the last defeat of Depor in liga (November 20). Finally, Andrés Guardado is switching to the right wing and Riki will be the central attacker.

Valerón talked during the week about the fact that Depor is the current leader at Segunda, ”We can’t relax thinking that we have an advantage, because we have saw how some teams were up there and later ended outside of the first six places, all in just three weeks. We neither are favourites, because you demonstrate that on the field.”

Dani Aranzubia was also giving his opinion on the matter of been the leaders at Liga Adelante, "We don't feel any pressure and assume the fact of been the favourites. It was hard to reach the leadership and we want to stay the same." He also assured that Depor shouldn’t be affected by the casualties, ”We’ve been presuming for a while of having a large squad, and won’t complain now for the casualties.”

Finally, Diego Colotto was commenting the recent results of Depor on the road, ”The team must try to keep winning and adding the points at any place. The performance of the team has changed for good when we are playing away, and we must continue with this streak. “ He was also saying that the casualties shouldn’t affect the performance of the team, ”We have great team. There are casualties, but the squad is competitive enough and we can pull forward with this.”

List of picked players (18); Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Colotto, Aythami, Rochela, Morel, Seoane (defenders); Juan Dominguez, Álex Bergantiños, Borja, Valerón, Guardado, Jesús Vázquez, Saul, Salomão (midfielders); Riki and Xisco (strikers).

Andalusian club RC Recreativo de Huelva began the season under shadows; the club was on administration and there were big doubts on the potential of a squad that seemed condemned to only fight for salvation. But at this point the team is passing through its best moment, living at mid-table, closer to the promotion zone than to the relegation places, and they face Depor, Celta Hércules, Elche, Barcelona B and Almeria in their next six games, so they see the coming month a half as a test to determine their real aspirations on this season.

To make things more optimistic, on the past week it was informed that Gildoy España, a financial institution in Andalusia, paid €3.2 million for the 75% of the club’s shares. This injection of fresh money will surely rescue a club that was at the edge of chaos, with unpaid wages and zero possibilities of making good signings.  Now the target is to return to Primera División in the mid-term, a drastic change for a team that no longer ago was in despair.

One of the main responsible for the improvement is coach Álvaro Cervera, who found the key to correct the course through a simple formula: a solid defense mixed with talent in attack. The problem for the coach is that, for the meeting with Depor, he will miss key players in attack: strikers Javi Álamo and Sergio Enrich, both picked injuries on the past match with Real Murcia, they seemed fine at the beginning of the week, but suffered a relapse. The main casualty is Enrich, who is the top-scorer at the team (6). Álamo was picked and will pass a late test on Saturday, but it’s expected that he will remain out of the clash.

So, Cervera is forced to make changes in his 4-4-2 figure; at least the defense is the same one; with ex-Depor Manu Fernandez defending the goal, Valencian David Córcoles will perform at the right-back position, former Real Sociedad Daniel Cifuentes will keep playing at the left sector, while the central defenders are Basque Aritz Borda and Manuel Bonaque.

The pivote functions are for Jordi Matamala and Alejandro Zambrano, the first novelty is to see Recreativo B Juan Villar replacing Javi Álamo at the right wing, while Fidel Chaves de la Torre performs at the left, this last one is a promoted player from the B squad with a brilliant future; he already scored three goals and is a solid assistor, actually he assisted in two of the three goals scored before Real Murcia.

Finally, Pablo Sánchez and Jaime Asensio de la Fuente ‘Asen’ compose the attacking couple; Sánchez is a former player of Las Palmas that has scored four goals on this season, and Asen is a veteran that came from Albacete during the past summer and that’s still looking for his first goal on the liga season. To mention that new signings Jesús Rubio (offensive midfielder) and Jesús Berrocal were picked for the clash and could be making their debut.

Midfielder Zambrano talked before the meeting, ”We try, as always, to put things difficult to the rival, no matter is Depor or any other. We just want to win and on Saturday we will give everything in order to keep the three points in Huelva, it would be an important step. We are facing tough matches and will try to add all the possible points, though I think that all the matches at Segunda are difficult.”

Meanwhile, ex-Depor Manu said that, It will be difficult; they’re coming living a positive streak, but we, unless in the match with Cartagena, are also fine and must seize our game at home. Truly they are at the top, but sometimes the good streaks are cut and we hope to break their momentum and keep our dynamic. As long as we add more wins at home, the better, because at home is where we will achieve the permanence.”

”It’s going to be a special game, because they were my partners for four years. They have Valerón, who is a genius. For me he’s a crack and is capable of hammering you if you give him the chance. Player by player is a team from Primera División. They are almost the same group that was at Primera and didn’t sign any reinforcement, but it doesn’t matter.” He said.

List of picked players (21): Manu, Alejandro (goalkeepers); Córcoles, Cifuentes, Borda, Manolo Martinez, Fernando Vega, Bonaque (defenders); Jesús Rubio, Alex Quillo, Fidel, Juan Villar, Aitor Tornavaca, Matamala, Javi Álamo, Ramón Arcas, Zambrano (midfielders); Pablo Sánchez, Berrocal, Asen, Aitor García (strikers).

Recreativo:  (4-4-2) Manu Fernández - Córcoles, Borda, Bonaque, Cifuentes – Juan Villar, Alejandro Zambrano, Matamala, Fidel - Pablo Sánchez, Asen
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Aythami, Colotto, Morel – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Guardado, Valerón, Salomão – Riki.
Referee: José Ramón Piñeiro Crespo (10 games on the season, 3 wins for the visitor)
Kick-off: 16h00 CET (Nuevo Colombino)
Head-to-head Vs. Recreativo: 12 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 15 wins for Recreativo (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Nuevo Colombino: 1 win for Depor, 5 draws, 11 wins for Recreativo (Primera & Segunda)



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