Squad news


02 Mar 2013
Another final for Deportivo; the Galician outfit need to start adding victories if they want to turn back the current situation at the standings. The rival is trying to return to winning ways and aspire to play in Europe for the second time.

Rayo Vallecano has never defeated Depor at the Riazor playing for Primera División, this after eight confrontations at the top flight. The Madrilenians have only won four times in A Coruña, all of them playing at Segunda División, the last one was a 1-2 win back on the season 1988/89.

But things aren’t positive for Depor on this season playing at the Riazor; the Galicians have only won three times after eleven home presentations. The worst mark in the history of the club in a Primera tournament with 20 teams is the six home wins of the seasons 2004/05 & 2005/06. Besides, the Blanquiazul outfit already allowed 21 goals, just eight less than the negative record of the campaign 2004/05.

Deportivo are arriving to this meeting after suffering six straight losses for the second time in their history playing at Primera. The previous time the Galicians lost seven games in a row: the last three of the season 1966/67 (Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona and Las Palmas) plus the first four in the campaign 1968/69, just after spending a year at Segunda (CD Malaga, Real Madrid, RCD Espanyol and Las Palmas).

Neither Rayo Vallecano is a powerful visitor; the Madrilenians have lost in eight of their twelve visits in the league, reason why they are the worst visiting team among the first ten places at the standings. Their only four away victories were: 1-2 at Real Betis (matchday 02), 1-2 at Malaga CF (matchday 10), 0-1 at Valencia CF (matchday 16) and 1-2 at Athletic Bilbao (matchday 19).

The liga season is getting to an end and Deportivo is running out of time in order to clinch the permanence; thirteen games are remaining and the Galicians need eight or nine wins in order to reach the miracle, and with FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid remaining in the schedule it’s pretty clear that no more failures at the Riazor are allowed, so it’s an obligation to clinch a victory in this match. It would bring some confidence and the needed calm to continue alive.

Still, coach Fernando Vázquez didn’t want to describe the game as a final and instead it labeled the game as the “first opportunity” to start adding points. But the players are aware of the importance of the meeting, as Bruno Gama commented during the week, "We still think that we can do it, we know the current situation is tough, but the last game left positive feelings. We made a great game; we are improving and now want to win a vital and important game against Rayo. It’s exaggerated to thing we are dead, and are only thinking of the victory, because we need victories after suffering six straight losses.”

Meanwhile, centre midfielder Paulo Assunção said that, ”It’s going to be a tough meeting. It would be pretty bad if we lose, though there’s hope. We are willing to win as we are working at the top, and if we do the same then I believe it’s going to be a solid game as it happened against Madrid. The team is fresher, more joyful and content. The game against Madrid brought confidence and we have the skills to pull this forward.”

Left-back Ayoze Díaz commented the need of the team in order to return to winning ways, “It’s an important game as we spent a while without winning; we need a victory in order to gain confidence and morale. We need the victory and let’s see if we can do it.”

The lineup for the game will be pretty similar to the one that faced Real Madrid, a 4-2-3-1 figure with a couple of novelties. Dani Aranzubia remains at the goal, Sílvio Azevedo didn’t end the last match at the Riazor due to a concussion, but he’s now fit to play and will perform at the right-back position, while Ayoze Diaz remains at the left side.

The first modification to the lineup is the return of Ze Castro, who was a last-minute casualty against Real Madrid due to a muscle problem. He’s joining Carlos Marchena at the centre of the defense. The second modification is the entry of Juan Dominguez in order to play alongside Abel Aguilar at midfield. It’s an offensive move demonstrating that Vázquez is trying to have the ball possession in the meeting.

Bruno Gama will continue attacking from the right wing, Pizzi will do it from the left, Juan Carlos Valerón is the playmaker in the formation after his acceptable performance against Madrid, finally Riki will be the central attacker. The Madrilenian is the first player in seven years that reaches the barrier of the ten goals in favour performing for Depor at Primera.

Laure and Kaká are the two players at the injury room; once again Fernando Vázquez left three men out of the game: centre-back Kaká, centre midfielder André Santos and left-back defender Evaldo Fabiano.

List of picked players (19): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Sílvio, Manuel Pablo, Ze Castro, Marchena, Ayoze (defenders) ; Álex Bergantiños, Abel Aguilar, Jesús Vázquez, Juan Domínguez, Assunção, Bruno Gama, Pizzi, Salomão, Camuñas ,Valerón (midfielders); Riki & Nélson Oliveira (strikers).

This has been a great year for Rayo Vallecano; the Madrilenians are currently 8th at the standings after 25 matchdays adding 37 points. Historically, their best year at the elite of Spanish football was for the season 1999/2000 as they ended 9th at Primera División; in that opportunity they were 10th after the first 25 games (34 points).

It’s impressive, especially taking in mind that Rayo have the lowest budget in la liga: €7.5 million. It’s an example for Deportivo, club that has less than the half of points despite having five times the budget of Los Vallecanos (€39.88 million). But they want more, the team coached by ex-Depor Paco Jémez is caressing to enter into Europe for the second time in their history –they played in the UEFA Cup 2000/01- and for that they need to reverse the recent negative streak of three defeats within the last four games in liga.

It’s expected that Jémez will keep playing with the 4-2-3-1 formation that has brought so many good results for his side; A Coruña-born Rubén Martinez defends the goal, then ex-Hércules Anaitz Arbilla performs at the right-back position, Andalusian José Manuel Casado covers the left side, while Álex Gálvez and Catalan Jordi Amat perform at the centre of the defense.

The two pivotes are pretty will know players for Depor’s fans: Lugo born and former Celta man Roberto Trashorras and Javi Fuego, this last one is the Asturian midfielder that was close to sign for Deportivo in a couple of opportunities.

One of the main keys to understand the great season of Rayo is the combination of the four offensive players in the formation; first to all the contribution of captain Francisco Medina Luna ´Piti´, the 31-year-old veteran player has been performing on the right wing and is the current Pichichi at the team netting ten goals.

The left flank is territory for Guinean Alhassane Bangoura ´Lass’, a skillful 20-year-old player that has scored three goals plus providing three assists. The playmaking function is for Argentine Alejandro ‘Chori’ Domínguez, the 31-year veteran that chose to play here just because Rayo wear the same uniform than River Plate. He has scored three goals and also gave four assists.

And then Brazilian Léo Baptistão, the central attacker and probably the most notorious player at the team. He’s only 20 and already amazed la liga with his skills. He has scored seven goals and is the best assistor at the team with five assist. It is commented that Atlético Madrid already secured his arrival ahead of next season in an operation that could reach the four million Euros. In the end ex-Espanyol Raúl Tamudo was left out of the meeting.

Jordi Amat talked before the meeting and analyzed the difficulty of the visit to the Riazor, ”The game at the Riazor, against Deportivo, is going to be very difficult. They are playing for their life, but it’s bigger for us. We want to be at the top and will try everything since the first minute.”

Right-back Roberto Román ‘Tito’ also expects a tough meeting in A Coruña, ”We face this game eager to change the latest results. Those weren’t good results, but will keep playing in the same way, because the team has been fine. Deportivo aren’t living a good situation. They are against the ropes, therefore they are dangerous. This could their last chance for the salvation and we must keep it in mind. They know that by winning they will have chances of reaching the salvation.”

Finally, Baptistão said that, ”The rival will be very dangerous since they aren’t fine; they need to win. It’s the only thing in their minds, a draw is useless for them. They are going out pretty strong, we need to go out at the top.  Since the beginning of the season we aren’t putting limits to ourselves. We thing game by game and our goal is now on Saturday, Deportivo La Coruña. We are going for the win. We dream of Europe why not? We need to be ambitious and forget about the limits, that’s why we are up there.”

List of picked players (18): Rubén Martinez, Cobeño (goalkeepers); Tito, Casado, Gálvez, Arbilla, Amat, Figueras (defenders); Adrián Gónzalez, José Carlos, Lass, Piti, Chori Dominguez, Trashorras, Javi Fuego, Franco Vázquez (midfielders) Baptistão & Delibašić (strikers)

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Sílvio, Marchena, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Abel Aguilar, Juan Dominguez – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Pizzi – Riki.
Rayo Vallecano: (4-2-3-1) Rubén – Arbilla, Gálvez, Amat, Casado – Trashorras, Javi Fuego – Lass, Chori Dominguez, Piti – Baptistão
Referee: Alejandro Hernández Hernández
Kick-off: 18h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Rayo Vallecano: 24 wins for Depor, 17 draws, 12 wins for Rayo Vallecano (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor: 14 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 4 wins for Rayo Vallecano (Primera & Segunda)



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