Competition news


16 Oct 2013
The rotations return to Deportivo ahead of Copa del Rey; Fernando Vázquez changes the entire lineup. The rival, despite been facing problems with relegation, is only making a few rotations and is willing to pass the round.

The third preliminary round in Copa is leaving an interesting confrontation: the best defense at Segunda, Deportivo with only four goals allowed in nine matches, are visiting the team with one of the two worst defensive performances, Real Jaén with 18 –same mark than RCD Mallorca- It’s also curious to notice that the Andalusians are currently at the drop zone despite scoring twelve goals; Depor, meanwhile, have only netted eight goals, but are living inside the promotion zone.

This is the second time in which Depor face Real Jaén in a Copa Del Rey tournament; the previous opportunity was during the first round of the season 1956/57 and Los Blanquiazules achieved the pass winning both legs with a 1-0 score.

It’s important to remember that this is a one-leg series; it’s the 21st opportunity in which Depor play a series in Copa Del Rey that’s defined in one single match (without including the two finals played by the club). In 15 of the previous 20 series the Galicians passed the round. The last time Deportivo were eliminated in a one-leg series was during the season 2004/05: 0-1 at Elche CF (Nov 10, 2004).

There’s another interesting stat: Depor have spent almost two years without losing a Copa Del Rey game. Last season Oltra’s team was eliminated by the away-goal rule facing RCD Mallorca, so the last defeat was a 1-4 loss visiting Levante UD (Nov. 21, 2011).

The Galician team is living a solid moment in liga, but coach Fernando Vázquez is aware that his short squad cannot be risked and that needs a rest from time to time, so he left out seven normal starters ahead of this game: right-back Laure, midfielders Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez, playmaker Culio, plus attackers Rudy and Borja Bastón.

At the same time the coach has picked winger Antonio Núñez for the first since joining the club, plus four youngsters that were playing with Fabril during the past weekend: centre-back Quique Fornos, wingers Javier Abruñedo ‘Bicho’ and Jesús Cañizares  ‘Cañi’ plus attacker Dani Iglesias.

Besides, centre-backs Uxío Marcos, Pablo Insua and midfielder Paulo Teles are also part of the list. Uxío is returning into a list after missing five games in liga as he suffered a nose fracture in the previous round match. Insua was picked and travels from Madrid after been concentrated with Spain U-21s squad, while Teles was on the bench for the past game against Barcelona B. The good thing for the coach is that he now has a full squad healthy; the only player at the injury room is winger Álvaro Lemos.

The expected lineup is a 5-2-2-1 figure, a scheme he tested in the last training held at Abegondo. Keeper Fabricio Agosto plays his second game as a starter on the season. Diego Seoane performs at the right side of the defense, Luisinho does it at the left, while the central positions are for Pablo Insua, Carlos Marchena and Kaká, a mix of experience and young blood.

Portuguese Teles and Juan Carlos Real are the playmakers in the scheme. Another veteran that will be part of the starting formation is Antonio Núñez, who joined the club as a free agent after the transfer window closed its doors. This is the debut for the ex-Huesca man as he has been dealing with a muscle problem. He will perform at the right wing. Bicho returns and plays at the left, and Luis Fernández is the central attacker.

Before the trip to Andalusia, striker Dani Iglesias offered an interview to website and expressed his satisfaction for have played at the first team, ”It was a pride. For any lad at the academy it’s a pride to debut with the first team and I spent seven years on here. I had the chance to play twice, both in liga and Copa, and the pity is that I missed a penalty in Copa, but prefer to stay with the positive notes.”

Finally, Antonio Núñez commented that, “I’m wishing to start playing and see myself on the pitch. I have been feeling comfortable during the trainings and I’m close to be 100% ready.  We are going there trying to pass the round, but we know this is a tough game, all the games are complicated, especially since we play away from home and playing at one card. We must give everything in order to pass the round.”

List of picked players (18): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Luisinho, Seoane, Marchena, Insua, Uxío, Quique Fornos, Kaká (defenders); Wilk, Teles, Juan Carlos, Bicho, Antonio Núñez, Cañi (midfielders); Luis Fernández & Dani Iglesias (attackers).

This is the 45th participation of Real Jaén in Copa Del Rey and so far their biggest achievement was to reach the last-32 round on last season facing current champion Atlético Madrid. The Andalusians lost the series 0-4, so this is a new chance for them in order to face a Primera outfit. But there’s a biggest goal in the horizon: to achieve the permanence at Segunda, a league they visited the last time in the distant t season 2001/02.

The Andalusian team has improved a lot after suffering four straight losses at the beginning of the league tournament and only lost one of the last four games, but Los Lagartos remain trapped at the drop zone, so they should make rotations as the priority is to have a fresh team ahead of the weekend (home game against AD Alcorcón). But it seems that coach Manolo Herrero is eager to avoid big changes as he wants to see his team passing the round, in this way only four modifications are expected compared to the team that drew 1-1 against Sporting Gijón in liga.

The expected formation is a 4-5-1 figure. René Hinojo is the keeper; veteran Raúl Gaitán is injured (knee) and missed the game, so Belgian midfielder Ritchie Kitoko is the improvised right-back defender, Álex Cruz plays at the left, while the central positions at defense are for Dani Torres and Servando Sánchez

At midfield, there’s a triple pivote figure, with captain Fran Machado joined by Juan Manuel Espinosa ‘Juanma’ and Israel Jerez. The right wing is for Óscar Quesada, the left for Santiago Villa and Diego Cascón is the central attacker.

The familiar face at the team is striker Jonathan Mejía ‘Jona’, who spent the season 2010/11 at Deportivo B (26 games, 4 goal scored at Segunda B). He is now a starter in liga and is even the Pichichi at the team (five goals scored), but he will benched in this match.

List of picked players: It will be released until Wednesday

Real Jaén: (4-5-1) René - Kitoko, Dani Torres, Servando, Álex Cruz – Quesada, Juanma, Fran Machado, Israel, Santi Villa - Diego Cascón
Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Fabricio – Seoane, Insua, Marchena, Kaká, Luisinho – Teles, Juan Carlos – Núñez, Bicho – Luis Fernández.
Referee: Daniel Jesús Trujillo Suárez.
Kick-off: 19h30 CET (Estadio Nuevo de La Victoria)
Head-to-head Vs. Jaén: 2 wins for Depor, 0 draws, o wins for Jaén (Copa Del Rey)



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