Competition news


07 Nov 2014
Important battle to avoid the relegation, Depor are having injury problems and Víctor Fernández plans a third revolution at the lineup. Córdoba are getting desperate to get the first win on the season and relies in Cartabria, Ghilas and Xisco.

Deportivo have never lost at El Nuevo Arcángel stadium (inaugurated in 1996). The last defeat visiting Córdoba CF took place at the old Arcángel field (already demolished) during the Segunda season 1976/77 (2-1). Since that day the Galicians have visited the Andalusians in seven opportunities (five playing for Segunda División and two for Copa Del Rey) and added three victories and four draws.

Córdoba CF is the only team at Primera that haven’t won any match yet. In case of failing it will be the first time since the season 2008/09 in which a Primera outfit spends the first eleven matchdays without winning a match. At the time CA Osasuna had only got five draws within the first eleven meetings.

The things are neither good for Deportivo. Los Blanquiazules are starring their fifth worst start of season at Primera División after only adding two wins and two draws in the first ten matches. It’s the same mark of the campaign 1991/92, though in that opportunity the goal difference was -8 (it’s -9 on the current season).

Only ten matchdays have been played and coach Víctor Fernández is already preparing a third “revolution” at the lineup. This time pushed by the casualties hitting the Blanquiazul team. And it’s that the coach admitted that, despite the recent defeat against Getafe CF, he would love to give continuity to the lineups. After all he presented the same team in the matches against Valencia CF and RCD Espanyol to only make one forced modification in the last game played at the Riazor.

For this game there are four players at the injury room: centre-back Pablo Insua, playmaker Luis Fariña, winger Lucas Pérez and striker Toché. Left winger Diogo Salomão received the medical okay to play, but lacks match fitness and won’t be picked for at least a month. So, the coach is missing five players and, with Juan Carlos and Diego Seoane out for tactical reasons, he had to pick a player from Fabril for the first time since the closure of the transfer window in order to have offensive depth on the bench. The chosen one is Dani Iglesias, who could be making his debut at Primera.

The new “revolution” is represented by four changes (two of them caused by the injuries), two players repositioned and to switch the draw into a 4-4-2. The main characteristic is that four of the five full-backs at the team are going to be starters at the Arcángel stadium.

The sector with more novelties is the defense as there are three “new faces”. Fabricio Agosto is the starting keeper, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ returns after been out for the past three games and covers the right side of the defense, Roberto Canella is making his first appearance as a starter since matchday 02 covering the left sector, then Albert Lopo steps in and joins Sidnei Rechel at the central positions.

Juan Dominguez is dropped from the starting team, while Cezary Wilk and Haris Medunjanin keeps their positions at the centre of the field. The change of draw means to allow the presence of Hélder Postiga, who joins his compatriot Iván Cavaleiro up front. The coach expressed his concerns with the match fitness of the 32-year-old player, but is giving him a spot at the starting eleven.

Postiga is coming after scoring the goal in the last home meeting against Getafe CF and this is his first appearance as a starter since the end of September (matchday 06, 0-1 Vs. UD Almeria). The offensive line is completed with the presence of Juanfran Moreno on the right wing and Luisinho on the left. Both men performed in defense in the previous game and are now advancing their positions on the field.

There was the debate if the game is a final or not for Deportivo; for Fabricio it is a final, ”We are playing for our life in Córdoba. They changed the coach and made a serious game before Atlético, now they are willful and we know that it’s a direct rival. They see Deportivo as a near team at the standings and that’s coming after losing, but we also see Córdoba down there and that we have the chance to win.”

Meanwhile, Luisinho was saying that the importance of the meeting was the same of previous matches, ”The previous ones were finals too. When we started the season we knew that the task of staying at Primera was going to be difficult, because we would need to fight hard in every game. Now we are facing the bottom club, Córdoba, side that’s fighting for the permanence, like us, and we must have a positive thought.”

For Cuenca the game is not a final, but a great chance to prove a point, ”We know that to win there will bring life to us and if we lose then we will feel screwed all week long. We can punch the table and say: We don’t belong to the last places, we must be upper at the standings.”

Finally, Cavaleiro didn’t want to say that the game is a final, he just preferred to emphasize the importance of the victory, ”We are traveling to Córdoba to win, we aren’t thinking of drawing and neither of other things. It’s a direct rival and we want to stay at Primera, so we are going there for the victory.”

List of picked players (19): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Sidnei, Diakité, Juanfran, Canella, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Wilk, Cuenca (midfielders); Postiga, Cavaleiro & Dani Iglesias (attackers)

After only eight matchdays played in la liga Córdoba CF decided to sack coach Albert Ferrer. It was the first manager sacked at Primera and a proof of the anxiety lived in a club that’s returning to the elite after 42 years. President Carlos González confessed during an interview that the reason was the poor impression left by the team in the 1-2 loss hosting Malaga CF.

He also confessed that the alternatives to claim the job were ex-Depor Fernando Vázquez and former Celta man Abel Resino, but a suggestion of a friend made him chose Miroslav Djukić, because his style “suits” better with the players currently at the team. Two matchdays later the team remains winless.

The true is that, despite been the bottom club, Córdoba aren’t leaving a negative impression in their returning campaign to Primera. They gave a fight in the visits to Madrilenians clubs Real Madrid (2-0) and Atlético Madrid (4-2) and their only big loss was against Valencia CF playing at Mestalla (3-0). But it’s also true that the anxiety is turning into desperation as the pressure is gathering in order to add the first victory, it’s a similar situation to what Depor lived before the home clash against Valencia CF.

But, despite the pressure and the nerves, Djukić won’t make a revolution at the lineup in order to face Deportivo; actually he liked a lot what he saw with the 4-4-2 scheme that played at the Calderón stadium. The only expected changes are occurring at defense as the coach is recovering some injured players..

Ex-Hércules Juan Carlos Martín is the starting keeper. He has been criticized lately, especially after failing in the aerial plays facing Atlético Madrid. However the coach said in his press conference that he trusts him.

 Jose Ángel Crespo returns in order to perform at the left side of the defense, ex-Celta Iago Bouzón plays at the right side, while the central defenders are Serbian Aleksandar Pantić and veteran Íñigo López, the latter is the only field player at the team that has played all the possible minutes in liga.

Luso Delgado and José María López Garai perform at midfield. Fidel Chaves attacks from the left wing and Fede Cartabria does it from the right, the Valencia’s loanee is one of the sensations at Primera after scoring twice and providing three assists, which means that the 21-year-old player has been involved in the 63% of the goals.

Then Xisco Jiménez and Nabil Ghilas are the centre forwards. Majorcan Xisco is making his second appearance as a starter and already scored once, while Algerian Ghilas joined the team after making an impressive World Cup in Brazil. He has scored three times, including a brace in the last meeting against Atlético Madrid.

Ex-Depor Xisco was explaining the meaning of this game for his team, ”We know it’s a key match. We must try to win no matter how and later start a positive streak, something that hasn’t occurred yet and let’s see if once and for all we clinch the victory that we all are whispering. Depor are a little better than us, because they are above us at the standings, but if we win then will be tied in points. We are the only team that haven’t won yet, let’s hope it will be this Friday.”

Defender Iñigo López said that the game is more important for Córdoba, ”I believe that we are playing for more things. If Depor get a draw then they will keep the same distance and if they win then they will increase the difference. We have failed to win in the first ten matchdays. We haven’t won yet and Depor already won two games. We are playing for more things.”

List of picked players: Djukić will release the roster after Friday’s training, hours before the game.

Córdoba: (4-4-2) Juan Carlos – Bouzón, Iñigo López, Pantić, Crespo – Cartabria, Luso, López Garai, Fidel – Xisco, Ghilas.
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Fabricio – Laure, Sidnei, Lopo, Canella – Juanfran, Wilk, Medunjanin, Luisinho - Cavaleiro, Postiga.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Kick-off: 20h45 CET (El Nuevo Arcángel stadium)
Head-to-head Vs. Córdoba: 14 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 7 wins for Córdoba (Primera & Segunda)
Mark in Córdoba: 3 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 6 wins for Córdoba (Primera & Segunda)



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