Competition news


30 Jan 2015
Meeting between two teams trying to avoid relegation problems. Celso Borges debuts as a starter at Deportivo, while Rayo is pending on the status of Baptistão after losing the last four home matches.

Deportivo represent the Primera outfit that has scored the lesser number of goals playing on the road during this season. The Galicians only scored four times after nine visits and their last away goal took place at the Sánchez Pizjúan after Medunjanin scored in a direct free-kick facing Sevilla CF (October 5)

Since that day the team ended scoreless in the last five liga visits, which is translated into 509 minutes without scoring on the road. This is the worst streak at the club since the Segunda season 1981/82; at the time the Deportivo coached by Luis Rodríguez Vaz spent 721 minutes without netting an away goal.

Still, Depor aren’t the worst visiting team at Primera, because it clinched three goalless draws within the last five visits. Los Blanquiazules added six points on the road so far, mark only above Real Sociedad and RCD Espanyol (both five).

Neither Rayo Vallecano are having a good season at home. The Madrilenians represent the second worst home team at Primera with only seven points added in this condition, only UD Almeria has a worse record (3). The Madrilenians have lost the last three liga home games: 0-1 Vs. Sevilla CF (matchday 14), 1-3 Vs. RCD Espanyol (matchday 16) & 0-1 Vs. Córdoba CF (matchday 18), plus the Copa clash with Valencia CF (1-2).

Depor at least have positive numbers at the moment of visiting the Estadio de Vallecas. Los Blanquiazules have won in 5 of the last 11 visits to Rayo Vallecano. The last win there took place on the season 2002/03 with a brace scored by Roy Makaay (October 26, 2002).

Midfielder Celso Borges finally fixed the issues with his work permit and is picked for the first time going directly into the starting eleven. It’s a boost for coach Víctor Fernández after losing Luis Fariña, who was suspended for two games due to his expulsion against Granada CF.

The Central American hasn’t played an official game since November, because the Swedish Allsvenskan is played between March and October and his last game was a friendly with Costa Rica. Still, he sees himself prepared for the task of been a starter, as he told to reporters on Thursday, ”I bear the physical charge during the trainings. I feel fine and prepared.”

Precisely Víctor is only making one modification to the team that faced Granada CF on last Sunday. It’s the introduction of Borges replacing Juan Dominguez joining Álex Bergantiños at midfield. The rest is the same 4-2-3-1 figure.

Fabricio Agosto covers the goal, Juanfran Moreno plays at the right side of the defence, Luisinho performs on the left, while the central positions are for Albert Lopo and Brazilian Sidnei Rechel.

José Rodríguez keeps performing as a right winger. Portuguese Iván Cavaleiro is the left winger, Lucas Pérez is the playmaker and Oriol Riera is the central attacker. It’s the third appearance as a starter for the Catalan, who is still searching for his first goal with Deportivo.

There are 19 players in the roster, which has been the normal thing in the away games on this season, this since Manuel Pablo is always included for the trips. Striker Hélder Postiga is the only player at the injury room, Fariña is suspended, while four men are out for tactical reasons: left-back Roberto Canella, midfielder Cezary Wilk, playmaker Hélder Costa and left winger Diogo Salomão.

After allowing a late goal in set-pieces against Granada CF, there were many worries in A Coruña about the matter. Álex Bergantiños was commenting the issue, ”Maybe last year the bleeding was more exaggerated. In any lateral free-kick we were suffering a lot and this year we have allowed goals like this, but what calls the attention is that we aren’t scoring goals in this way. It would balance the situation, because in these days is normal to score in set-pieces. The plays like the one of the other day are difficult to defend, because it means a secondary action and sometimes you can’t predict what will happen. Maybe the error was to be too delayed in the first action.”

Meanwhile, Juan Dominguez is optimistic about clinching the victory, as he said during the week, “It’s time to win on the road and I believe it will happen on Friday, but it won’t come for free. We must do our best in order to win. The team that can be more focused is the one that will win the game.”

Lucas Pérez is facing the team in which he debuted at Segunda; he was commenting his exit from the Madrilenian club, ”I didn’t like the way in which I left the club, they didn’t count with me, but it’s a special club as they put me in the map and I’m thankful. Now I’m at Depor, which is my home.”

Finally, Lopo was warning that the second round is going to be tougher, ”The second parts are always more complicated, you need more points; the rivals are tightening and sign more players. We need to clinch a couple of consecutive victories and make a step forward. As long as there are a lot of teams at the bottom, the bigger is the fight and it will not only depend of four or five, so you will need to be more alert.”

List of picked players (19): Lux, Fabricio (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Insua, Lopo, Sidnei, Juanfran, Luisinho (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Medunjanin, Borges, Lucas Pérez, Cuenca (midfielders); Oriol Riera, Cavaleiro & Toché (attackers)

The style of Paco Jémez is pretty defined after three years at the club; The Madrilenians, despite their scarce resources, are now a team that likes to have the ball possession and practice an attractive football. The stats demonstrate this as Rayo Vallecano is the second team in la liga with the biggest ball possession ratio (55%), only below FC Barcelona (62%).

They are also the third team in the competition with the best passing ratio (79%), mark only below FC Barcelona (88%) and Real Madrid (86%). Rayo has been praise by the media due to this reason and the team clinched the permanence without too many problems within the past two seasons. Currently they are seven points above the pit and, despite the apparent calm, there are worries as the team lost the last four home games at home, which included a painful loss before Córdoba CF.

Rayo is the second worst local team in the league and only one of the four outfits in the competition that have added more points on the road than at home. It’s a situation that needs to be fixed. Midfielder Jozabed Sánchez didn’t find an explanation for it, ”I don’t know why, we also made nice games at home and in the end the points flied away. Truly the pitch dimensions affect us, but it isn’t an excuse. We need to be stronger and add more points than in the first round.”

Jémez has been facing problems in attack as his main top-scorer, Leo Baptistão, has been out within the last month. Still, he will switch back into the 4-5-1 system after using the 3-5-2 scheme in recent months. Veteran Toño Martínez is the goalkeeper, the 35-year-old man is the third keeper at the team, but the previous injuries of Cobeño and Cristian Álvarez helped him to reach the starting team.

There’s a doubt in defence as Jémez admitted on Thursday that Tito Triguero might be available, but the most probable thing is to see Quini Marín performing on the right side. Ex-Depor Ze Castro and Abdoulaye Ba, should be the centre-backs, while Argentine Emiliano Insúa will perform on the left. Senegalese Ba had a terrible game in the first round match committing a big error in the first goal and later conceding a late penalty that secured the 2-2 draw at the Riazor.

The centre midfielders are Galician Roberto Trashorras and ex-Espanyol Raúl Baena, Chelsea’s loanee Gaël Kakuta attacks from the right wing, 21-year-old Álex Moreno does it from the left, while Alberto Bueno plays behind Mateus Alberto “Manucho” Gonçalves. Bueno is the second best scorer at the team (6), while Manucho netted two goals so far, the latter was the winning goal facing Real Sociedad a fortnight ago.

Jémez hinted on Thursday that Baptistão might be picked for the game (the roster will be released until Friday), but it isn’t probable to see him as a starter.  In case the Brazilian ends playing then he will claim the spot of Manucho.

Ghanaian Mohammed Fatau talked during the week about the importance of the meeting, ”The game against Deportivo is highly important. There are home meetings in which we have given everything and then we lost. It is a good signal and we must continue like this. We have to play all the home meetings as it was it a final.”

List of picked players: To be released until Friday.

Rayo Vallecano: (4-2-3-1) Toño – Quini, Ba, Ze Castro, Insúa – Trashorras, Baena – Kakuta, Bueno,  Moreno - Manucho
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Juanfran, Lopo, Sidnei, Luisinho – Álex Bergantiños, Borges – José Rodríguez, Lucas, Cavaleiro – Oriol Riera.
Referee: Eduardo Prieto Iglesias
Kick-off: 20h45 CET (Estadio de Vallecas)
Head-to-head Vs. Rayo:  14 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 4 wins for Rayo (Primera & Segunda)
Record in Vallecas: 10 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 8 wins for Rayo Vallecano (Primera & Segunda)



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