Competition news


12 Apr 2015
Víctor Sánchez debuts as Depor visit one of the most difficult rivals playing at home; he’s planning six changes despite the team is very similar to the one of Víctor Fernández. The rival will play without Carlos Vela.

Real Sociedad have transformed what was a poor season into a positive campaign despite the remote chances to play European football next year. The Basques are practically saved though far from Europe at the same time. The true is that start of season was hard with only one win within the last ten games, now the team is 11th thanks to an ascending mark at home.

And it’s that Real Sociedad have spent five straight games without losing at Anoeta with four of those games ended in a victory, it’s their best mark this season. They represent the only liga club that has defeated the three giants at home on this league campaign: Real Madrid (4-2), Atlético Madrid (2-1) and FC Barcelona (1-0).  Curiously their four home losses were against lower teams, the last one a 0-1 defeat before Rayo Vallecano (January 17).

Meanwhile Deportivo arrive to the meeting with a new coach after living their worst streak on the season: eight straight games without adding the three points. Depor have only lost 5 of their last 18 visits to Anoeta, though three of those defeats occurred within the last five matches played there. The last victory in San Sebastián was for the campaign 2006/07 with a goal scored by Javier Arizmendi (0-1, February 24, 2007).

Víctor Sánchez kick-offs his stage at Deportivo with the team living a difficult situation, truly Depor are out of relegation, but can fall into the pit in case of a defeat before one of the best home teams in la liga. With only three trainings before the game, the Madrilenians opted in long sessions (Friday’s session lasted two and a half hours) in order to prepare the game.

He won’t make any revolution at the lineup, at least for the first game, though it’s expected that he will introduce six changes. Six modifications may look like a lot, but it must be reminded that the half of these changes are caused by the suspension of Luisinho, plus the returns of Iván Cavaleiro and Lucas Pérez. In the end he’s presenting a 4-2-3-1 very similar to the one used by his predecessor, Víctor Fernández.

Fabricio Agosto defends the goal, Juanfran Moreno covers the right side of the defence, Manuel Pablo is the chosen one to perform on the left, Pablo Insua returns after not been picked in the last game and goes directly into the starting formation joining Sidnei Rechel at the centre.

Haris Medunjanin is the other novelty as he joins Álex Bergantiños at midfield. The last time the Bosnian was a starter was for the 0-4 loss before FC Barcelona (January 18). José Rodríguez also returns and performs at the right wing, Cavaleiro attacks from the left flank, Lucas is the playmaker and Toché is the centre forward.

Winger Diogo Salomão and attacker Hélder Postiga joined the trainings on this week, but they haven’t received the medical okay to play, so both men remain at the injury room together with centre midfielder Cezary Wilk. Luisinho is suspended, while centre back Borja López and winger Hélder Costa weren’t picked for tactical reasons.

Álex Bergantiños was talking of the feelings at Deportivo with the arrival of Víctor, ”Víctor likes to study football and transmit optimism. This should be a plus and if we reinforce it with a victory, then it will help the team to grow even more. We are hoping to play a good game and bring a good performance. “

About the rival, the midfielder commented that, ”Real are a team with good individualities, on this year they have been lower at the standings of what their squad reflects. They have been a little irregular and are capable of the best, but also of the worst.”

List of picked players (20): Fabricio, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Manuel Pablo, Juanfran, Insua, Lopo, Sidnei, Canella (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, José Rodríguez, Celso Borges, Medunjanin, Fariña, Lucas, Cuenca (midfielders); Cavaleiro, Toché & Oriol Riera (attackers).

The Txuri-urdin team is navigating in safe waters after a turbulent start, at some point the fans were starting to think of Europe, but the 13-point difference with only eight matches remaining is moving the players to think that it is impossible and that the season is practically over for them. Even coach David Moyes has stated in public that it’s a far goal.

Moyes is responsible for the current good moment of the team and now seems more worried of preparing next year. The attention in recent weeks has been focused in other things, like the injury of Carlos Vela. The Mexican sustained a knee injury at the end of January and since then he has only played 25 minutes.

He was supposed to play for some minutes in the games against Málaga CF and Atlético Madrid, but the only think he did was to warm out for some minutes at the Calderón stadium. Now it’s expected that he will be on the bench again. It’s a sensitive casualty, especially since Icelandic Alfred Finnbogason is out injured too, which leaves the coach with the only option of Imanol Agirretxe , the veteran attacker is the second best scorer at the team with six goals (Vela has netted seven times).

For the game its expected a 4-2-3-1 figure, with Argentine Gerónimo Rulli defending the goal, Joseba Zaldua covers the right side of the defence, ex-Eibar Yuri Berchiche performs at the left side, while Ion Ansotegi and  Íñigo Martínez return from suspension in order to play at the central positions.

Rubén Pardo and Esteban Granero are the centre midfielders, captain Xabi Prieto performs at the right wing, Gonzalo ‘Chory’ Castro attacks from the left flank, Sergio Canales is the playmaker and Agirretxe is the centre forward.

List of picked players: It will be released until Sunday.

Real Sociedad: (4-2-3-1) Rulli – Zaldúa, Ansotegi, Martínez, Yuri – Pardo, Granero – Xabi Prieto, Canales, Castro - Agirretxe
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Juanfran, Insua, Sidnei, Manuel Pablo – Álex Bergantiños, Medunjanin – José Rodríguez, Lucas, Cavaleiro – Toché.
Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
Kick-off: 19h00 CET (Anoeta)
Head-to-head Vs. Real Sociedad: 34 wins for Depor, 17 draws, 24 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)
Record in San Sebastián: 12 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 18 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)



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