Competition news


09 Jan 2016
Lucas targets to continue scoring goals against the big teams in la liga as Depor visit a Real Madrid that dream of better times with the debut of Zidane.

No matter the result at the Bernabeú, Deportivo will end the first round at Primera with the best mark of defeats in fifteen years, aka on this century. The Galicians have only lost three games so far, which is the best mark since the campaign 2000/01, at the time Depor ended the first round with four defeats.  It also calls the attention the high number of draws (9), the last time Deportivo ended a first round with nine draws was during the season 2004/05.

The media in Madrid is exaggerating the “crisis” of Real Madrid, because the current moment characterized by the exit of Rafa Benitez cannot be referred as a crisis, after all the team is third at the standings, only three points under leaders Atlético Madrid, while they are the best scorer in the league (47) and only lost once at home, though it was a painful defeat before nemesis FC Barcelona (0-4).

Meanwhile, Deportivo have been unable to defeat Real Madrid during the last nine meetings in liga and always faced problems playing for la liga at the Santiago Bernabeú. After 43 visits, Los Blanquiazules only picked seven positive results there and are dragging a mark of eight straight losses with an aggregate score of 6-27.

It has a been a very promising season for Deportivo, the team has competed in all the games and only lost three times with only one game left to end the first round. And the symbol of this positivism has been Lucas Pérez, the Galician attacker has scored twelve goals plus providing three assists so far. It’s one less goal than the ones netted by Roy Makaay at the middle of the season 2002/03, campaign in which he won the European Golden Shoe.

On Thursday, the Galician attacker was referring to the current good season of Depor and the challenge to play at the Bernabeú, ”We cannot think that for getting a draw at the Nou Camp everything is done. We must look at the run of the team in the whole first round. We are where we are because no one gave us things for free, but because we yielded at all the fields. If we wouldn’t have played well in the big games, then we wouldn’t be where we are now.”

The best part of Lucas is that he always shows up during the big appointments; and it’s that, before the meeting with Villarreal CF, the former PAOK man had netted goals in all the matches against the current top-six clubs in la liga (Atlético, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Celta & Athletic). His four goals against the top-teams are only below the five goals netted by Neymar against the same rivals.

Now, Depor close the first round facing one of the teams at the top and Lucas aspires to increase his tally of goals. The Galicians are aspiring to break the chain of eight straight defeats at the Bernabeú and for it coach Víctor Sánchez is ready to repeat the 4-4-2 draw of recent games.

German Lux is the starting goalie, Juanfran Moreno covers the right side in defence, Fernando Navarro performs on the left sector, while Alejandro Arribas and Sidnei Rechel are the centre-backs.
Álex Bergantiños and Pedro Mosquera are the centre midfielders, Fayçal Fajr stays at the left wing, Fede Cartabia performs on the right flank, then Luis Alberto and Lucas are the centre forwards.

Keeper Stipe Pletikosa was picked for the first time after the club received the transfer on Friday. The players at the injury room are Cani, Fabricio and Celso Borges. Centre-back Albert Lopo and centre midfielder Juan Dominguez are back into the roster, but winger Miguel Cardoso, striker Jonathan Rodriguez, centre midfielder Haris Medunjanin and right-back Manuel Pablo are out due to tactical reasons.

List of picked players (19): Lux, Manu, Pletikosa (goalkeepers); Laure, Arribas, Sidnei, Lopo, Juanfran, Navarro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Juan Dominguez, Mosquera, Cartabia, Jonás Gutiérrez, Luisinho, Fayçal Fajr (midfielders); Lucas Pérez, Oriol Riera & Luis Alberto (attackers)

For the reader it’s might be hard to understand why Rafa Benítez was sacked when Real Madrid is third at the standings with strong options to win the liga title and ready to play the knockout stage in Champions League, but the reality is that nothing is simple inside the white house. The players, for years accused of been spoiled kids, were no longer tolerating the former Napoli boss. There were even reports that the players were no longer attending the tactical decisions of the coach ordered before and even during the games.

And with a volatile president like Florentino Pérez on board, who already had 11 coaches in 12 years, it wasn’t hard to see a change of mind after only appointing him six months ago. Now the arrival of Zinedine Zidane has been received with hope, but also with doubts as many people ask how long can the Frenchman stand in a club under these special circumstances.

The true is that Zidane knows Real Madrid pretty well, not only for been a former player and the coach of the B squad, but also because he was the second coach under the reign of Ancelotti, so he knows what he is going to meet inside the changing room.

No big changes are expected at the starting formation in the debut of Zidane. Deportivo should meet the same 4-3-3 draw they were going to meet with Benitez. Keylor Navas is the starting goalie, Dani Carvajal covers the right side in defence, the left flank is for Marcelo, with Portuguese Pepe joining Sergio Ramos at the central positions.

The trio at midfield is composed by Croatian Luka Modric, Francisco Román Alarcón ‘Isco’ and German Toni Kroos. Then the attacking trident is the famous “BBC” Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. This trident has scored 35 goals on this league season, more than 18 of the 19 rivals in la liga including Deportivo.

List of picked players:To be released until Saturday.

Real Madrid: (4-3-3) Navas – Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo - Kroos, Modric, Isco - Bale, Benzema, Cristiano.
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Lux – Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Navarro – Cartabia, Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Fajr – Luis Alberto, Lucas
Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
Kick-off: 20h30 CET (Santiago Bernabeú)
Head-to-head Vs. Real Madrid: 18 wins for Depor, 19 draws, 49 wins for Real Madrid (Primera)
Record at the Bernabéu: 2 wins for Depor, 5 draws, 36 wins for Real Madrid (Primera)



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