Competition news


16 Jan 2016
Deportivo want to keep the good run of the first run after suffering three straight losses, while Real Sociedad want a different start facing important casualties in attack.

Taking in mind the expectations at the beginning of the season, the fans of both teams might get the impression that their side is living the reality of the other. And it’s that Real Sociedad were hoping to lie among the first six places or at least to sit close to Europe at this height of the competition, but they are only five points above the pit. Meanwhile Depor’s supporters were wishing to see their team out of relegation, but it turns out that they are only three points away from Europe and already with a mattress of 12 points above the drop zone.

Despite coming from heavy losses in liga and Copa, and also from suffering two straight liga defeats for the first time on this campaign, Depor have only lost four games in the competition, only FC Barcelona (2), Real Madrid (3) and Atlético Madrid (3) have suffered less setbacks.

Meanwhile, Real Sociedad defeated Valencia CF on the previous matchday (2-0) and are trying to chain back-to-back wins for the first time on the season.  The Basques are the sixth worst local team in the league after only adding 11 points in 9 home meetings. They already lost four times at Anoeta: 2-3 Vs. RCD Espanyol, 0-2 Vs. Atlético Madrid, 2-3 Vs. RC Celta and 0-2 Vs. Villarreal CF.

Deportivo have clinched good results visiting Real Sociedad, but in the last decade they only won once at Anoeta. The last win of the Galicians in San Sebastián took place during the season 2006/07 with a goal scored by Arizmendi (0-1).

The players are aware that they cannot panic after the team lost three straight games, especially after suffering two straight heavy losses and a humiliation in Copa. They are also aware that the team must learn from these experiences in order to avoid the same mistakes. Pedro Mosquera was talking of the issue, ”We must learn from mistakes and learn the lesson from the Copa. I am confident that it won’t affect us; we must focus in liga.”

German Lux was pondering about it, ”We were eliminated in Copa and the feelings are sad. We had high hopes in this competition, because, depending on the draws, we could even get into semifinals of a tournament that was fine. We didn’t do a good match. It was really a bad one. Mirandés were superior in every way. But there's nothing we can do. We must move on. We have a long squad, now with only one competition and we must give our best. You have to be positive. We made a sensational first round that has allowed us to add 27 points. And we are competing well, except for the day at the Bernabeú, and it also influenced the goal in offside, the chance missed by Lucas... Against Villarreal we deserved more... There are many positive things.”

Cani, who watched the horror in Copa from the bench, was saying that, ”In the beginning it is tough, but it passes. It’s important to forget things as an important game arrives now. We weren’t waiting for a 0-3 against Mirandés playing at home. Yes, the bump in the results in there, but if you win on Saturday then the bump is gone.”

Luisinho was saying that a victory would clear the doubts, ”We must forget about the Copa, though we must analyze what happened. Now we must think of Saturday. It’s very important to add at San Sebastián, to not do it will only increase the doubts.”

In last season’s visit to Real Sociedad, which marked the debut of Víctor on the bench, he opted in playing with an offensive approach, now he planned a draw with four full-backs. In the last training before the trip to the Basque country he tested a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-2 draw, the latter seems the most probable one.

German Lux is the goalkeeper, Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ covers the right side in defence, Fernando Navarro performs on the left, with Alejandro Arribas suspended, Alberto Lopo steps in and joins Sidnei Rechel at the central positions.

Álex Bergantiños and Pedro Mosquera are the centre midfielders, Juanfran Moreno is the right winger, Luisinho attacks from the left, while Lucas Pérez and Luis Alberto are the centre forwards.

Fede Cartabia is a last-minute casualty with a muscle problem. The other players at the injury room are Fabricio Agosto and Celso Borges. Stipe Pletikosa, Manuel Pablo and Jonathan Rodríguez were included into the roster and travels with the team, while Juan Dominguez, Oriol Riera, Haris Medunjanin and Miguel Cardoso are out for tactical reasons.

List of picked players (19): Lux, Manu, Pletikosa (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Sidnei, Lopo, Róber, Juanfran, Navarro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Cani, Jonás Gutiérrez, Luisinho, Fayçal Fajr (midfielders); Lucas Pérez, Jonathan Rodríguez & Luis Alberto (attackers)

The phrase “wipe the slate clean” is perfect to describe what Real Sociedad want at this point on the season, because it has a double meaning. First because the Basques want to make a fresh start after a disappointing first round that left them closer to relegation than to the European seats. And secondly, because they need to refresh the normal lineup, mainly in attack due to the injuries hitting the team.

And it’s that their best scorer, Imanol Agirretxe (12), is out injured, while one of their best assistors, David Zurutuza (3), is also sidelined. Neither Sergio Canales nor Esteban Granero are available, so there’s a lack of ideas up front.

At least new coach Eusebio Sacristán has found some aim with the replacements, because within the last three games Portuguese attacker Armindo Tué Na ‘Bruma’ has scored twice, exactly the period of time in which he has covered the absence of Agirretxe, while Jonathas de Jesús, after failing to impress at the start of the season in a move that cost €7.2 million, has scored twice plus providing two assists within his last five appearances, which included to score a brace in the previous game with Valencia CF.

Eusebio landed at Real Sociedad early in November and has been trying to develop the style that he had at Barcelona B, to the point that he plays with a 4-3-3 draw. No big changes are expected as Argentine Gerónimo Rulli is the goalkeeper, Carlos Martínez performs at the right side in defence, with Yuri Berchiche performing on the left, while the central positions are for Iñigo Martínez and Aritz Elustondo.

Asier Illarramendi is recovered from an ankle problem and joins Rubén Pardo and Markel Bergara at midfield, then Mexican Carlos Vela completes the trident in attack joining Jonathas and Bruma.

There are high rumors that Vela will leave during the summer and the true is that his performance has been mediocre, he has only scored twice on this season and remains scoreless since October –his two goals came in a 0-4 win at Levante UD-

Keeper Rulli was warning of the difficulty of this game, ”Deportivo are making a very good season, they are in a great moment, having an ordered team and, with the exception of the game against Real Madrid, no one has passed over them so far. We want to improve our year and against Depor we have a great opportunity to do it.”

List of picked players (18): Rulli, Olazábal (goalkeepers), Carlos Martínez, Zaldua, Elustondo, Mikel, Iñigo Martínez, De la Bella, Héctor Hernández, Yuri (defenders); Markel Bergara, Illarramendi, Pardo, Xabi Prieto, Oyarzabal  (midfielders); Bruma, Vela & Jonathas (attackers).

Real Sociedad: (4-3-3) Rulli – Carlos Martínez, Elustondo, Iñigo Martínez, Yuri – Illaramendi, Bergara, Pardo – Vela, Jonathas, Bruma.
Deportivo: (4-4-2) Lux – Laure, Lopo, Sidnei, Navarro – Juanfran, Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Luisinho – Luis Alberto, Lucas Pérez.
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera
Kick-off: 22h05 CET (Anoeta)
Head-to-head Vs. Real Sociedad: 34 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 24 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)
Record in San Sebastián: 12 wins for Depor, 8 draws, 18 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)



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