Competition news


13 Feb 2016
Depor search for the victory as it also searches to clinch the first clean sheet in 2016; the rival is living an instable season, but arrives to the Riazor reinforced with the winter signings.

Real Betis are struggling to survive in their returning season to the elite and their main problem has been the goals. Los Verdiblancos have only netted sixteen goals until this point, the worst mark in the league. Between December and January they lived a terrible run of seven straight games without goals (5 in liga and 2 in Copa), and within their last three meetings they managed to score a goal per match.

But the Andalusians are a dangerous team in the road; actually they and Depor are the only teams in la liga that have added more points on the road than at home. And it’s that Betis is the seventh best visitors in the league with 15 points in 12 away meetings (only ten points at the Benito Villamarín). Their four away wins were conquered against Sporting Gijón (1-2), Rayo Vallecano (0-2), Málaga CF (0-1) and Levante UD (0-1).

In the case of Depor, the Galicians are trying to correct a not too impressive season at home after only winning three times at the Riazor (the sixth worst home mark in the league). Besides, Víctor’s team remain winless in 2016. Only Deportivo, RCD Espanyol and Valencia CF are still searching for their first win at the elite.

Real Betis have only won three times at the Riazor playing in a league competition, but those three wins took place since 2002 and the Andalusians have only lost once within their last eight visits to A Coruña. Depor’s last home win over Real Betis took place during the season 2007/08 with a goal scoffed by Andrés Guardado (1-0, Sept 16, 2007).

Depor remain winless in 2016 and also unable to clinch a clean sheet since the year started. In eight official meetings the Galicians have conceded sixteen goals, too much to hold on the hope of a victory. And within the last 14 official games Los Blanquiazules only clinched two clean sheets (2-0 Vs. Eibar & 0-0 Vs. Getafe).

At least the team hasn’t lost yet, but it is becoming important to add the three points in order to secure the permanence as soon as possible, especially since the rivals at this stage are more accessible than the ones in the last part of the tournament, and for this one of the keys is to avoid conceding goals.

And Víctor Sánchez is eager to keep repeating the lineup. It’s predicted a 4-4-2 draw with German Lux at the goal, Juanfran Moreno covering the right side in defence, the left sector is for Fernando Navarro, while Sidnei Rechel and Alejandro Arribas perform at the centre.

Álex Bergantiños and Pedro Mosquera are the centre midfielders, Cani perform at the right wing, Fayçal Fajr does it at the left, while the central attackers are Luis Alberto and Lucas Pérez.

Celso Borges is back after three months out due to a toe injury, but Juan Dominguez and Albert Lopo didn’t make the cut as both were sick. Fabricio is the other player at the injury room, while Manuel Pablo, Jonathan Rodriguez and Stipe Pletikosa are out for tactical reasons.

Álex Bergantiños was talking of the rival, ”It’s a team that has changed the coach; they are coming from behind and made signings that gave them an impulse. It is a rival from our league, they will fight in order to leave behind the last places; therefore it’s a complicate rival with pretty good players. We must remain strong and focused, just like last year; we need to win at home once and for all.”

Fernando Navarro is an expert in matches against Betis due to the rivalry with Sevilla CF, he was talking of the subject, "It’s an attractive game, not only for me, but for all. The fact I played in the other team of the city doesn’t mean anything. I have a high respect for Betis and their fans. I don't have any problem with them and it's going to be difficult as they are now a competitive team with the change of the coach."

List of picked players (18):  Lux, Manu, (goalkeepers); Laure, Sidnei, Arribas, Juanfran, Navarro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Celso Borges, Mosquera, Cani, Cartabia, Luisinho, Jonás Gutiérrez, Fayçal Fajr (midfielders); Lucas Pérez, Oriol Riera & Luis Alberto (attackers)

It has been a disappointing season for Real Betis, despite the fact of been a recent comer and that it has only spent one matchday in relegation so far, the expectations were higher and the results since December in liga were poor, especially the humiliating 0-6 loss against Sevilla CF in Copa, therefore the fans are not happy and neither the officials. Pepe Mel was fired at the middle of January and his substitute, Juan Merino, is still trying to build up a team according to his ideas.

And there’s a light at the end of the tunnel with the three signings made during the winter market: winger Charly Musonda striker Leandro Damião and right-back Martín Montoya. Ex-Barcelona Montoya is already a starter, while Damião is pending to debut, but who has caused a big surprise is 19-year-old Musonda. The Chelsea’s loanee impressed in his debut as he caused an earthquake at Granada (both players that were marking him had to be replaced due to his presence). These new incorporations bring new hope to the fans about the upcoming future of a team that’s only four points above the pit.

It’s expected that Merino will present a 4-4-2 lineup, Antonio Adán is the goalkeeper, Montoya covers the right side in defence, Peruvian Juan Vargas performs on the left, with Germán Pezzella suspended, Heiko Westermann joins Bruno González at the central positions. The German hasn’t played in 2016 due to an injury and his last game was the closing meeting in 2015 with FC Barcelona (Dec. 30).

Brazilian Petros Matheus is recovered from an injury and goes directly into the starting formation in order to perform alongside Aldred N’Diaye at midfield, Musonda attacks from the right wing, Álvaro Cejudo does it from the left, then Dutch Ricky van Wolfswinkel joins Rubén Castro at the centre of the attack.

It has been a poor first campaign for van Wolfswinkel at Primera with zero goals in ten la liga presentations,  but it’s the opposite for ex-Depor Rubén Castro, who has netted 10 of the 16 goals for Betis on this league season, those 10 goals helped to add 12 points, the highest mark in la liga.

Centre-back Bruno González was talking of the game, ”The points against Deportivo are vital, because we got points from the games against Real Madrid and Villarreal, so it’s time to be focused little by little. Deportivo is a dangerous team, as a block they are complicated and have very good individual moves. Now we have confidence and must bit from the start playing outside home.”

List of picked players (18): Adán, Dani Giménez (goalkeepers); Montoya, Molinero, Bruno, Westermann, Vargas (defenders); Petros, N'Diaye, Xavi Torres, Dani Ceballos, Portillo, Kadir, Cejudo, Musonda (midfielders); Jorge Molina, Van Wolfswinkel & Rubén Castro (attackers).

Deportivo: (4-4-2) Lux – Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Navarro – Cani, Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Fajr – Lucas Pérez, Luis Alberto.
Betis: (4-4-2) Adán – Montoya, Westermann, Bruno, Vargas – Musonda, N’Diaye, Petros, Cejudo - Wolfswinkel, Rubén Castro
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Kick-off: 22h05 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Betis:  22 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 19 wins for Betis (Primera & Segunda)
Record at the Riazor:  14 wins for Depor, 11 draws, 3 wins for Betis (Primera & Segunda)



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