Squad news


20 Apr 2016
Víctor makes changes as new casualties are hitting the squad. The rival arrives living a surprising downturn, but with their best attackers on the field.

Both sides are living weird streaks that are complicating their goals for the season. At the beginning of April FC Barcelona were looking invincible dragging an incredible streak of 39 official games without suffering a defeat, but suddenly everything turned upside down with the Catalans chaining three straight league defeats, something that doesn’t happen to them since 2003, plus the elimination in Champions League before Atlético Madrid.  Now, Barca have passed from caressing the treble to already been eliminated in Europe and to be tied in points with Atlético in la liga –and with Real Madrid only one point behind- just when they had a 10-point lead before.

Meanwhile, Deportivo was one of the pleasant surprises in the first round, but there was a drastic change in 2016, to the extent that the Galicians are, together with Getafe CF, the worst team in the year with 12 points in 17 matches. For this reason Los Blanquiazules are far from Europe and haven’t clinched the permanence yet.

Depor have missed to defeat FC Barcelona within the last eight years, the last victory over the Catalans was a 2-0 win at the Riazor for the campaign 2007/08. Also, the Galicians have lost the last four home meetings with Barca allowing 16 goals in those 4 meetings.

Coach Víctor Sánchez is facing again a situation in which he needs to make changes due to the casualties at his team. The problems start at the centre of the defence. Alejandro Arribas remains suspended and is now joined by Albert Lopo, who picked a fifth yellow card on the last visit to Sevilla CF.

Also, in that game Luis Alberto had to be replaced early in the second half due to a thigh injury, while Oriol Riera ended the game with an ankle sprain, but managed to enter the list for the game after completing the last training.

It’s expected that Víctor will switch into a 4-3-3 figure, something that was tested on Tuesday, Manu Fernández will remain at the goal, Juanfran Moreno covers the right side in defence, Luisinho performs on the left sector, then Fernando Navarro is moved into the centre in order to join Sidnei Rechel. On Tuesday the coach with Laure on the left, but seems more probable to play there with Luisinho.

Pedro Mosquera, Álex Bergantiños and Celso Borges are the centre midfielders, Cani covers the left wing, Lucas Pérez is moved to the left and Oriol Riera is the centre forward.

Fede Cartabia returns from a groin issue and entered the roster for the game. German Lux and Fabricio Agosto are the other players at the injury room. Jonathan Rodriguez returns to the roster after been out for some weeks, but midfielder Juan Dominguez remains out for tactical reasons.

List of picked players: (18): Manu, Pletikosa (goalkeepers); Manuel Pablo, Laure, Sidnei, Juanfran, Navarro (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Celso Borges, Mosquera, Luisinho, Jonás, Cartabia, Cani & Fayçal Fajr (midfielders);  Lucas Pérez, Oriol Riera & Jonathan Rodríguez (attackers).

There’s tension in Catalonia with the situation of FC Barcelona, an unthinkable thing some weeks ago, but the defeats before Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Valencia CF for la liga, plus the painful elimination in Champions League before Atlético Madrid, have opened a line of criticism against coach Luis Enrique. Nobody remembers now that this team was close to tie the all-time record of undefeated games in Europe.

The media is nervous and is already calculating the results needed to secure the title in liga, another unthinkable thing a month ago.  Luis Enrique has been hardly criticized for not finding quick solutions to the problems, on Sunday he didn’t even make changes in the 1-2 loss before Valencia CF.  That’s precisely the main problem of this team, because there’s a huge difference between the level of the normal starters and the substitutes and the coach never found the way to deal with the situation.

And Barca have the same problems in defence than Depor for the match at the Riazor, Gerard Pique is suspended after picking the fifth yellow card on the season and, with Jérémy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen injured, the coach will have to improvise in order to cover the centre of the defence.

Still, the team that will face the Galicians is the luxury one with the MSN leading the attack. It’s expected a 4-3-3 lineup, with Claudio Bravo protecting the goal, Dani Alves was punished in the last game after a new incident in the social media, but the Brazilian should start at the Riazor covering the right-back position.

Jordi Alba will cover the left flank and the solution for the problems at the centre is to play with Javier Mascherano joined by Marc Bartra, the latter has only played 382 minutes in liga distributed in 11 games.

Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta are the midfielders, while the attacking line is one of the most powerful ones in Europe: Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez, the famous MSN that already scored 70 goals in liga, more than 18 of the other 19 teams in the competition.

List of picked players: It will be released until Wednesday, hours before the trip to A Coruña.

Deportivo: (4-3-3) Manu – Juanfran, Sidnei, Navarro, Luisinho – Álex Bergantiños, Mosquera, Borges – Cani, Riera, Lucas.
Barcelona (4-3-3) Bravo – Alves, Mascherano, Bartra, Jordi Alba – Iniesta, Busquets, Rakitic – Messi, Suárez, Neymar.
Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Riazor)
Head-to-head Vs. Barca: 20 wins for Depor, 18 draws, 49 wins for Barca (Primera)
Record at the Camp Nou: 3 wins for Depor, 7 draws, 33 wins for Barca (Primera)



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