Competition news

JANUARY: A MONTH FULL OF ACTION

31 Dec 2007
Deportivo will not only try to bounce back in la liga during the first month of 2008, it will also try to prolong its participation in copa del rey. Lotina's squad could even be forced to play nine games in January, this because the last eight round and the quarterfinals in copa del rey will be played during the month. Also, key liga matches against Almer?­a and Valladolid will take place, two of the clubs that are also trying to achieve the permanence.

If Depor is able to advance forward in copa del rey, January will be a busy month to compete. That's because the last eight round and the quarterfinals will be played during the month. If the Galicians are able to reach this last instance, Lotina's team will be forced to play nine games in just thirty days: four in liga and five in copa. In other words, two games per week.

First to all, Depor has to secure the pass to the last eight round in copa del rey, in order to do this, the Galician team must eliminate RCD Espanyol during the second-leg match of the last-16 round that will be played at the Riazor. The aggregate score is 1-1, but since the goal scored as visitor counts as double, Deportivo only needs an scoreless draw in order to advance. A new 1-1 will mean extra-times, while the Catalan club needs a win or a new draw with two or more goals in order to pass the round.

But it won't be easy for Depor, because Espanyol is enjoying of one of its best seasons ever, the Catalan team is currently third in la liga and accumulates fourteen straight officials matches without suffering a defeat, the last team that did it was Recreativo de Huelva on September 22nd (2-1). If Depor is able to achieve the pass, it will  play the two legs of the last eight round during January, and if this instance is surpassed, the quarterfinals will be played at the end of the month.

And Deporitvo must also keep an eye in la liga, the situation in the table is really tight and Lotina's team needs any possible point in order to climb positions. The first two games of the year are against rivals fighting at the top of the table. The first exam will be the visit of Atl?Štico Madrid to the Riazor. 

The Madrilenians are currently fifth in la liga, but they have lost five of the last six points in dispute, reason why they didn't end the year 2007 in Champions League positions. The main hope for the fans is that Atl?Štico Madrid has lost during its last six visits to the Riazor, in fact, their last win in La Coru?ąa occurred on the season 1994/1995 (1-0). Besides, Aguirre's team will have the casualty of Mariano Pern?­a who was sent off in the last liga match against Espanyol.

At the middle of the month, Depor will try to continue with its positive record away from home during the visit to El Madrigal in order to face Villarreal. Like Atl?Štico Madrid, the 'yellow submarine' has lived a good end of year occupying the fourth place in the liga table (first time they end a year in a Champions League position).

However, the Valencians are suffering at home since they have only clinched two points during the last three matches at El Madrigal (1-1 Vs. Almeria, 0-1 Vs. Betis and 1-1 Vs. Recreativo). Besides, Depor has achieved a victory during its last two visits there (both occasions with a 2-0 score).

Later, Lotina's team will face two consecutive games against clubs that have the same objective: to achieve the permanence. The first of this teams is UD Almer?­a, the Andalucian club debuted in Primera Divisi??n with a shocking 3-0 away win over Depor during the opening game of the season, but they have only been able to add four wins in the following sixteen liga matches. In fact, they have lost the last two games in the competition (1-3 Vs. Betis and 0-2 Vs. Getafe).

And three of those four wins were achieved at Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos: 2-0 Vs. Osasuna, 1-0 Vs. Sevilla and 1-0 Vs. Valladolid. It will be the first visit of Deportivo to Almer?­a since both clubs have never met before in any professional division.

The last liga match of the month is the visit of Valladolid to the Riazor. The violet team represents the salvation since Mendilibar's squad is currently occupying the 17th place with 18 points. Therefore, Depor can't miss this chance and the game should be considered as one of 'six points'. The first round game ended with a 2-2 score, a victory will give the advantage in the series for Depor, a favourable situation since if both teams end tied in the table, the series played during the season is the first rule used to break the tie.

Besides, Valladolid has only achieved two wins away from home during the current campaign: 1-0 Vs. Espanyol and 3-2 Vs. Zaragoza. Their last two visits ended in a defeat: 3-4 Vs. Atl?Štico Madrid and 0-1 Vs. Almeria. Another positive thing for Deportivo is that Valladolid has only clinched one win within the last six visits to the Riazor (2-1 on the season 2000/2001).

Depor's calendar during January:
02/Jan/2008: Deportivo Vs. Espanyol (copa)
06/Jan/2008: Deportivo Vs. Atl?Štico Madrid (liga)
09/Jan/2008: Last eight round, first-leg (copa)
13/Jan/2008: Villarreal Vs. Deportivo (liga)
16/Jan/2008: Last eight round, second-leg (copa)
20/Jan/2008: Almer?­a Vs. Deportivo (liga)
23/Jan/2008: Quarterfinals, first-leg (copa)
27/Jan/2008: Deportivo Vs. Valladolid (liga)
30/Jan/2008: Quarterfinals, second-leg (copa)


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