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Played
January 23, 2011 4:00 PM GMT
Estadio de la Romareda — Zaragoza
Referee:‬ David Fernández‎
Attendance:‬ 22000‎
 
 

La Liga Preview: Zaragoza – Deportivo La Coruna

The Andalucians continue to search for their first home win of the campaign when they host los Rojillos...

By Robin Bairner

Javier Aguirre, Zaragoza (Marca)
Moving Towards Safety

A welcome dose of hope was injected into Zaragoza’s season last weekend. Bottom of the table almost exclusively since Round 4 of action, los Manos boosted their survival hopes with a crucial 1-0 victory over struggling Levante. Javier Aguirre will hope that win can spark new life into his side, and the weekend’s fixture against Deportivo La Coruna will certainly be targeted for more points.

What little success the Aragon side have enjoyed this season – three league wins in total – has come solely at home. La Romareda may have seen its team lose on five occasions, but the 11 points Zaragoza have won at the venue comprise the vast majority of their present tally.

Last weekend, the bowl of a stadium witnessed an all-too-infrequent success this season, though it did come against a direct rival, doubling the value of the victory. Levante didn’t put up a great fight, and Gabi’s goal on the stroke of half-time could prove a priceless strike for the struggling northerners.

“We failed to kill the game with few chances we had and from there we suffered,” Aguirre said, expressing his concern at his side’s lack of goal scoring instinct. “We are still a little short on time, so we cannot afford to be average.”

Though Depor are uninspiring, they are unlikely to gift three points to los Manos, who will have to be on their mettle if they are to earn three points.

Starting To Flounder Again

Copa del Rey elimination on Wednesday night against Almeria wasn’t particularly sore for Deportivo La Coruna to take, as coach Miguel Angel Lotina had explained from the outset of the tie that his side were primarily focussing their efforts on their league campaign. So far, the Primera Division isn’t going especially smoothly for the Galicians.

Defeat against Valencia last weekend left Depor languishing firmly in the bottom half of the table, though after a dreadful start to the term little more could be expected by this stage. Indeed, a five point gap to the relegation places may even seem pretty healthy for the north easterners.

Their defensive face was firmly on view at the Mestalla in the 2-0 defeat, but Lotina’s side were somewhat more enterprising in midweek. After losing the opening leg 1-0, there was little prospect of a comeback for the goal-shy side after the Andalucians took a 19th minute lead. Pablo Alvarez and Adrian briefly offered hope of a resurrection, but this was short-lived as Lotina’s men went down 3-2.

A difficult run of fixtures has seen only four points from the last five games return to Galicia, but a match against the league’s bottom club will make for an appetising fixture for Depor, who need their season to come back to life before they slip into further difficulties.



TEAM NEWS

Zaragoza


Once again, coach Javier Aguirre is playing his cards close to his chest, not revealing much about his squad’s state before the weekend game. Jiri Jarosik overcame slight muscular problems to play last weekend, and no fresh worries have been named in the press over the course of the last week.

Deportivo


Riki and Andres Guardado are back training with the main squad, but Claudio Morel and Saul are yet to overcome their injury problems. Rested in midweek, Knut Olav Rindaroy, Alberto Lopo and Juan Rodriguez will all be involved.



Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Apr 6, 2013 Deportivo 3 - Zaragoza 2
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Nov 10, 2012 Zaragoza 5 - Deportivo 3
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Jan 23, 2011 Zaragoza 1 - Deportivo 0
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
25Leo FrancoGoalkeeper
-C. DiogoDefender
24Ivan ObradovicDefender
4Matteo ContiniDefender
20Jiri JarosikMidfielder
14GabiMidfielder
23Leonardo PonzioMidfielder
21Ander HerreraMidfielder
-BraulioStriker
20Said BoutaharMidfielder
14Florent Sinama-PongolleStriker
1Toni DoblasGoalkeeper
6Maurizio LanzaroDefender
3ParedesDefender
17LafitaMidfielder
8Nicolás BertoloMidfielder
-Jorge LópezMidfielder
1Dani AranzubiaGoalkeeper
23AythamiDefender
2Manuel PabloDefender
7Alberto LopoDefender
19Diego Daniel ColottoDefender
15LaureDefender
19Antonio TomásMidfielder
23Juan RodríguezMidfielder
6Rubén PérezMidfielder
7AdriánStriker
36Niouoi LassadStriker
-ManuGoalkeeper
-Zé CastroDefender
-Pablo ÁlvarezMidfielder
33Diego SeoaneDefender
6JucaMidfielder
-ValerónMidfielder
Players to Watch
Gabi
Gabi
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 14
Games Goals YC RC
31 3 10 0
Gabi was an inspiration in the centre of the park for Zaragoza last weekend, giving a real captain’s performance. Anchored the middle five superbly and capped off his best game of the season by scoring the only goal of the match. The 27-year-old is no stranger to finding the net, but all of his previous three goals this season came from the penalty spot.
Dani Aranzubia
Dani Aranzubia
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 1
If there is one man who can fire Depor to victory, it’s Adrian. The striker has been troubled by injury over the last couple of weeks but managed to strike against Almeria in midweek, keeping a decent run of form going. He scored twice to allow the Galicians to claim a 2-1 win against Athletic Bilbao on the opening weekend of the year – the last time Miguel Angel Lotina’s side found the net in the league.
Probable Lineups
Leo Franco 25
C. Diogo 0
Ivan Obradovic 24
Matteo Contini 4
Jiri Jarosik 20
Gabi 14
Leonardo Ponzio 23
Ander Herrera 21
Braulio 0
Said Boutahar 20
Florent Sinama-Pongolle 14
Dani Aranzubia 1
Aythami 23
Manuel Pablo 2
Alberto Lopo 7
Diego Daniel Colotto 19
Laure 15
Antonio Tomás 19
Juan Rodríguez 23
Rubén Pérez 6
Adrián 7
Niouoi Lassad 36
Prediction
Goals should certainly not be expected in this match; Deportivo remain grimly defensive, while Zaragoza are not an exhilarating offensive force by any means. The guests will try to operate on the break but will find life tough if los Manos score the first goal... if there is even a goal in what’s likely to be a tight, tense battle.

Editor's Prediction
Results
 
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