Super Depor finally produced a winning performance last weekend, but can they maintain their momentum against los Granotes?
Ups And Downs
Life at the foot of the Primera Division table got a whole lot more interesting last weekend, with the sides ranked 12th to 19th now separated by a paltry three points. Levante and Deportivo La Coruna are both towards the bottom of this relegation threatened group, yet one has the chance to spring clear when they meet on Sunday afternoon.
After winning promotion from the Segunda in the summer, there’s been little constant about the performances of Luis Garcia’s side. In the opening three matches of the campaign they threatened to become whipping boys, beaten in each with some degree of ease. Then came an improvement for four games, which included a draw against Real Madrid, but since they’ve slipped back due to successive defeats against Espanyol and Mallorca.
Both of los Granotes’ most recent set-backs have come on the road, so at the Ciutat de Valencia they will hold out hope of better times.
Even in front of their home support, Levante are unlikely to be a side who see a great deal of the ball. Indeed, in their nine Liga encounters to date they’ve yet to boss more possession than their opponents, but against a Depor side whose strength is defensive they may need to play a slightly different kind of game.
Sunday’s encounter could be pivotal for Garcia’s men. Victory would once again carry them comfortably clear of the drop zone, but a defeat leaves them in the bottom three and already struggling for air.
A Win At Last
Deportivo La Coruna aren’t unaccustomed to sluggish starts to the campaign, a habit that was bucked last year by their bright beginning that had their fans dreaming of Europe only to be let down by a nightmarish conclusion to the campaign. Even coach Miguel Angel Lotina would have been alarmed by the first eight weeks of this season, which saw his side earn only four points.
It is suggested that prior to last weekend’s encounter against Espanyol, the coach was ready to walk away if his men failed to produce a satisfactory display. For the first time this season, the Riazor crowd would be entertained by a bright display from the Galician side, who would runaway with the match 3-0.
“Everything went well against tough opponents who have started the season strongly. The team played very well, and we deserved to win,” striker Adrian, who opened the scoring, explained to the media after the game. “The win over Espanyol is the beginning, and we must try and continue this streak. This Sunday there is another match and we must return with 100 per cent effort, continuing to score points and improve.”
In scoring three times last weekend – Alberto Lopo and Diego Colotto also registered – Depor doubled their tally of goals for the entire season, yet they still have la Primera’s least potent offence along with bottom side Zaragoza. At least Lotina’s side now have some confidence going into the weekend though.
Martin Lasarte has some chronic injury problems going into the weekend, though he may be able to welcome back Nuno into the fold. Gustavo Munua. Asier Del Horno, Xavi Torres, Xisco Munoz, Vicente Iborra and Miguel Perez are all poised to watch this encounter from the stands.
The visitors also have difficult selection problems, with up to eight players missing for this encounter. Already ruled out are Andres Guardado and Jonathan Urreta, both of whom have suffered set-backs on their route to fitness. Michel and Antonio Tomas have also got lines through their names with regard to the weekend.
Laure, Ze Castro, Knut Rindaroy and Pablo Alvarez are all doubtful.
Juca and Desmarets will return to the panel.