Deportivo La Coruña – Girona kicks off Monday at 21h local time. It is set to be a battle of the second half of the table, as Deportivo are currently in 15th place, just two points above Girona.
The home side will be looking to extend their good run of form at the Riazor stadium. Deportivo have won their last two matches at home.
Meanwhile, Girona will be hoping to take at least a point from the match. They have not won since the second week of the season and the pressure is starting to build on Machín. This week, they suffered a surprise loss on penalties to Llagostera in the Copa Catalunya. Next week, they have a tough matchup against Real Madrid, albeit at home at the Montilivi.
Stuani, Girona’s top striker with four goals this season, is out with a yellow card suspension. Alcalá and Muniesa are still out with injuries for Girona.
For Deportivo, they are still without their talisman centre-forward of Adrián López. Both López and Mosquera are now in the final stretch of their recoveries and expected to return next week. Deportivo will also be missing Gil and Martínez for the Girona match.
Deportivo’s new 18-year old Nigerian goalkeeper Fracis Uzoho has been the talk of the club this week. Uzoho made his La Liga debut last week against Eibar and made a series of fine saves. In the week since, Deportivo have already improved his contract so that Uzoho will be at the club an additional year until 2022. They also added in an additional 10 million euros on to the termination clause. They are clearly keen to keep Uzoho at the club and develop him as a firm fixture in the squad.
Talking about the match in a press conference today, Girona coach Pablo Machín commented, “We have a lot of possibilities to win, we will be brave and try to minimize the errors.” Machín sums up the Girona team’s attitude when he said, “All the teams with whom we play have more experience than us, but in desire and drive to win nobody beats us.”
Deportivo coach Pepe Mel is expected to change his tactics to a 4-4-2 for this match. Mel commented, “one of [Girona’s] virtues is from a stopped ball, and we have worked on this. If they play with three midfielders my players already know what they have to do.”
At any rate, it will be a tense match as both sides would welcome three points at this point in the season. But, without both sides’ key strikers, it is unlikely to be a high scoring match.