It was raining heavily in Asunción when Independiente del Valle broke all the forecasts and made history with its first continental title and the second for all Ecuadorian soccer. That team trained by Miguel Angel Ramirez overcame the storm at the Estadio General Pablo Rojas in Asunción, Paraguay, to topple the favorites for the title in the Copa Sudamericana final, Colón de Santa Fe (3-1). Before, he had left another Argentine classic like Independiente de Avellaneda on the road and everything, with a recognizable proposal: defense of four, some adjustment in the middle and prominence with the ball. Now, in his fourth week as Sporting coach, always with five players starting from behind, the canary is considering resorting to the defense of four without giving up the original idea: to grow around the ball.
Evolution or resource? The preparation for the game against Huesca has the novelty of seeing how Miguel Ángel Ramírez studies starting from a defense of four for the first time since his arrival at Sporting. In his particular philosophy of “what” (his way of understanding football through, among other things, that his teams are protagonists with the ball) and “how” (the structures or tactical systems used to achieve it), the canario is modifying this last aspect to find regularity. The team comes in a descending line in terms of results. In the League, with Ramírez they won his first game, against Zaragoza, drew the next one, against Málaga, and lost the last one, against Leganés.
Beyond the defensive adjustment, the team has started the week working on aspects related to the style of play that Ramírez likes. Most of the exercises, aimed at possession of the ball and improving the ability to overcome the opponent by finding passing lanes in different game situations. The team will try to overcome a vulnerable Huesca away from El Alcoraz, but which is one of the teams that receives less in the Second Division. Andrés Fernández, goalkeeper for the Huesca team, has kept a clean sheet in 13 of the 26 games played. Huesca’s visit to El Molinón is also marked by many names with a past in Oviedo. The last to arrive at El Alcoraz was Samu Obeng, on loan from the Carbayón team. He debuted last time scoring the winning goal against Mirandés (1-0) from Chile. He also broke a streak of six games without winning. The one who has good numbers against Sporting is Cuco Ziganda. The former Oviedo coach has crossed paths with the rojiblancos up to seven times in his career on the bench. He achieved four wins and three draws.
On the other hand, Nacho Martín and Cali Izquierdoz joined the training sessions yesterday morning. The two players were low in the test last Monday. The midfielder from Noreño had exercised on the sidelines after returning from Leganés with a blow to the ankle. In the case of the Argentine central defender, he had permission from the club to attend to some personal commitments. The one who did not participate in the training was Queipo, who received a blow in the session on Monday. He worked in the gym. Christian Rivera is ruled out to receive Huesca.
The appeal by Jony and Guille, presented
Sporting filed an appeal yesterday before the Competition Committee for the expulsions of Jony and Guille against Leganés. The resolution is expected today. The club would still have the option to go to Appeal if it were not favorable. Jony saw a direct red card for “ostensibly protesting” on the way to the locker room at halftime, according to the referee’s record. In the case of Guille, he also saw the direct red card in the final stages of the match when he knocked down Arnaiz in “an obvious chance of scoring,” says the referee in the minutes.