Friday, November 21, 2008

El Tri in Europe: Nov. 22-23 preview

The Touchline correspondent Sean Grybos takes a look at Tricolor players in Europe ahead of this weekend's slate of games:

Deportivo La Coruña enters a crucial stretch in which the club must balance the demands of La Liga with those of the UEFA Cup. The club hosts Group H foe Feyenoord on November 27th and then plays away at Polish side Lech Poznan on December 4th. In La Liga, the club faces Athletic Bilbao, Almeria, and Málaga in its next three matches.

Is Deportivo going to make it through this stretch intact? The club lacks midfield depth. On Wednesday, several midfielders competed at the international level including Guardado. Up first for Deportivo is a home match against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. This week’s El Tri in Europe preview is found below.

La Liga

Omar Bravo (Deportivo La Coruña): Bravo has seen the bulk of his playing time in the UEFA Cup. Look for him to play next on Novemeber 27th when the club hosts Feyenoord. When will Omar Bravo have the breakout match that he is capable of? It will more than likely come in UEFA Cup action versus this weekend’s home match with Athletic Bilbao.

Andrés Guardado (Deportivo La Coruña): He played the entire match against Honduras. I would be surprised if he started, but coming on as a substitute against Bilbao is not out of the question.

Rafael Márquez (Barcelona): The defender also played the entire 90 minutes at the Francisco Morazan. Barcelona is at home against Getafe.

Guillermo Luis Franco (Villarreal): Franco was not on international duty and should factor into the match on Saturday against Valladolid.

English Premiership

Carlos Vela (Arsenal): Vela came on in the 57th minute for El Tri. He was sent off near the end of the match after an ill-timed tackle. If he sees the pitch this weekend against Manchester City, it will be as a substitute.

German Bundesliga

Aarón Galindo (Eintracht Frankfurt): Galindo also played the entire match versus Los Catrachos. Precariously near the drop zone, Frankfurt should look to have Galindo in the lineup at home against Hannover 96. Three points is a must.

Pavel Pardo (VfB Stuttgart): As with the majority of this list, the midfielder competed against Honduras. He should play this weekend along with his fellow El Tri teammate this weekend as the club travels to VfL Wolfsburg. Stuttgart also plays Sampdoria next week in UEFA cup action.

Ricardo Osorio (VfB Stuttgart): I am looking forward to how Osorio responds after his own goal on Wednesday. Is the defender going to rebound now that he has two tough matches against Wolfsburg and Sampdoria in the next seven days?

Dutch Eredivisie

Héctor Moreno (AZ): The club fell back to fourth place after last weekend’s draw with Vitesse Arnhem. He was an unused sub in Honduras and should be ready to compete on Sunday against Dutch leader Ajax.

Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven): The club looks to rebound after last weekend’s embarrassing 4-1 defeat against Ajax. PSV sits sixth in the table and need to take three points at home against SC Heracles Almelo. Salcido is needed but after competing against Honduras and traveling back to Holland, will he factor? The club’s next UEFA Champions League match at Atlético Madrid looms on Wednesday.

Francisco Javier Rodríguez (PSV Eindhoven): As an observation reader at The Touchline noted, PSV has recently failed when both Salcido and Maza are in the lineup. While Salcido may rest this weekend in preparation for the match in Madrid, Rodríguez should play against SC Heracles Almelo.

--Sean Grybos

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