Tenerife’s Derby D-Day

Sport 2Real Valladolid 2 CD Tenerife 1

SUNDAY’S win for Valladolid saw them move into second place, while Tenerife slipped into the relegation zone.

It was hard to argue that the hosts didn’t deserve the win based on their first-half performance, but Tenerife were excellent after the break.

With a bit of luck, they could have flown home with a point, and there is a feeling that everything is going against them at the moment.

Uli Davila’s last-gasp goal was no real consolation, but on paper it was no disaster. In the first five matches, Tenerife have now played the second, fourth and fifth sides, while the leaders are in Santa Cruz on Sunday morning.

They say you can forget the league table in a derby game, and the old adage is true. Back in December,Tenerife were floating around the drop-zone, while Las Palmas were flying high in the play-offs.

But the Tenerife lads hadn’t read the script and they destroyed their Canarian rivals 3-0. In truth, it could have been six or seven!

Alvaro Cervera’s side went into the match unbeaten in seven and, of course, they come into this match with just one win since Easter. However, Tenerife are pretty much the same side as then.

Only a fool would second-guess Cervera and his starting line-up, but an injury to Jacobo will see Roberto back in goal on Sunday morning.

Carlos Ruiz and Javi Moyano will be in defence and, maybe, Raul Camara. Tenerife could even have the same starting midfield with Suso, Cristo, Aitor Sanz and, if he’s fit, Ricardo. Aridane will certainly be in attack.

The same cannot be said for Las Palmas, who have shaken off their play-off nightmare in some style. They are unbeaten this season and have won their last four.

They spanked big-spending Alcorcon 4-1 last weekend, and their new signings have hit the ground running. Even their kids are doing the biz.

Last season, clown keeper Barbosa was sent off after 20 minutes and young cat Raul was given the toughest of Derby debuts. He did okay. And when Barbosa moved on in the summer, he was given a chance. He has literally grabbed it with both hands.

And their old heads are keeping it all together. Momo, Garica and Lopez are all over 32, while Valeron is now 50! Okay, he’s 39 and still a decent player.

There is some good news for CDT as their star striker, Sergio Araujo, is a major doubt. The 22-year-old is on loan from Boca

Juniors and he already helped himself to seven goals.

He was disappointing when on loan with Barca B last year and they decided not to buy him. But Las Palmas took a punt and he has been a revelation. However, he jarred a knee in training on Wednesday and, unless it’s mind games, he is out.

Hector Figueroa, the likely replacement, has been found wanting at this level since stepping up from the B team.

Tenerife are expecting 19,000 fans to be inside the Heliodoro, and that would be the biggest gate for years. Offically, Las Palmas have taken and sold 2,000 tickets. But many more are expected to be inside.

For Vitolo, it’s the first derby match in over 10 years. He last played in the March 2004 derby when Tenerife won 2-0. “I have waited a very long time for this,” he said.

“It is difficult to talk about who is favourite in these types of games, because surely the environment will be very intense.

“We are in need of points more than Las Palmas, and football is very dependent on moods. The most important thing is that we are a good group of players and we all know what is at stake. We have a good team and that will bring good results.”

He added: “We all know what it means to play a derby, and my only thought is to end Sunday with seven points on the board. We all have the same shield on the chest and we will play as good and as hard as we can.”

Stats mean nothing in football, and games are not played by history books. But Tenerife have had the upper hand in Santa Cruz matches recently. You have to go back to Christmas 2001 for the last time Las Palmas won here.

And in those six games, Tenerife have never looked like losing!



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Posted by on Sep 26 2014. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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