Scouting Real Madrid's Competition: Deportivo A Coruña

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno - Getty Images

After an odd week with the re-scheduled game in Vallecas and the blowout against Millonarios, La Liga BBVA is back in action for Madrid. Deportivo A Coruña is back in Spain's top division after one season in Segunda División, and they're looking to regain their former stature in the country. But playmaker Juan Carlos Valerón is the only member of the "Super-Depor" playing now, and they might be slipping further away from former glory.

After an odd, strange week with the re-scheduled game in Vallecas and the blowout to Millonarios, La Liga BBVA is back in action. Deportivo A Coruña is back in Spain's top division after one season in Segunda División. The Galician team is one of the most important clubs in the country just after Barcelona and Real Madrid. But playmaker Juan Carlos Valerón is the only member of the "Super-Depor" playing for Deportivo at this point of time.

Jose Luís Oltra's team is currently tenth in La Liga's table. Even though they lost Mexican winger Andrés Guardado to Valencia, they signed a couple of good reinforcements in the likes of Nelson Oliveira and Pizzi. Camuñas and Marchena left Villarreal after their relegation and also decided to join Deportivo.

Even though Valerón is already 37 years old, he's still capable of creating a lot of good chances for his team. He obviously lacks the rhythm and intensity to play a whole game at a good level, but his presence on the pitch is something every team should be worried about.

Portuguese striker Nelson Oliveira (remember him from the Eurocup?) is tied with Abel Aguilar and Riki for Deportivo's top scorers with two goals, but he should definitely be the starter as the season goes on. He's still 21 years old and is on loan from Benfica, but he's definitely Deportivo's best striker.

Deportivo's weaknesses come from the left wing. Evaldo is a mediocre defender who should have a really tough night trying to figure out Ángel Di María. On the other hand, right fullback Manuel Pablo is a really balanced defender even though he's aged 36. His career could've been entirely different if he hadn't broke his leg when he was at his peak. Reports from that time say even Real Madrid was interested on him.

Dani Aranzubía is Deportivo's goalkeeper. Every Real Madrid fan should remember how brilliant Aranzubía was when Real Madrid drew 0-0 at Riazor in Mourinho's first year with the team. He saved a clear goal from Adebayor and was the only reason why Real Madrid couldn't get away with the three points from A Coruña.

The rest of the team isn't very strong, but Deportivo clearly has enough to have a quiet season avoiding relegation. They are a decent side, clearly better than Valladolid, Granada or Rayo Vallecano. This team belongs in La Liga BBVA.

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