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2016-17 La Liga Team Preview: Deportivo La Coruna

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We continue our look ahead to the new La Liga season with a preview of the Galician side

RC Deportivo La Coruna v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Many thanks to Chris, a well-informed Deportivo fan, for the insight into the team. You can follow him on Twitter @MoarFootbalL.

What are Deportivo’s expectations heading into the year?

Expectations are the same as ever: survival. We shouldn't go down with the squad that we currently have, especially if Lucas Perez stays. Our issue has always been goals and now we have a lethal hitman in Lucas, paired with the new arrival of Florin Andone. Another plus is the strength in depth; injuries shouldn't hurt this side as much as it has in the past. The bare minimum is survival, but this squad could very well hit that with resounding confidence.

How would you summarise your team’s tactics?

Tactically, explaining Depor's style of play is like explaining the purpose of a white wall: there is none. We have a new coach and, in previous years, have not had an identity in regards to how football is played. We have tried a 5-man defence with a deep-block structure, the possession game, counter-attacking and attacking. With new man Gaizka Garitano in charge, my prediction is that we'll see a very united Deportivo side. Tactically rigid with as many men as possible exerting energy over the game. A high press + defensive structure is what Garitano is renowned for. That's my guess.

Who are your most influential players?

Our most influential player is Lucas, bar none. Not only is he a sigil of A Coruña, representing the city and the club that he loves, but he is also a clinical forward. Constantly pressing opposition defenders, dropping deep to collect the ball and then driving forward. It's staggering that a man who works around the pitch so effortlessly in 90 minutes can then produce 17 league goals in a side devoid of creators. This season, that number could very well rise with the increase of creators surrounding him. I would also argue that Álex Bergantiños has, in recent years, become an influential player. He's the voice of the side, forever organising the midfield and those behind him. A defiant captain who is always ensuring the comfortability of his teammates. Without Álex, this side crumbles.

How has summer transfer business gone for Deportivo?

This has been our best transfer window in the last 5-7 years. In recent times, we have become accustomed to hoarding loan players and free agents. This season, the loans have decreased. Bar Carles, Marlos Moreno and Juanfran, the rest of our signings are here on a permanent basis. And the quality of player is staggering, from a striker like Florin Andone to the arrival of Raul Albentosa - one of the best Spanish defenders in the lower echelons of La Liga. This window has filled the city with hope and excitement.

Make one bold prediction for Deportivo for the coming season:

This may not seem bold to the average reader, but those who know and understand Depor as a football club will truly understand the magnitude of this. I think that the side can finish above 12th place, maybe even sneak in to the top half. We were 6th in January last season with a far weaker squad. This time, we have a manager who understands the league and an improved squad. We can push for something special this year and surprise a bunch of people.