Paco Jémez explained in this afternoon's press conference why Tana, who scored in both of last season's meetings with Real Madrid, hasn't been included in his 18-man squad for Saturday's visit from Zinedine Zidane's team: “I try to pick the players who showing the best form and he's been left out for technical decision".
Paco, whose team sit third from bottom and six points from safety, was happy to report that the international break has given him time to recover Jairo and Dani Castellano who were both out out injured. “Both of them have completed full training sessions and they are ready to compete", he told reporters. Castellano however, has been omitted from his squad for the game while striker Oghenekaro Etebo and midfielder Gabriel Peñalba aren't included after failing fitness tests.
Paco: "A draw isn't enough. We need to win"
“We don't know how many points we'll need to save ourselves. It depends on a lot of things”, Paco explained. “First of all it will depend on whether Levante win, and then if they don't, it will depend on us winning... At one point I thought we might be ok if we can get to 31 or 32 points but things change. If Levante keep winning, we will need more points - it's simple maths but totting up the figures isn't going to do us any good - what we have to do is gain the maximum amount of points. We need to win, win and keep winning because whoever doesn't win is going down”.
As for tomorrow's rivals, Paco isn't expecting an easy ride even though Real Madrid won't be at full strength and possibly with their minds on Tuesday's clash with Juventus. "Of course they'll be thinking more about the Champions League", he reasoned. "But whoever they field, they'll be coming here to win. I know they're putting all of their energies into going far in Europe but they won't be gifting us anything so we have to look after our own interests - they'll be putting out a team which Zidane thinks can win and a draw is no good for us".
Las Palmas squad:
Chichizola, Raúl Lizoain; David Simón, Aguirregaray, David García, Míchel Macedo, Gálvez, Ximo Navarro; Vicente Gómez, Halilovic, Momo, Jairo, Javi Castellano, Aquilani, Benito Ramírez; Calleri, Ezekiel, Erik Expósito.