Later this month they will be renewing their bid to make the
quarter-finals of the Champions League for the third year
running when they play back-to-back matches against Swiss side
Although coach Javier Irureta is anxious that his side goes
all out for success in every competition, he is aware of the
toll it could take on his team with the season now entering its
most crucial phase.
"Of course we are aiming for success in everything," Irureta
told reporters on Monday. "But it is a very tall order when you
are fighting on three fronts at the same time.
With the return matches not taking place until the start of
next month, Irureta is hoping that his side can resolve the tie
against Mallorca in the first leg.
"It is going to be a very tough month for the players and we
are going to have to do all we can to sort out the tie in the
Mallorca, who demolished an under-strength Real Madrid 4-0
in last weeks' quarter-final second leg, will be Deportivo's
first top flight opponents in this season's competition.
Deportivo were lucky to scrape their way to an away goals
victory over second division leaders Murcia in the last round
and will be aware that although Mallorca have had a inconsistent
season they are match for any team on their day.
The islanders' leading scorer Walter Pandiani returns from
suspension and will team up with Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o
and the in-form Argentine winger Ariel Ibagaza in an intriguing
battle against Depor's deadly strike pairing of Roy Makaay and
The other semi-final has matched two of the first division's
most modest outfits. Bottom club Recreativo Huelva, who edged
their way to a 1-0 aggregate victory over Atletico Madrid in the
quarters, host Osasuna at the Nuevo Colombino on Thursday.
Osasuna, who are trained by former Mexican national team
coach Javier Aguirre, claimed a nail-biting 4-3 aggregate win
over Sevilla at a snowy El Sadar in a match which saw four extra
Whichever side wins through it will be their debut in a Cup
final and a chance to gain the first piece of silverware in