Monday, February 26, 2024

Alba lone new face in Spain squad

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Madrid: Spanish football coach Vicente del Bosque has resisted the chance to make wholesale changes to his squad that will play the European Championship qualifying matches against the Czech Republic and Scotland Oct 7 and 11.

Spain have already assured their place in the final stage of the competition as group winners, but Del Bosque has only called one new face into his squad for the two matches, Xinhua reported.

Valencia left back Jordi Alba receives his first call up after a series of impressive displays at the start of this season. Spain are struggling to find a specialist left back since Joan Capdevila left the side and Alba will get his chance in one of the two matches.

Del Bosque has, however, resisted the temptation to call Alba’ s team-mate, in form striker Roberto Soldado into the squad, keeping the faith in Fernando Torres.

Torres did not make the matchday squad for Spain’s previous match and his place was under threat from inform Soldado, who has scored six goals this season.

The World Cup winning coach has also recalled Barcelona captain Carles Puyol who will make his first international appearance in over a year, after missing the end of last season with a knee problem. Gerard Pique also returns after injury kept him out of the last internationals, which were against Chile and Liechtenstein.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Pepe Reina (Liverpool).

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Valencia).

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Javi Martinez (Athletic) Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Cesc Fabrigas (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Thiago Alcantara (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea).

Strikers: Fernando Torres (Chelsea), David Villa (Barcelona), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Madrid). (IANS)

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