The Spanish national team aims to take another step towards qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia when they entertain Israel in Gijon on Friday night.
The El Molinon Stadium is the venue for a vital game as Spain look to assure top spot of a complicated qualifying group in which they cannot afford to drop any more points if they want to finish ahead of Italy.
Both Spain and Italy have 10 points from their four qualifying matches to date with Italy’s visit to Spain in September looking like it will be the decisive match after the pair drew in Italy in their first meeting in the group stage.
Israel arrive in Spain, where they have been greeted with extra security measures, with three wins and a defeat from their four group matches to date and have to be considered a serious threat to a Spanish side which will have a familiar look about it.
David de Gea will play in goal with Dani Carvajal and Jordi Alba the likely full backs while Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos are in central defense.
Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara and Andres Iniesta are likely to get the nod in the middle of the park, along with the in-form David Silva, while Diego Costa and Sevilla’s Vitolo will probably lead the attack with Sevilla forward Vitolo looking to put his omission from the 2016 European Championships behind him.
“When I watched those games on TV I would have liked to have been there, but it wasn’t to be, now I am trying to try and get to Russia,” he said in an interview with Diario Marca.
“There is still a long way to go before we have assured the place and you don’t know what is going to happen, but any player wants to play for their country is such a big tournament,” he assured.
(With Inputs From Xinhua)