Monday, 18 June 2012

Torres keeps Fabregas consigned to the bench as Spain face Croatia

Fernando Torres retains his position in the starting XI for Spain in their Group C decider with Croatia in Gdansk.

 A win for La Furia Roja would secure top-spot in the group while a draw could also be enough to ensure progression. 

Following the his two goals as Spain dismantled Republic of Ireland 4-0 in their previous group game Torres has been rewarded with the lone striker position.

 Cesc Fabregas therefore remains on the bench despite scoring in both of Spain's previous two games.

 Vicente Del Bosque has decided to field Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa and Torres despite the trio all being one yellow card away from missing a potential quarter-final.

 Slaven Bilic received much praise for switching to a 4-2-3-1 formation that proved the catalyst for a Croatia come back from one goal down to draw level with Italy last Thursday.

 He is largely expected to maintain that tactic that will see Mario Mandzukic move out to the right with Ivan Rakitic dropping into a deep-lying midfield role alongside Ognjen Vukojevic.

 Nikica Jelavic missed training on Saturday with a fever but is declared fit to lead the line for the Vatreni for whom a draw could be enough to qualify depending on the result between Italy and Ireland.

 Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar and Gordon Shildenfeld could all miss the next game, should Croatia qualify, if booked.

Croatia (4-2-3-1): Pletikosa; Srna, Corluka, Schildenfeld, Strinic; Vukojevic, Rakitic; Mandzukic, Modric, Perisic; Jelavic.

 Subs: Kelava, Subasic, Simunic, Buljat, Vrsaljko, Vida, Pranjic, Badelj, Dumjovic, Kranjcar, Kalinic, Eduardo.

 Spain (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Alonso; Silva, Xavi, Iniesta; Torres.

 Subs: Valdes, Reina, Albiol, Martinez, Juanfran, Fabregas, Mata, Cazorla, Navas, Pedro, Llorente, Negredo.


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