Spain - South Korea Preview: Vicente Del Bosque to have final 23-man squad at his disposal for penultimate Euro 2012 warm-up
The current European champions will likely unleash their strongest possible side against the Taeguk Warriors as they prepare to defend their crown in Ukraine and Poland
By Martin Macdonald
Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba
Xabi Alonso, Busquets
Silva, Xavi, Iniesta
Hyo-Jin, Jung-Soo, Tae-Hwi, Yong-Hyung
Keun-Ho, Jung-Woo, Heung-Min
Vicente Del Bosque announced Spain's final 23-man squad for Euro 2012 on Sunday, with strikers Roberto Soldado and Adrian Lopez just two players cut from the provisional list.
However, the head coach of the reigning world and European champions has a squad brimming with incredible talent, and his continued support of Fernando Torres will likely see the Chelsea man get a nod to start the match against South Korea.
With Carles Puyol missing the friendly and the Euro 2012 tournament with injury, the preferred choice of centre-backs will likely be Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, with Jordi Alba cementing the left-back position as his own.
Cesc Fabregas will miss the match with injury as he picked up a thigh knock in Barcelona's Copa del Rey victory over Athletic Bilbao on Friday, and is also a doubt for the tournament opener against Italy.
The selection of the South Korea squad has been shrouded in controversy since its announcement. Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young does not make the 25-man contingent after the fallout of the 26-year old's decision to defer compulsory military service for his country.
Park holds a Monaco residency Visa but his decision looks to have upset some members in the Korean Football Federation hierarchy.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The last encounter between Spain and South Korea saw the European nation claim a narrow 1-0 victory, thanks to a late strike by Jesus Navas (pictured right). It was La Roja's penultimate warm-up friendly before the 2010 World Cup. Wednesday's meeting will again be Spain's second-to-last game before Euro 2012.
- In Spain's previous Euro 2012 warm-up match on Saturday, Adrian Lopez and Santi Cazorla both scored to seal a 2-0 win over Serbia.
- The Iberian nation are unbeaten in 14 competitive internationals, with their last defeat coming in their opening match of the 2010 World Cup, in which they lost 1-0 to Switzerland.
- Although not involved in Euro 2012, the South Koreans are preparing for some important matches in the next few weeks. They play Quatar and Lebanon in World Cup 2014 qualifying.
- The Taeguk Warriors' last match saw them run out 2-0 winners against Kuwait, with Lee Dong-Gook and Lee Keun-Ho netting the goals.
- Park Chu-Young was Korea's top goalscorer in round three of World Cup qualifying. However, the Arsenal man has been omitted from the current squad.
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Top 3 Predictions
Spain 3-0 South Korea
- 17.02 %
Spain 3-1 South Korea
- 10.12 %
Spain 8-0 South Korea
- 10.08 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||30 May 2012||Spain 4 - South Korea 1|
|International Friendlies (FR)||3 Jun 2010||Spain 1 - South Korea 0|
|26 Mar 2013||France 0 - Spain 1||WCQE|
|22 Mar 2013||Spain 1 - Finland 1||WCQE|
|6 Feb 2013||Spain 3 - Uruguay 1||FR|
|14 Nov 2012||Panama 1 - Spain 5||FR|
|16 Oct 2012||Spain 1 - France 1||WCQE|
|Returns:||Spain £13.30||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £460.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||South Korea £710.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|23||José Reina Paez||Goalkeeper|
|2||Raúl Albiol Tortajada||Defender|
There was some question marks whether the Chelsea man would even be in Del Bosque's Euro 2012 squad, but an impressive end to the season the subsequent selection could act as the catalyst that Torres needs to get back to his best. He will want to hit the ground running in the lead up to Poland and Ukraine.
The 23-year-old has had another impressive season this campaign with Scottish champions Celtic, and will be the man who Korea will look for to get on the ball and attempt to combat Spain's passing by being calm in possession. Look for him to display a cool head in midfield.
The Asian nation will have their work cut out for them when they travel to Austria to face Spain in what is the penultimate warm-up match before both sides go on to important international matches. Del Bosque's men are likely to have too much attacking flair for Korea to get anything out of the match. Expect the Spanish front four to create lots of chances in the match.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed