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Confederations Cup

  • 20 June 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Estadio Jornalista Mário Filho (Maracanã), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
  • Referee: D. Haïmoudi
  • • Attendance: 71806
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Spain - Tahiti Preview: La Roja seeking big win over Pacific islanders

Spain - Tahiti Preview: La Roja seeking big win over Pacific islanders

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Vicente del Bosque's side will settle for nothing less than a commanding victory against the Polynesian outfit, who fell to a 6-1 defeat to Nigeria in their opening match


Spain are expected to make wholesale changes to the team that beat Uruguay 2-1 on Sunday, with Victor Valdes, Fernando Torres and David Villa all in line for starts.

Defender Cesar Azpilicueta could win his third cap for the senior side, while the likes of David Silva and Jesus Navas are also set to make their first appearances of the tournament.

Tahiti have no new injury concerns after Nicolas Vallar overcame an ankle knock to play 53 minutes of the opening defeat against Nigeria.

Midfielder Jonathan Tehau scored the island nation's first ever goal in a major tournament against the African outfit and should keep his place in the starting XI.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Spain are unbeaten in their last 23 matches, winning 16. Their last defeat came against England in November 2011.
  • La Roja's biggest ever recorded win is a 13-0 hammering of Bulgaria in an international friendly in May 1933.
  • Alvaro Arbeloa (pictured, right) is in line to win his 50th cap for Spain.
  • Tahiti have lost six of their last eight international fixtures.
  • The South Pacific islanders are ranked 138th in the world - below the likes of Rwanda, Burundi and Puerto Rico.
  • Tahiti became the first nation other than Australia and New Zealand to clinch the Oceania Nations Cup last year.

Players to watch

Fernando Torres

Position: Attacker

Games: 4

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The veteran striker earned a place in Spain's Confederations Cup squad after a fine end to the season with Chelsea, for whom he scored 22 goals in all competitions. Torres will look to add to his international tally of 31 goals and enhance his chances of becoming a regular in the Spain line-up.

J. Tehau

Position: Defender

Games: 3

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A delivery driver by trade, the 23-year-old made history by becoming the first player for Tahiti to score at a major international tournament in his side's defeat against Nigeria. Tehau will hope to repeat his heroics at the Maracana against the superstars of Spain.

Editor's Prediction

This Maracana showdown is the mother of all mis-matches, with 137 places separating the two sides in global rankings. Tahiti's defending against Nigeria was perilously haphazard at times, and their biggest ever losing scoreline - a 10-0 loss to New Zealand in 2004 - is likely to come under serious threat.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Spain

Tahiti

Wins
1
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

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