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  • 7 June 2011
  • • 21:30
  • • Estadio Olímpico General José Antonio Anzoátegui, Puerto la Cruz
  • Referee: G. Buckley

International friendly preview: Venezuela - Spain

International friendly preview: Venezuela - Spain

After thrashing USA 4-0 in Foxborough on Saturday night, Vicente del Bosque's side travel to the South American country for their second friendly match in the space of four days

Venezuela (4-4-2):

Morales; Rincon, Vizcarrondo, Rosales, Fuenmayor; A. Flores, Chourio, F. Flores, Arango; Fedor, Maldonado

Venezuela striker Salomon Rondon is unfit to start this match after picking up an injury late in the season with Malaga.

Rondon, who scored 14 goals in 29 appearances to help the Andalusian side avoid relegation, is only expected to be fit enough to make a late cameo appearance from the bench.

Coach Cesar Farias is set to name a strong side for the visit of the world champions, with former Mallorca favourite Juan Arango included in midfield.

Spain (4-4-2):

Casillas; Ramos, Pique, Albiol, Iraola; Bruno, Xabi Alonso, Iniesta, Silva; Torres, Llorente

The president of Spain's football association (RFEF), Angel Maria Villar, promised a strong line-up for this friendly last month, as part of the terms agreed in the contract.

Coach Vicente del Bosque could hand a start to Fernando Torres up-front after the Chelsea striker scored as a substitute in Saturday night's 4-0 win over USA.

With many of the players tired following a long journey to Venezuela and the match on Saturday, Del Bosque is likely to freshen up his side by bringing in the likes of Andres Iniesta, Fernando Llorente and Andoni Iraola.

Meanwhile, either Pepe Reina or Victor Valdes could get an opportunity from the bench.

  • Venezuela's football team is nicknamed La Vinotinto (The Red Wine) because of the burgundy colour of their shirts.
  • Venezuela is the only national team from Conmebol to have never qualified for a World Cup.
  • Venezuela's all-time top goalscorer - with 20 - is Giancarlo Maldonado, who had a spell at Xerez last season.
  • Another Venezuela forward, Salomon Rondon, plays in Spain with Malaga and has been compared to former Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert.
  • While football is growing in popularity in Venezuela, baseball remains the country's most popular sport.
  • Spain could have faced Venezuela in this summer's Copa America, but the world champions decided to turn down the invitation to play in Argentina.
  • Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta, who has been called up by Spain but remains uncapped, is eligible to play for Venezuela.
  • Barcelona forward Jeffren Suarez is also eligible to represent Venezuela, but says he has chosen Spain and has represented La Roja at under-21 level.
  • Spain have won the only two previous meetings between these two sides.
  • In the 4-0 win over USA on Saturday night, Fernando Torres became Spain's joint fourth-highest goalscorer with 27, the same amount as former Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes.
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Head to Head
International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ 29 Feb 2012 Spain 5 - Venezuela 0
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International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ 7 Jun 2011 Venezuela 0 - Spain 3
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
Players to Watch
G. Maldonado
G. Maldonado
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Giancarlo Maldonado is Venezuela's all-time top goalscorer with 20 strikes for La Vinotinto, but the forward's spell at Xerez last season was frustrating. The Caracas-born striker scored just once in his time in Andalusia but will feel he is worth another chance in Europe, especially given the excellent impact made by countryman Salomon Rondon at Malaga. This is a chance to put himself back in the shop window.
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Fernando Torres endured a miserable season with Chelsea, but the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool striker took his international goal tally to 27 with a strike in Spain's 4-0 win at USA on Saturday. His impressive cameo in Foxborough is likely to earn be rewarded with a start here and a goal will see him move to fourth outright in Spain's all-time list of scorers. he is also just two behind Fernando Hierro, who is third in the list.
After their squashbuckling performance in the 4-0 win against USA on Saturday night, it is hard to see Spain achieving anything other than another convincing victory in this match.

It will be a strong side from La Roja and Venezuela, although improved in recent years, will not be able to live with the World Cup winners - even if Vicente del Bosque's side men play in second gear for much of the match.
Editor's Prediction
Spain 3

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