Georgia - Spain Preview: La Roja begin the long road to Brazil with Tbilisi clash
After romping to victory in the Euros, the world and double European champions embark on the quest to defend their World Cup title with an arduous trip to the Caucasus
By Karthick Arvinth
Grigalava, Kashia, Amisulashvili, Khizanishvili
Kankava, Daushvili, Okriashvili, Targamadze
Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Alonso
Pedro, Torres, Iniesta
Georgia coach Temuri Ketsbaia has no injury concerns heading into Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Spain at the Boris Paichadze Stadium in Tbilisi.
The former Olympiakos boss could name the same team that beat Belarus 1-0 on Friday, with 20-year-old match-winner Tornike Okriashvili likely to reprise his role in midfield.
Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xavi and Andres Iniesta are all set to return to Spain's starting line-up after being rested for the friendly win over Saudi Arabia.
Chelsea forward Fernando Torres is expected to start again despite David Villa making a scoring return to international football on Friday night.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Georgia have won four of their last five matches, with three of those victories coming at home.
- Ranked 86th in the world, the Caucasus nation have never qualified for a World Cup finals tournament before.
- Georgia follow up their match against Spain with World Cup qualifiers away to Finland, Belarus and France, respectively.
- Spain are on a 13-match unbeaten run (W10, D3). Their last defeat was a 1-0 reverse against England in November last year.
- La Roja are bidding to become the first team to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil (1958, 1962).
- Fernando Torres (pictured right) won his 100th cap for Spain in the win over Saudi Arabia.
Top 3 Predictions
Georgia 1-0 Spain
- 14.25 %
Georgia 0-3 Spain
- 14.01 %
Georgia 0-4 Spain
- 14.01 %
|World Cup Qualification - Europe (WCQE)||16-Oct-2013||Spain 2 - Georgia 0|
|World Cup Qualification - Europe (WCQE)||11-Sep-2012||Georgia 0 - Spain 1|
|05-Mar-2014||Georgia 2 - Liechtenstein 0||FR|
|16-Oct-2013||Spain 2 - Georgia 0||WCQE|
|10-Sep-2013||Georgia 0 - Finland 1||WCQE|
|06-Sep-2013||Georgia 0 - France 0||WCQE|
|14-Aug-2013||Kazakhstan 1 - Georgia 0||FR|
|6||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|22||Jesús Navas González||Midfielder|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed