Belarus - Spain Preview: La Roja seek 24th straight qualifying win in Minsk
Vicente del Bosque's side will look to secure a convincing victory against the eastern European minnows ahead of Tuesday's encounter with fellow Group I heavyweights France
By Karthick Arvinth
Marty'vich, Palyakow, Filipenko, Verkho'sov
Bardachow, Bressan, A Hleb
Arbeloa, Busquets, Ramos, Alba
Xavi, Alonso, Fabregas
Silva, Torres, Iniesta
Belarus midfielders Anton Putsila and Timofei Kalachev will miss Friday's World Cup qualifier against Spain at the Dynama Stadium in Minsk.
The injured duo join forward Leonid Kovel on the sidelines, leaving BATE Borisov's Vitali Rodionov as the only recognised striker in the squad.
Coach Georgy Kondratiev could name up to six players from the BATE side that beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week in his starting line-up, with Aliaksandr Hleb expected to make his first international appearance since February 2011.
Sergio Busquets looks set to start as a makeshift centre-back for Spain, who are without injured Barcelona pair Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique.
Raul Albiol and Javi Martinez could also provide defensive cover, but coach Vicente del Bosque's training formation on Wednesday had Busquets operating in central defence alongside Sergio Ramos.
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres should start ahead of Roberto Soldado in attack, while playmaker Santi Cazorla may feature following recent impressive performances for Arsenal.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Belarus, ranked 87th in the world, lie bottom of Group I, having lost their first two qualifiers away to Georgia and France respectively.
- The Eastern European outfit are on a four-match winless run at home (D2, L2).
- Aliaksandr Hleb (pictured right) spent one season in the Spanish Primera Division, making 19 league appearances for Barcelona in 2008-09.
- Spain have won their last 23 World Cup and European Championship qualifiers - a run that stretches back to September 2007.
- La Roja are on a 46-match unbeaten run in World Cup qualification matches. Their last defeat in a World Cup qualifier came away to Denmark in March 1993.
- Sergio Ramos needs five more caps to become only the seventh Spaniard to make 100 international appearances.
Top 3 Predictions
Belarus 0-4 Spain
- 18.17 %
Belarus 0-3 Spain
- 14.18 %
Belarus 0-8 Spain
- 12.39 %
|World Cup 2014 (Europe) (WCQE)||Oct 11, 2013||Spain 2 - Belarus 1|
|World Cup 2014 (Europe) (WCQE)||Oct 12, 2012||Belarus 0 - Spain 4|
|Mar 5, 2014||Bulgaria 2 - Belarus 1||FR|
|Nov 19, 2013||Turkey 2 - Belarus 1||FR|
|Nov 15, 2013||Belarus 0 - Albania 0||FR|
|Oct 15, 2013||Belarus 1 - Japan 0||FR|
|Oct 11, 2013||Spain 2 - Belarus 1||WCQE|
|6||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|22||Jesús Navas González||Midfielder|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed