Spain-Republic of Ireland Preview: La Roja look to continue unbeaten run against Ireland
The reigning world and European champions take on Giovanni Trapattoni's Boys in Green in New York as la Roja continue their 2013 Confederations Cup preparations
By Ryan Kelly
Vicente del Bosque will look to continue his side's preparation for the 2013 Confederations Cup when they take on the Republic of Ireland at Yankee Stadium on June 11.
Goals from Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla ensured La Roja picked up a 2-1 win against Haiti on June 8 and the duo will be keen to maintain pressure on Andres Iniesta and Xavi for a starting place against Ireland.
Fernando Torres started the game against Haiti, but Del Bosque will have a welcome selection headache with Roberto Soldado and record goalscorer David Villa also vying for a place.
Just four players remain in the Ireland squad from the team that lost to Spain at Euro 2012, with Simon Cox, Sean St Ledger, James McClean and Robbie Keane included for the tie.
Giovanni Trapattoni's Boys in Green will be without the services of several players, including Shane Long and Aiden McGeady, while goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has been ruled out with an injury, meaning David Forde is likely to start.
John O'Shea pulled out of the squad due to a bereavement, while Stoke City duo Marc Wilson and Jonathan Walters are both out of contention with injuries. Centre back Richard Dunne is also unavailable for the clash.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Reigning world and European champions Spain are unbeaten in their last 21 games. Their last defeat came against England in a friendly at Wembley in November 2011, where a Frank Lampard goal was the difference between the sides.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has been in charge of La Roja since July 2008, when he took over from Luis Aragones, who had just guided the team to glory in Euro 2008.
- Barcelona striker David Villa is Spain's record goal-scorer, with 53 goals. He remains the only Spanish player to reach 50 international goals.
- The Republic of Ireland have faced Spain on 25 occasions, winning only four times and losing 14. Their last win against Spain came in April 1989 at Lansdowne Road, where an own goal from Real Madrid's Michel granted an Irish victory.
- Ireland last faced Spain in Euro 2012, where they lost 4-0, a game in which Spain set a record for the most passes made in a European Championships game (859).
Since meeting Spain a year ago in June 2012, Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland have fallen 23 places in Fifa's World Ranking table to 41. Spain, meanwhile, have been continuously ranked number one since September 2011.
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Top 3 Predictions
Spain 3-1 Republic of Ireland
- 15.94 %
Spain 3-0 Republic of Ireland
- 14.16 %
Spain 2-0 Republic of Ireland
- 11.05 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||Jun 12, 2013||Spain 2 - Republic of Ireland 0|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||Jun 15, 2012||Spain 4 - Republic of Ireland 0|
|Mar 6, 2014||Spain 1 - Italy 0||FR|
|Nov 20, 2013||South Africa 1 - Spain 0||FR|
|Nov 17, 2013||Equatorial Guinea 1 - Spain 2||FR|
|Oct 16, 2013||Spain 2 - Georgia 0||WCQE|
|Oct 12, 2013||Spain 2 - Belarus 1||WCQE|
|6||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|22||Jesús Navas González||Midfielder|
|2||Sean St Ledger||Defender|