Having lined up without a recognised striker in their previous game the reigning champions' coach has decided to use the Chelsea forward in attack from the startVicente del Bosque has decided to start Fernando Torres as a central striker at the expense of Cesc Fabregas for Spain's Group C clash with Ireland.
La Furia Roja surprised everyone when they lined up without a conventional striker for their opening game against Italy, using Fabregas as a 'false No. 9'. It was a decision that has since seen Del Bosque criticised and despite Fabregas finding the back of the net he will make way as the 61-year-old reverts to a more orthodox formation.
Torres is thus given the nod to spearhead the attack ahead of both Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo. It is the coach's only change with the defence and midfield lining up as they did against the Azzurri.
Giovanni Trapattoni has decided to change from the 4-4-2 used in the 3-1 defeat to Croatia in an attempt to stop Spain enjoying possession in midfield. Kevin Doyle may have to wait for his 50th cap as he makes way for Simon Cox who will likely operate from the left with Aiden McGeady moving inside, something the Italian has tested in training.
Richard Dunne continues his defensive partnership with Sean St Ledger despite suffering from blisters and fatigue following the previous fixture. Shay Given and Darron Gibson also missed training in early in the week but have both been declared fit to play.
Spain (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Alonso; Xavi, Silva, Iniesta; Torres.
Subs: Valdes, Reina, Albiol, Martinez, Juanfran, Fabregas, Mata, Cazorla, Navas, Pedro, Llorente, Negredo.
Ireland (4-5-1): Given; O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward; Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady, Cox; Keane.
Subs: Westwood, Forde, Kelly, McShane, O'Dea, Gibson, Hunt, Green, McClean, Doyle, Walters, Long.