World Cup Qualifying Preview: Spain - Finland
The world and European champion will be aiming to maintain top spot in its qualifying group when it hosts Mixu Paatelainen's side in Gijon on Friday.
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba
Alonso, Busquets, Iniesta
Silva, Fabregas, Pedro
Raitala, Toivio, Moisander, Arkivuo
R Eremenko, Hetemaj, Hamalainen
Midfielder Xavi is struggling with a hamstring problem and is unlikely to feature in Spain's Group I World Cup qualifier against Finland at El Molinon.
Carles Puyol (knee) and Iker Casillas (hand) are out injured. Fernando Torres and Javi Martinez have been omitted from the squad by coach Vicente del Bosque. Cesc Fabregas is expected to start in a "false nine" role alongside Pedro and David Silva in attack.
Finland boss Mixu Paatelainen is without Alexei Eremenko, who is suspended after getting sent off in the 1-1 draw against Georgia.
Chievo's Perparim Hetemaj is likely to replace the Rubin Kazan playmaker in the starting lineup.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Spain is on an 18-match unbeaten run (W14, D4) stretching back to November 2011.
La Roja have won three of their last four encounters with Finland.
- If he plays, Sergio Ramos (pictured, right) will be the eighth player to reach 100 appearances for Spain.
- Finland has only won three of its last nine internationals (W3, D3, L3).
- Suomi is ranked 87th in the world, having never qualified for a major tournament.
Finland's last win over Spain was a 2-0 success in a World Cup qualifier in June 1969.
Top 3 Predictions
Spain 4-0 Finland
- 17.77 %
Spain 3-0 Finland
- 17.22 %
Spain 3-1 Finland
- 8.33 %
|WCQ 2014 (UEFA) (WCQE)||Mar 22, 2013||Spain 1 - Finland 1|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Oct 17, 2007||Finland 0 - Spain 0|
|Mar 26, 2013||France 0 - Spain 1||WCQE|
|Mar 22, 2013||Spain 1 - Finland 1||WCQE|
|Feb 6, 2013||Spain 3 - Uruguay 1||FR|
|Nov 14, 2012||Panama 1 - Spain 5||FR|
|Oct 16, 2012||Spain 1 - France 1||WCQE|
|6||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|-||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|23||José Reina Paez||Goalkeeper|
|2||Raúl Albiol Tortajada||Defender|
|22||Jesús Navas González||Midfielder|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed