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WC Qualification Europe

  • March 22, 2013
  • • 3:45 PM
  • • Estadio Municipal El Molinón, Gijón
  • Referee: O. Hațegan
  • • Attendance: 27637
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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.

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SPAIN
France
Valdes
Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba
Alonso, Busquets, Iniesta
Silva, Fabregas, Pedro

FINLAND

Hradecky
Raitala, Toivio, Moisander, Arkivuo
Ring, Sparv
R Eremenko, Hetemaj, Hamalainen
Pukki

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.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Víctor Valdés
-Arbeloa
6Jordi AlbaDefender
3PiquéDefender
15Sergio RamosDefender
16BusquetsMidfielder
20Santi CazorlaMidfielder
21David SilvaMidfielder
10Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
7David VillaStriker
-David de GeaGoalkeeper
23Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Raúl Albiol Defender
5César AzpilicuetaDefender
-Monreal
15IscoMidfielder
-Javi García
-Jesús Navas González
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
13Juan MataStriker
-Negredo
11PedroStriker
-Niki MaenpaaGoalkeeper
-Jukka RaitalaDefender
-Joona ToivioDefender
-Kari ArkivouDefender
3Niklas MoisanderDefender
-Alexander RingMidfielder
21Kasper HamalainenMidfielder
-Perparim HetemajMidfielder
7Roman EremenkoMidfielder
-Teemu TainioMidfielder
-Teemu PukkiStriker
-Jesse JoronenGoalkeeper
-Lucas HradeckyGoalkeeper
-Jarko HurmeDefender
-Paulus Arajuuri
-Markus HalstiDefender
-Petteri ForsellMidfielder
-Rasmus SchüllerMidfielder
-Toni KohlemainenMidfielder
14Tim SparvMidfielder
9Mikael ForssellStriker
-Njazi Kuqi
-Riku RiskiMidfielder

From the web

From the web