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WC Qualification Europe

  • October 15, 2013
  • • 3:00 PM
  • • Estadio Carlos Belmonte, Albacete
  • Referee: F. Meyer
  • • Attendance: 16133

World Cup Qualifying Preview: Spain - Georgia

World Cup Qualifying Preview: Spain - Georgia


La Roja need only to avoid defeat to book their ticket to Brazil, and will look to close out the job at home to end the challenge of France for top spot in Group I.

Spain needs just one point from its World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Tuesday to confirm a place in the finals.

Vicente del Bosque's side will head into the match in Albacete full of confidence, given an outstanding 52-match unbeaten run in qualifying games.

The current world and European champion has impressed in Group I, winning five of its seven qualifiers.

However, the fine form of resurgent France has forced qualification from the pool to go to the final match, with Didier Deschamps' side still in with a chance of finishing top should Spain lose on Tuesday.

Still, with Georgia having won just one of its seven qualifiers in the current campaign, la Roja will feel supremely confident of avoiding such an unlikely scenario.

Spain will be keen to improve on its showing on Friday, when the team was below-par in a 2-1 win over Belarus in Mallorca.

Missing strikers Fernando Torres (knee) and David Villa (ankle) due to injury, the Iberians lacked a cutting edge in attack.

Swansea City forward Michu failed to impress on his debut and after a lackluster opening half, it took a piece of individual brilliance from Xavi to give the team the lead.

Alvaro Negredo scored a late header - meaning Sergey Kornilenko's consolation did not affect the result - but Del Bosque will demand more from his players this time around.

Captain Iker Casillas could return to the starting lineup after sitting out the win over Belarus, while midfielder Andres Iniesta - who also began the match on the bench - is likely to start.

Uncapped Sevilla defender Alberto Moreno was called into the squad for the matches against Belarus and Georgia but did not feature on Friday, while Real Madrid star Isco could be called on to replace Michu.

While the match means little for Georgia, the team will be hoping to end the qualifiers on a good note.

The smaller nation cannot finish higher than fourth but will be determined to end a 10-match winless run.

Temuri Ketsbaia's side started the qualifying campaign well, with a win over Belarus and a draw against Finland coming in its first three matches.

It has struggled since then, though, with a 0-0 draw against France last month the only other highlight of the campaign.

Georgia has scored just three goals in seven qualifiers but will take heart from a gutsy showing in the reverse fixture in Tbilisi last year.

Spain won that match 1-0, but only thanks to an 86th-minute goal from Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado.

A similar result may be possible, but Spain will be keen on wrapping up the result - and its qualification - much earlier on this occasion.

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