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EC Qualification

  • October 11, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Estadio José Rico Pérez, Alicante
  • Referee: S. Johannesson
  • • Attendance: 27559
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Euro 2012 Qualifying Preview: Spain v Scotland

Euro 2012 Qualifying Preview: Spain v Scotland

Group I goes down to the wire as Craig Levein's side fight for a play-off place against the tournament holders, who have already secured progression


PROBABLE LINEUPS
SPAIN


Casillas

Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Arbeloa
Busquets, Xavi, Javi Martinez
Mata, Villa, Silva
SCOTLAND
Bosnia
McGregor
Hutton, Caldwell, Berra, Bardsley
Naismith, Morrison, Adam, Fletcher, Forrest
Mackail-Smith/Miller

Raul Albiol will miss the match after fracturing a cheekbone in training so the recognised defensive duo of Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol may be favoured by coach Vicente del Bosque. Javi Martinez may be given a start in midfield after impressing as a substitute against the Czech Republic. Xabi Alonso went off with an injury after a robust tackle from Tomas Hubschman on Friday so he may be rested. He does, however, like to field strong sides no matter the situation so the talented trio of Juan Mata, David Villa, and David Silva are likely to be favoured in attack.

Barry Bannan is a doubt for Scotland after injuring his achilles in the victory over Liechtenstein on Saturday so expect James Forrest to come in on the wing if the Aston Villa youngster is not passed fit. Kenny Miller is still fighting to be fit after missing the previous match with a groin injury and will be assessed closer to kick off. Craig Mackail-Smith will continue up top if Scotland's talisman cannot shake off his injury.



DID YOU KNOW?
  • Spain ran out 3-2 winners over Scotland in the previous encounter between the nations, with a Fernando Llorente strike proving to be the difference at Hampden Park last October.
  • The Spaniards have scored more than double the amount of goals in the group than Scotland, with 19 goals to 8.

  • David Villa and Fernando Llorente are the top two goalscorers in the group, with 6 goals and 3 goals respectively.

  • Scotland need to equal or better Czech Republic's result against Lithuania if they are to grab the play-off spot in Group I.

  • Kenny Miller and Stephen Naismith and Scotland's most prolific goalscorers in the group, with two strikes apiece.

  • Scotland's last competitive defeat was against Spain, 12 months ago.

  • Scotland are the only side to have scored twice against Spain in a competitive fixture since October 2009.

Players to watch

David Villa

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The top goalscorer in the group with six goals and will be the most dangerous man for the Scotland defenders. Will more than likely be involved in the game at some point and expect him to cause real problems with his movement.

C. Adam

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Voted the Goal.com 'Top of The Match' for his performance against Liechtenstein and expect him to be the creative force in Scotland's midfield. Will certainly not see as much of the ball in this match but if the Scots are to pull off a massive result, the Liverpool man will more than likely be heavily involved.

Editor's Prediction

Scotland have much more to play for than Spain, and the Scots will certainly be passionate in their pursuit of a play-off place, but the strength in depth of the Spanish squad will prove to be too much to handle for Craig Levein's side. Expect the home nation to outclass Scotland and bag a few goals in the process.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Spain

Scotland

Wins
3
1
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Spain ESP
Spain Spain
Draw
Scotland SCO
Scotland Scotland
83%

Top 3 Predictions

Spain ESP
3 - 0
Scotland SCO
Spain ESP
2 - 0
Scotland SCO
Spain ESP
3 - 1
Scotland SCO

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