Poll of the Day: Who should start up front for Spain against the Republic of Ireland?

La Roja coach fielded a team without a recognised striker to mixed effect against Italy, as Cesc Fabregas grabbed a goal as the world champions were held to a draw


Spain's 1-1 draw against Italy was far from a disaster and still leaves Vicente del Bosque's side with a clear path to progression into the knockout stage.

In that intriguing tactical battle, however, it seemed that Cesare Prandelli's experiment with a 3-5-2 formation was more of a success than his opposing manager’s striker-less approach.

Cesc Fabregas was the most advanced player of Spain's starting XI and rewarded his coach's faith in him ahead of a more orthodox centre forward with the second-half equaliser that earned Spain a point.

Often, though, the holders looked blunt in attack and failed to take advantage of good build-up play from the likes of Fabregas and, especially, Andres Iniesta.

Fernando Torres was introduced with just over 15 minutes to go but, unfortunately for Spain, the Chelsea striker's profligacy in front of goal continued, and he was unable to take advantage of a number of chances.

The cameo will surely have tempted Del Bosque to utilise a more direct threat when Spain face the Republic of Ireland in their second Group C match.

With all due respect to Giovanni Trappatoni's team, it is a match Spain are likely to dominate and a penalty area presence could be vital to solving the Italian coach's defence-first approach.

If Del Bosque is concerned with Torres' finishing prowess, Alvaro Negredo could provide a similar threat. Alternatively, Fernando Llorente might be inserted into the starting XI to give the Spanish full-backs a bigger target from crosses.

Otherwise, there is the chance for Pedro to create and exploit space as he often does for Barcelona. What do you think?


Who will it be - Torres, Negredo, Llorente, Pedro or Fabregas? Have your say by voting in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.