TEAM NEWS: Cesc Fabregas starts in attack for Spain against Belarus

The Barcelona star is preferred to Fernando Torres up front for La Roja, while there is also a start for Santi Cazorla in midfield as the world champions travel to Minsk

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has opted to start Cesc Fabregas in attack in the world champions’ 2014 World Cup qualifier against Belarus in Minsk on Friday.

The Barcelona man is preferred to Chelsea striker Fernando Torres up front, and will likely be employed in the ‘false 9’ role in attack.

The former Arsenal man will play in a central role and will be flanked by Pedro and David Silva on either wing.

Santi Cazorla has also been named in the starting XI and will begin the match in a midfield trio also featuring Xavi and Xabi Alonso, with Andres Iniesta being forced to settle for a place on the bench after only recently recovering from injury.

There is also an interesting choice from the Spain coach in defence, with Sergio Busquets being drafted in to partner Sergio Ramos in the centre.

This is due to the absence of first-team regulars Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, who miss the match through injury.

Spain (4-3-3): Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Busquets, Alba; Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Cazorla; Silva, Fabregas, Pedro


Belarus (4-2-3-1): Veremko; Filipenko, Polyakov,  Verkhovtov,  Martynovich; Dragun, Bressan; Kislyak, Volodko, Hleb; Rodionov.