Football

Victor Valdes to start ahead of Casillas against Ireland

Valdes has long been Spain's back-up goalkeeper (©GettyImages)
Valdes has long been Spain's back-up goalkeeper (©GettyImages).

Barcelona's Victor Valdes is set to be the main goalkeeper tonight for Spain's friendly match against the Republic of Ireland.

The Catalonian arrives in great shape to the game, and rumour has it that he might be the first-choice goalkeeper when Spain play their first match at the Confederations Cup next week.

After more than four months without playing, Casillas has suffered from a lack of practice.

Nevertheless, everybody expected him to be the main goalkeeper, but the Real Madrid captain acknowledged that these months had taken its toll.

Even though his after effects are not so much physical as they are psychological, the other two goalkeepers - Valdes and Pepe Reina - are more prepared after a season playing full time.

In the previous friendly match against Haiti, the 32-year-old played only the first half, with little to do, and stated at the end that his rival goalkeepers had the advantage over him.

The Spanish team is playing its last friendly match of the season tonight in New York. La Roja haven't lost a game since 12 November 2011 - 21 matches ago. They will be facing Ireland, a team they beat 4-0 in the group stages of Euro 2012.

The Irish, led by manager Giovanni Trapattoni, arrive to this game after a 2013 absent of defeats, and with their main player, Robbie Keane, in the middle of a scoring streak.

Afterwards, the Spaniards are heading to Recife, Brazil, to begin their participation in the Confederations Cup - a title which they have never won.

If Spain is victorious, they will be the first European national team to win a title in the South American continent.

 

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Topics:
Victor Valdes
Internationals
Football
Iker Casillas
Spain Football

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