Football

Spain targeting World Cup defence

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Spain Squad

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), David De Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City)

Forwards: Pedro (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), David Villa (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Torres (Chelsea).

Fixtures

13th June v Netherlands (Salvador)

18th June v Chile (Rio de Janeiro)

23rd June v Australia (Curitiba)

Strengths

The holders have the experience, the players, and the manager. The squad boasts world-class players in almost every position, with the majority used to winning. Javi Martinez, Alvaro Negredo, and Diego Costa will provide much needed strength. The plethora of midfield talent can cut apart any side. Expect Spain to dominate the ball.

Weaknesses

The centre-back pairing of an out of form Gerard Pique and a volatile Sergio Ramos could be a weak link. David Villa and Fernando Torres have declined with age but Diego Costa could breath new life into a team that many think are passed their best.

Key Player

Diego Costa. The Brazilian-born forward has rampaged through La Liga and the Champions League this season. He offers a more aggressive and direct alternative to the false nine approach adopted by Del Bosque at Euro 2012. The Brazilian crowd will not take well to seeing him in the red of Spain but the boos will only spur him on.

Prediction

They will be aiming to win their group to avoid a potential last 16 tie with Brazil. The tough test will be beating the South American teams, but if they do, expect them to go far.

Odds

13/2

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Topics:
World Cup
Spain Football
Football
Internationals

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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