Spain go into their first European Championship qualifying match short of several big names as Vicente Del Bosque and co look to put a disappointing World Cup behind them.
The defending Euro champs failed to impress in their 1-0 defeat to France earlier this week, and go into tomorrow’s match without Chelsea star Diego Costa. The Stamford Bridge striker was forced to withdraw from the squad through injury, and he’s been replaced by Barcelona starlet Munir El Haddadi.
Former-Chelsea striker Fernando Torres may have moved to AC Milan for first-team football but he’s not in the squad either.
Big changes for Spain
It’s all change for the Iberians, as they begin a qualifying campaign without the likes of Xavi, Xabi Alonso, David Villa and Carles Puyol for the first time. All of the national team legends have retired from international duty.
Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta will also miss this match against Macedonia, which means the squad has a very experimental look to it.
“Players like Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Villa were exemplary,” Del Bosque told reporters. “I want their spirit to live on in this team. Let’s hope this new era can be a success. It’s a big challenge.”
Manchester United fans will be pleased to find out David De Gea has finally beaten out Iker Casillas for the number one jersey for the first time. He started against France although Del Bosque has refused to confirm whether the United keeper is now firmly established as number one.
France v Spain reaction
The revolution continues with young players like Dani Carvajal, Mikel San Jose and Raul Garcia in the set-up and set to play big roles over the course of the campaign.
As for their opponents, Macedonia have failed to qualify for either a World Cup or a European Championship and they are now without their most famous player, Goran Pandev.
The former-Inter Milan forward has quit the national team.
Back to Spain though, and here’s your predicted starting eleven for the match against Macedonia...
De Gea, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Alba, San Jose, Fabregas, David Silva, Koke, Sergio Busquets, Raul Garcia, Pedro
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