Spain v Scotland: Big Match preview

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Spain v Scotland
European Championship Group I;
Estadio José Rico Pérez, Alicante;
11th October, 2011; 19:45 KO


Spain: Valdes, Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Pique, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Silva, Santi Cazorla, Villa, Pedro.

Subs: Casillas, Javi Martinez, Torres, Mata, Arbeloa, Llorente, Thiago.

Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Berra, Caldwell, Bardsley, Morrison, Fletcher, Adam, Bannan, Mackail-Smith, Naismith.

Subs: Marshall, Whittaker, Cowie, Robson, Forrest, Goodwillie, McManus.

Del Bosque keeps faith in Torres

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is set to lead the line for his country against Scotland tonight after impressing manager Vicente del Bosque.

The former Atletico Madrid hitman has enjoyed a return to form with the Blues in recent weeks, and his improvement hasn't gone unnoticed despite a red card picked up in the win against Swansea last Saturday.

"He is doing well for his club. A player cannot be constantly judged, we have to look at it from a broader perspective," said Del Bosque during his pre-match press conference.


"We must be fair because he has a lot of competition but Torres has a history and a presence.

"Unfortunately we didn't find the right pass for him against the Czechs. I saw Fernando in good form with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. He did what I asked of him. Fernando made them defend deep and opened up space."

Whilst Torres moved to Stamford Bridge for £50 million in January, it's Brighton & Hove Albion's £2.5 million summer signing which could hold the key for the Scots in a game they realistically have to win to secure second place in the group.

The former Peterborough United striker scored the winner against Liechtenstein, the first for his country, to become an instant national hero, and is now confident of being fit for the biggest game of his career.

"I'm sure I'll be okay. This is something that I've had to deal with for a while. I have a strength and conditioning programme which helps me recover whenever I feel it tight," he told the Daily Record.

"But recently I've had so many games I've not been able to stick to it and the hamstring tightens a bit.

"There's nothing I can do but rest up and I'm pretty sure that with a day to recover I'll be fine."

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Fernando Torres

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