Will one of Chelsea’s nines lead Spanish line?
There are several reasons to question Spain’s ability to deliver what would be an astonishing fourth straight international title
“Of course it’s a big challenge,” acknowledged goalkeeper Iker Casillas at yesterday’s pre-match press conference, “and we have respect for all of our opponents but four years ago we showed ourselves to be the best team in the world and our aim coming to Brazil is to get that second star for our country.”
Vicente del Bosque declined to confirm yesterday whether he is to start with newly-signed Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas as a “false number nine” or plump for either the soon-to-be-signed Chelsea striker Diego Costa or soon- to-be ex-Chelsea striker (one suspects) Fernando Torres, as an actual number nine but it may prove to be an indicator of how he intends to play the rest of the tournament.
Louis van Gaal probably has one or two more decisions to make with the biggest actually being his formation. The former Ajax coach is generally seen as being completely wedded to 4-3-3 but given the limitations of his defensive resources there has been talk of 5-3-2.
Robin Van Persie has been struggling slightly with a groin strain and had a bit of a mishap at the beach the other day but should be fine while Spain’s Jordi Alba has been receiving treatment for a toothache but will play too.