Spain will be hoping to end the international break on a winning note. Also, they take on minnows Kosovo in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers this midweek.
Curtains will fall on the first international break of the 2021/22 season in Europe. Also, this Wednesday with another set of FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying fixtures taking place. In Group B, leaders Spain will go up against Kosovo at the Fadil Vokrri Stadium in Pristina. Also, hoping to bag another victory and strengthen their position as table-toppers.
Team News and Tactics:
Kosovo has to deal with some absentees for the game against Spain as Besar Halimi, who scored in the reverse fixture, is suspended alongside Lirim M. Kastrati. In addition, Elbasan Rashani misses out with injury whereas Visar Bekaj is ruled out after testing positive for Covid. Bersant Celina is another notable absentee after being not allowed to join the national team by his club, Ipswich Town.
Manager Bernard Challenges is unlikely to make a host of changes to the side that held Greece to a draw last time out, with Kosovo, much like Spain, expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of goalkeeper Arijanet Music. Amir Rahmani and Fidan Aliti should feature as the two center-backs flanked by Mergim Vojvoda and Florent Hadergjonaj, with the full-back duo expected to stay compact.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Muric; Vojvoda, Rahmani, Aliti, Hadergjonaj; Loshaj, Dresevic, Berisha; Rashica, Muriqi, Muslija
Spain came into this international break without Pau Torres, Pedri, Dani Olmo, and Mikel Oyarzabal. Also, all of them were given extended breaks after their involvement in the UEFA Euro 2020. The Olympic Games in the summer. Fabian Ruiz, Thiago Alcantara, and Diego Llorente are also not part of Luis Enrique’s squad, while Jose Gaya is ruled out after picking up an injury against Georgia.
Unai Simon ought to retain his place between the sticks for Spain. As he hopes to secure another clean sheet on Wednesday. There could be a change of defensive personnel in front of him. There Aymeric Laporte is likely to be given a breather.
Instead, Raul Albiol could pair up with Eric Garcia at center-back while Cesar Azpilicueta and Jordi Alba line up as the full-backs, with the latter replacing the injured Gaya.
Rodri gave a good account of himself against Georgia. However, he is very much expected to make way for captain Sergio Busquets who will anchor the midfield for Spain. Koke should also return to the lineup, at the expense of fellow Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente, while in-form Carlos Soler should occupy the third slot in the middle and look to provide the forward thrust.
le while allowing space for the full-backs to bomb forward. Alvaro Morata ought to line up as the No. 9.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Simon; Azpilicueta, Garcia, Albiol, Alba; Koke, Busquets, Soler; Torres, Morata, Sarabia
Spain vs Kosovo Key Stats
After a run of six losses in nine games, Kosovo has faced defeat just once in their previous six matches, winning four of those (D1).
Spain, after going on an unbeaten run of 13 games, has lost two of their last three matches (W1).
Alvaro Morata, with 22 goals, is Spain’s ninth all-time leading goalscorer. If he scores on Wednesday, he will go level with La Roja legends Sergio Ramos and Alfredo Di Stefano (both 23) as the joint eighth-highest goal-getter for his country.