Julen Lopetegui’s Spain will be facing off against reigning champions Germany in one of this week’s highly-anticipated international friendlies. La Roja take on the Joachim Loew’s men in Dusseldorf on Friday night before hosting Argentina at the Wanda Metropolitano four days later.
One of the surprise omissions from the squad was Alvaro Morata, who has struggled with injuries and a loss of form with Chelsea. Aside from this, senior players in the form of Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Juan Mata have not been considered whilst Diego Costa makes a much-anticipated return to the fold after proving his form and fitness at Atletico Madrid. Sergio Busquets is a noticeable absentee following a toe injury.
David de Gea is widely regarded as one of the best shot-stoppers in the world. He is certain to start between the sticks for the Friday night friendly. At right-back, young Alvaro Odriozola is a strong candidate to feature after his promising form for Real Sociedad through the current season. He should earn his third international outing. Likewise, Jordi Alba has been the undisputed choice for the left-back position, and he should probably get the nod over Marcos Alonso, who will be awaiting his maiden cap for La Roja. In central defence, Gerard Pique should earn his starting spot after impressing for Barcelona this term. The Catalan is likely to be partnered with skipper Sergio Ramos, who has been consistent for the national team, irrespective of his league struggles with Real Madrid.
In the absence of Busquets, Villareal’s Rodri has been drafted into the Spain squad, and he could potentially make his debut in the holding midfield role against a star-studded German squad. Ahead of him, we are fancying Thiago Alcantara to start, and he is likely to be familiar with a number of German players, who happen to be his teammates at Bayern Munich. The third midfield slot could possibly be filled by Andres Iniesta, who offers the much-needed guidance to a young Spanish side. Further forward, we are backing Marco Asensio and David Silva to retain their regular roles under Lopetegui, and they are likely to play in an attacking midfield parnership behind the lone striker. Diego Costa has earned his place in the Spain squad after contributing six goals and four assists since his Atleti return, and he should lead the line.
Predicted Lineup (4-3-2-1): David de Gea; Alvaro Odriozola, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Rodri, Thiago Alcantara, Andres Iniesta; David Silva, Marco Asensio; Diego Costa