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Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Monday, 11 October 2010 16:41 UK

Spain ready for negative Scotland

SCOTLAND v SPAIN - Euro 2012 qualifying
Venue: Hampden Date: Tuesday 12 October Kick-off: 2000 BST Coverage: BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website. Highlights on BBC One Scotland at 2305 BST.

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque
Del Bosque can call upon his first choice defence at Hampden

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque believes the World Cup holders are equipped to deal with the anticipated defensive strategy of Scotland.

"We will be very much prepared for whatever tactics Scotland adopts," Del Bosque told reporters on Monday.

"At club level, our players come up against this sort of tactic week in week out.

"I think that we have sufficient alternative ways of playing to combat various defensive formations."

Scotland coach Craig Levein employed an ultra-defensive formation for Friday's 1-0 loss to Czech Republic but has stressed that his approach will change from game to game.

And Del Bosque listed Darren Fletcher, Kenny Miller and Alan Hutton as players who could cause problems for the visitors.

Missing star names Xavi, Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas through injury, Spain are likely to make just one change to the side that beat Lithuania 3-1 on Friday to open up a two-point lead at the top of Group I.

Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso should return in central midfield alongside Sergio Busquets after recovering from flu.

And Barcelona's Busquets is unconcerned at the prospect of playing against a Scottish side sure to pack the middle of the park.

"The fact that I do relish the physical side of the game does not mean that is how Spain is going to play," said Busquets.

"We like to keep the ball, pass the ball and move the ball quickly. That I like to get stuck in is irrelevant. We will play in a Spain style."

Santi Cazorla of Villarreal may be the man to make way for Alonso, with David Villa and David Silva supporting Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente from the wide areas and Andres Iniesta prompting from an advanced midfield role.

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso may return to the heart of the Spanish midfield

Scotland may not do much in the way of attacking and when they do they will be up against Spain's first choice back four.

Sergio Ramos will patrol the right, with Joan Capdevila on the opposite flank, while Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique form the central barrier ahead of goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas.

The Real Madrid keeper's last visit to Hampden Park was in 2002 when his club, then managed by Del Bosque, beat Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League final.

And Casillas also picked out Scotland skipper Fletcher as a dangerous opponent.

"Fletcher controls the centre of the pitch very well," he said of the Manchester United midfielder.

"It's not going to be an easy match as they have a lot at stake. Not getting anything out of it would make it very hard for them to qualify for Euro 2012."



see also
Levein "sick" after Scotland loss
12 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Scotland 2-3 Spain
12 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Cazorla on guard against Scotland
10 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Miller to bounce back - McCulloch
10 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Levein's Scots fail to impress
09 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Prague pundits' reaction
08 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Bilek lauds winning Czech players
08 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Czech Republic 1-0 Scotland
08 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Torres doubt for Merseyside derby
05 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Xavi to miss Spain's Glasgow trip
30 Sep 10 |  Scotland


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