World Cup Team Preview: Spain

European powerhouse Spain will have another chance to claim a World Cup trophy as they head into the tournament in Russia as one of the favourites.

La Roja has one World Cup title to their name having won the competition in South Africa in 2010 when they beat Netherlands 1-0 after extra-time in the final, thanks to a dramatic winner from Andres Iniesta in the 116th minute.

Eight years later, Julien Lopetegui’s charges are once again looking strong, especially in midfield where they have a wealth of talent with the likes of David Silva, Thiago Alcantara, Andres Iniesta, and Sergio Busquets to pull the strings.

Their options up front are also not to be taken lightly. Spain can call upon Diego Costa, Isco, and Marco Asensio to provide the goals.

The three-time European champions may, however, have a slight weakness in defence where Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique are expected to start. Both men have immense experience, but they are 32 and 31 years old respectively and may be found out by fast strikers running the channels.

Spain has been drawn in Group B alongside Portugal, Morocco, and Iran. They are expected to comfortably make their way out of the group and should manage to make an appearance in the semi-finals with a chance of going all the way.

Heading into the tournament, Spain drew 1-1 with defending world champions Germany and Switzerland, while hammering Argentina 6-1. They will take on Tunisia in their final warm-up game before their first Group B clash with Portugal on June 15.

Spain squad:

Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao)

Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Nacho (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City)

Forwards: Isco (Real Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Rodrigo (Valencia), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)

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