De Gea in Spain squad for World Cup qualifiers

Last Updated: Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 16:49

Madrid: Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has included Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea in the Spanish national squad the World Cup qualifiers.

Spain will face Finland in Sporting Gijon`s el Molinon Stadium on March 22 in a World Cup qualifying game, before travelling to Paris on March 26 for what is likely to be the decisive qualifying game, after the two teams drew at the Vicente Calderon earlier in the group stage.

With both sides having dropped just two points each, the reigning World Champions need to avoid defeat in France to avoid the prospect of a potentially difficult qualifying round, in order to reach the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

Del Bosque named a 24-man squad for the two games, which was conditioned by the hand injury suffered by first choice keeper and captain, Iker Casillas in January.

Casillas is back in training with Real Madrid, but is not yet in any condition to play after breaking a bone in his left hand. Although Del Bosque opted not to name a third keeper for a friendly against Uruguay in February, given the importance of the two games, Del Bosque has decided to call on De Gea, who has been a regular with the Spain Under-21 squad.

He has also called Manchester City midfielder, Javi Garcia into the squad, along with Barca`s Xavi Hernandez, who has been struggling with muscle problems in recent week.

However, there are three notable absentees in the squad: Barca defender, Carles Puyol, who made his 100th international appearance against Uruguay, Chelsea striker, Fernando Torres, who continues to struggle for form, and Bayern Munich midfielder, Javi Martinez, who could also offer cover in central defence.

Following is the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), David De Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Javi Garcia (Manchester City), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Isco (Malaga), Jesus Navas (Sevilla)

Forwards: Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), David Villa (Barcelona).

IANS



First Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 16:49

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