Spain vs France World Cup qualifier: Preview

Paris: Spain have no fresh injury concerns heading into Tuesday`s Group I World Cup qualifier against France.

Andres Iniesta is set to return to the starting line-up after being rested on the bench for Friday`s win at Belarus, while Cesc Fabregas should continue in his `false nine` role up front.

Coach Vicente del Bosque may restore Sergio Busquets to his natural position in midfield and bring in Raul Albiol in central defence to counter the attacking threat of the visitors.

Midfielder Clement Chantome misses out for France after picking up a groin problem in the 1-0 friendly defeat against Japan.

The Paris Saint-Germain player`s injury further curtails boss Didier Deschamps`s midfield options, with Abou Diaby and Rio Mavuba both sidelined.

However, Yohan Cabaye and Patrice Evra are back in the frame after making recoveries from rib and back problems respectively.

Some Important facts:

  • Spain are on a record 24-match winning run in World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.
  • The Iberian outfit have won four of their last five encounters with France, including their 2-0 victory in the quarter-final of Euro 2012.

    Sergio Busquets and Santi Cazorla are in line to win their 50th caps for Spain.
    France have won just two of their last six fixtures, including friendlies, and have scored just four goals in those matches.

  • Les Bleus`s Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat was their first ever competitive loss to Spain.
    Karim Benzema (pictured right) has not scored in his last eight appearances for France.

    Probable lineups:

    Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso
    Pedro, Fabregas, Iniesta

    France: Lloris Debuchy, Koscielny, Sakho, Evra, Sissoko, Cabaye, Matuidi, Menez, Benzema, Ribery

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