Spain passes revalidation before the holidays

Luis Enrique gives instructions from the band. / Fabrice Coffrini (Afp)

League of Nations

Luis Enrique's team receives the Czech Republic in Malaga with the aim of making amends for the mistakes they made a week ago in Prague

Oscar Bellot

Applied students know that summer is used to rest, collect new experiences and, above all, enjoy to the fullest. On the other hand, those who don't bend their elbows sufficiently during the school period have no choice but to do extra homework to make up for lost time, while their more advantaged friends bask comfortably in the sun. Forming part of the first of these groups and escaping the punishment that awaits the second is the objective with which the Spanish team receives the Czech Republic in Malaga. An adversary who seven days ago led Luis Enrique's team to touch the drama in Prague.

Demonstrating that they have learned the lesson they received in the capital of Bohemia, where Iñigo Martínez managed to put a fire on the horn that threatened to break out, is the challenge facing La Roja, who also did not complete a round match against Switzerland in Geneva but , at least, left the house of Servette with three points that keep their options intact to be in the 'final four' of the League of Nations to be played between June 14 and 18 next year.

Once these thorny away matches have been overcome with an approved scraping, the Spanish team returns to the bull's skin with the need to become strong on home soil and avoid a new slip that will complicate life again in a competition that will solve the sieve in the second fortnight of September, with two clashes scheduled for La Roja against Switzerland, on the 24th of that month in Zaragoza, and against Portugal, three dates later in Braga.

The Swiss saw on Thursday how the few options they had left to continue in the fight were diluted with a goal from Sarabia that took Spain out of the quagmire, but the Portuguese prevailed with ease in the pulse they waged against the Czech Republic in Lisbon and They continue to tighten the rope of the group with a two-point advantage over Luis Enrique's squad, who aspires to leave the grays behind when the World Cup in Qatar is just around the corner.


Although Spain maintains the elegant treatment with the ball that characterizes it, competes with anyone and exudes an indisputable personality, its proposal presents edges in attack and defense. The Czech Republic burst his shell with astonishing ease in Prague. And Switzerland caressed the boards until the last moment because La Roja got tangled up again in the start from behind when the 'nati' ordered the melee of combat. Having a bigger fang would make it easier for him when it comes to undoing those wrongs, but Luis Enrique's block is not left over in that facet and must avoid granting facilities for the rival to riot.

The Spanish coach will remain faithful to his commitment to rotations when facing the last revalidation of the course. He sees it as the ideal way to spread out the workloads at the end of another strenuous season, keep the entire group on their toes, and multiply the competition in a locker room where almost no one is safe from having their chair stolen.

Luis Enrique:

Morata has remained the only pure striker after Raúl de Tomás left due to illness, but it cannot be ruled out that the waste of energy he made in Geneva moves Luis Enrique to raise with a false nine in the return of the visit by Czech Republic. The Gijón coach recalled that any of his forwards can serve as an offensive reference and Asensio, who played that role in the final stretch of the match played three days ago in Switzerland, emerges as a candidate.

Depending on how the dispute evolves, there could be minutes for Ansu Fati, the only outfield player who has not yet dressed in a short, in a city where Spain has played nine times, with a balance of three defeats and six wins for La Roja, the last of them sealed with a 'little hand' to Costa Rica in a friendly played in November 2017.

For its part, the Czech Republic attends the stake with the hope of adding, after a defeat against Portugal that does not tarnish the good moment that the 'narodni tym' is going through. Four points in three games is an appreciable income for Jaroslav Silhavy's team. His main cause for concern lies in the physical ailments of vital players within his gear such as striker Kutcha, who tormented the Spanish defense in Prague and scored one of the two goals for the Central Europeans, but had to retire at half-time in the match against Portugal and it is doubtful.

Likely lineups

  • Spain:
    Unai Simón, Carvajal, Eric García, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba, Rodri, Marcos Llorente, Gavi, Asensio, Morata and Sarabia.

  • Czech Republic:
    Mandous, Zima, Brabec, Jemelka, Coufal, Soucek, Sadilek, Zeleny, Cerny, Kuchta, and Lingr.

  • Referee:
    Cüneyt Çakir (Turkey).

  • Hour:
    8:45 p.m.

  • Stadium:
    The Rose Garden.

  • TV:

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