La Selección: Spain v Italy- The Preview*

(*Note that I tend to do ‘previews’ a bit different from everyone else (i.e. I just talk about whatever I feel is relevant to the game in no order!)

To start off, here are the 20 players picked by Luis ‘The Old Man’ Aragonés himself.

Arsenal: Cesc

FC Barcelona: Puyol, Iniesta y Xavi

Betis: Juanito

Espanyol: Luis García y Riera

Getafe: De la Red

Liverpool: Arbeloa, Reina, Torres y Xabi Alonso

Real Madrid: Casillas y Sergio Ramos

Mallorca: Fernando Navarro y Güiza

Valencia: Albiol, Marchena, Silva y Villa

Villarreal: Capdevila y Senna.

No Raul???? Shocking, isn’t it?

De La Red Gets the Call

There has been all sorts of talk surrounding this game the last few days. The biggest buzz is the call up of Rubén de La Red, who is on loan to Getafe this season from Real Madrid. Last year, de La Red couldn’t get a shot in Madrid, but a small move to the suburbs of the capital city sees him take on a pivotal role for el geta this season.

He’s on 2 goals and 3 assists for the season, but he has played in 29 games so far. Laudrup looks to the young Madridista as a solid player in the middle of the field and he can prove his worth. I’ve only seen him in a few games this season, but from what I remember the boy can play.

In an article today in AS, the youngster said ‘If it was up to me, I would go back to Madrid’, though he said he does thank Getafe for giving him an opportunity this season (but I can’t find the article it was on).

Luis had this to say about the youngster.

“Es un jugador que está creciendo, puede jugar por delante de la línea de centro del campo. A cualquier jugador que veamos en buena forma le vamos a dar la oportunidad de poder venir’

‘He’s a young player who’s growing, he can play in front of the midfielders. Any player that we see looking good, we will give him the opportunity to be able to come.’

Battered and Bruised: Puyol, Torres, Marchena

Fernando Torres and Carles Puyol are questionable for the game on Wednesday. Puyol was able to come into training and run for about 10 minutes, while Torres wasn’t able to make it onto the training ground from being banged up in the game against Manchester United this past weekend.

We will know more about ‘El Niño’ tomorrow I’m sure.

Marchena was at training after being pelted with the ball during the Real Madrid tie on Sunday. He was taken to the hospital, checked out and sent on his way and was on the pitch for Monday’s training session.

Under Whistles from the Fans

The team arrived in Elche under a barrage of whistles from the fans for not signing autographs for a hoard of little children waiting outside of the hotel. The only Spaniard to sign was Cesc Fabergas, why am I not surprised? I would have even thought de La Red would want to sign as many notebooks as he could get his hands on.

Cesc Thinks He Can ‘Give Much More to the Team

Cesc has been critisized as of late for not playing his best matches under the National Colors. In an interview this week he said ‘I can give much more with Spain, answering to some of these rumors of a Cesc that exists for Arsenal, and the ‘bizarro’ Catalan Ces that doesn’t play well when he returns to his native soil.

The last game I saw I wasn’t overly impressed with Cesc, but I wasn’t disappointed either. It is one thing to be a leader for a team you play with day in and day out, but it is more difficult to step in and step up with a group of guys you see once in a blue moon practically.

At any rate, Cesc will need to be a factor in the game against the Italians.

We Must Protect This House

La Furia have the upper hand in Elche, having gone 4 for 4 in games played in the Martínez Valero. Spain have only given up 1 goal in those for games and have scored 10 goals for.

Belgium (3-0, en 1986),
Macedonia (3-0 en 1995),
Ukraine (2-1 en 2003)
Egypt (2-0 en 2006).

The Italians

Roberto Donadoni (who by the way was my favorite player ever growing up as a kid brings 21 players with him to Elche.

Buffon, Oddo, Materazzi, Barzagli, Pirlo, Aquilani, Zambrotta, Camoranesi, Borriello e Di Natale. La otra formación estaba compuesta por Amelia, Panucci, Cannavaro, Grosso, Ambrosini, Gattuso, De Rossi, Perrotta, Quagliarella, Iaquinta, Toni

Aside from that, when I tend to get outside of Spain ‘I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground’ to quote my father. So I won’t event try to speculate what the Italians will do for the game.

But if anyone else has a preview for the Italians, post it in the comments below and I can add it here.

The game will be televised in Spain on TVE1 at 10:00 Spain Time (5:00 EST in the States since they haven’t changed their clocks yet).

I’ll post links to the game when I get them as well.

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