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Preview: Spain vs. Belarus

Sports Mole looks ahead to Spain's latest Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus in Madrid this weekend.

Spain take on Belarus at the Bernabeu this weekend looking to regain some momentum in qualifying for Euro 2016.

The defending European champions suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Slovakia last month, although they managed to get their campaign back on track with a comfortable victory over Luxembourg last time out.

Vicente del Bosque has had to fend off accusations in the build-up to Saturday's game suggesting that Cesc Fabregas withdrew from the squad despite being fit, claiming that he 'trusts' the Chelsea midfielder.

Following the poor defence of their World Cup crown this summer, many suggested that Spain were a fading light on the global stage - highlighted by their slide down to 10th place in the current FIFA rankings.

Del Bosque looked to rectify that by keeping things fresh, and that has continued into La Roja's latest game with Nolito, Ignacio Camacho and Bruno Soriano among those to have been called up.

Spain will be expected to brush aside minnows Belarus with ease in the capital this weekend, but they will have to do so without Premier League stars David Silva, Juan Mata and Diego Costa who were both omitted from the squad for differing reasons.

Sergei Kornilenko is likely to lead the line for the visitors, meanwhile, with manager Andrei Zygmantovich expected to go with a more defensive-looking 4-5-1 formation.

Belarus, who have lost both of their previous meetings with La Roja, have one point to their name in Group E, which came in their opening game away at Luxembourg.

Recent form


Belarus: DWWDLL

Possible starting lineups

Spain: De Gea, Alba, Pique, Bartra, Carvajal, Busquets, Iniesta, Koke, Cazorla, Alcacer, Nolito

Belarus: Balanovich, Zhenov, Verkhovtsov, Shitov, Martynovich, Krivets, Kalachev, Filipenko, Dragun, Bordachev, Kornilenko

Sports Mole says: 3-0

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Spain teammates David Silva and Diego Costa during a game with Chile on June 18, 2014
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Costa not included in Spain squad

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States19201352
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Trophee des Champions
Taca da Liga
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX

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