MX23RW : Monday, February 18 21:26:03

How Spain could line up against Croatia

Sports Mole looks at how Spain could line up in Thursday's UEFA Nations League clash with Croatia.

Spain will be looking to secure top spot in Group 4 of League A in the UEFA Nations League when they travel to 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia on Thursday night.

Spain thumped Croatia 6-0 in the reverse match back in September and know that another victory would move them onto nine points from their four Group 4 fixtures, which would be enough to top the section.

La Roja did suffer a 3-2 home defeat to England in their last UEFA Nations League match, however, and there is no question that Croatia have the quality to overcome Luis Enrique's side.

Thursday will actually be just the eighth meeting between these two international teams, with Spain winning four of the previous seven.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at how Spain could line up in Zagreb.


POS SPA XI vs. CRO

Spain boss Enrique shocked many when he recalled Jordi Alba to his latest squad. The pair do not have the best of relationships, but Alba's form for Barcelona this season has been excellent, and the full-back is expected to be given the nod on Thursday night.

The right-back spot could be taken by Cesar Azpilicueta with Dani Carvajal still on the sidelines, while captain Sergio Ramos is expected to be joined by Inigo Martinez in central defence, as Nacho is also injured.

Further forward, Sergio Busquets and Saul Niguez are certain starters, but Isco's position is under threat, with the midfielder out of favour at Real Madrid in recent weeks.

There is every chance that Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri could win his fourth cap, although Sergi Roberto and Dani Ceballos are also options for Enrique in the middle of the park.

Paco Alcacer has been left out of the squad despite his brilliant form for Borussia Dortmund this season, and that is expected to see Rodrigo and Iago Aspas feature in the final third.

Pau Lopez, Mario Hermoso and Brais Mendez could all earn their first La Roja caps during the international break.

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Barcelona defender Jordi Alba in action during his side's La Liga clash with Eibar on February 17, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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