MX23RW : Thursday, October 28 18:20:05| >> :600:731087:731087:
Sep 5, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Gaya (14'), Soler (25'), Torres (41'), Sarabia (63')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Kashia (68'), Chabradze (82')

Preview: Spain vs. Georgia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Spain and Georgia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Spain will be looking to bounce back from Thursday's disappointing defeat to Sweden when they continue their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign at home to Georgia on Sunday evening.

La Roja are currently second in Group B with seven points to show from their four matches, while Georgia sit at the bottom of the section, having collected just one point from their four fixtures.

Match preview

Spain coach Luis Enrique on June 28, 2021© Reuters

In action for the first time since losing on penalties to Italy in the semi-finals of Euro 2020, Spain suffered a 2-1 loss away to Sweden on Thursday evening, with the hosts coming from behind to secure all three points.

Carlos Soler had given La Roja the perfect start in just the fourth minute of the contest in Solna, but Alexander Isak levelled less than one minute later before Viktor Claesson struck a second just before the hour, and the result allowed Sweden to move to the top of Group B with nine points to show from their three matches.

Spain, meanwhile, now sit second in the section, having collected seven points from their four matches, and it would be a huge shock if they did not manage to claim either first or second in this particular section.

Luis Enrique's side impressed at Euro 2020 and arguably performed above expectations, but there is no question that there are still issues to address ahead of next year's World Cup, where Spain will be looking to win the famous competition for just the second time in their history.

La Roja will be the overwhelming favourites to beat Georgia for a fourth time on Sunday night, but the 2010 world champions did suffer a 1-0 loss to this weekend's opponents in a friendly as recently as June 2016.

Georgia manager Willy Sagnol during the press conference on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Georgia, meanwhile, are bidding to qualify for the finals of a World Cup for the first time in their history, but a poor start to Group B has already left them with a mountain to climb at this stage.

Indeed, the Crusaders opened their qualification campaign with back-to-back losses to Sweden and Spain before picking up a point away to Greece at the end of March. The visitors will enter this match off the back of another defeat, though, having suffered a 1-0 reverse to Kosovo on Thursday night.

Georgia's performance against Spain in the reverse match should hand them confidence, but they are bottom of the section with just a point to show from their first four games, scoring just two goals in the process.

Willy Sagnol's side came incredibly close to qualifying for Euro 2020, losing 1-0 to North Macedonia in their playoff in November 2020, and there have certainly been signs of progress in recent years.

Sweden and Spain are comfortably the favourites to claim the top two spots in Group B, though, and Georgia will surely need to win on Sunday to stand any chance of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

Spain World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Spain form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Georgia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Georgia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Spain's Ferran Torres during the warm up before the match on June 4, 2021© Reuters

Spain boss Enrique is expected to make changes from the side that started against Sweden, and there could be a spot between the sticks for David de Gea, who has impressed for Manchester United this season.

Marcos Llorente, Raul Albiol and Jose Gaya could all come into the back four, while Rodri, Brais Mendez and Pablo Sarabia are all pushing to be involved further forward for La Roja.

Ferran Torres has impressed through the middle for Manchester City this season and could move into that area against Georgia, while Adama Traore will also be hoping to earn some more minutes for Enrique's side.

As for Georgia, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is among those missing through injury, but there is plenty of experience in the squad, with Jaba Kankava set to win his 98th cap in midfield.

There should also be another start in the middle of the defence for the vastly experienced Guram Kashia, while Giorgi Kvilitaia, who has scored six times for the national side, should again get the nod in attack.

Head coach Sagnol is expected to resist the temptation to make sweeping changes following the home defeat to Kosovo, meaning that Giorgi Tsitaishvili should earn another spot in the final third of the field.

Spain possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Llorente, Albiol, Laporte, Gaya; Soler, Rodri, Koke; Mendez, F Torres, Sarabia

Georgia possible starting lineup:
Loria; Kakabadze, Khocholava, Kashia, Azarovi; Aburjania, Kankava; Tsitaishvili, Qazaishvili, Kiteishvili; Kvilitaia

SM words green background

We say: Spain 2-0 Georgia

Georgia are certainly capable of making this an uncomfortable match for Spain, who were disappointing against Sweden last time out. That said, we are finding it difficult to back against the hosts on this occasion and have therefore settled on a relatively routine two-goal success for Enrique's side.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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