Spain will be aiming to continue their perfect start to the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers when they welcome minnows Faroe Islands to Gijon on Sunday.
Matchday 6 of the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers gets underway on Sunday as we get bang into the middle of the first international break of the 2019-20 season. Spain will get done with their commitments for this month when they play hosts to Faroe Islands at El Molinon in Gijon.
Spain have been on a roll in the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers, having won each of their first five games in the current campaign. Suffice to say, La Furia Roja have not been adversely affected by the sudden managerial change this year, with Robert Moreno overseeing four wins in as many games in-charge, leaving his side atop the Group F standings.
Faroe Islands, on the other hand, have been the whipping boys of the group, sitting at the bottom of the standings with no points on the board. Lars Olsen’s men have, in fact, managed to find the back of the net just thrice while conceding a whopping 16 goals and are almost certain to miss out on yet another finals.
The reverse fixture, played in Torshavn back in June, saw Spain coast to a 4-1 win over Faroe Islands, with Sergio Ramos among the scorers. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Robert Moreno will be without the services of Diego Llorente, who will serve his suspension after being sent off against Romania. Elsewhere, there are no major concerns that the Spain head coach is dealing with, although he is likely to make a few alterations to his side, with a few newcomers set to get some minutes.
In the one change that is forced upon Moreno, Mario Hermoso ought to come into the side in place of the suspended Llorente. The Atletico Madrid defender will partner captain Sergio Ramos at the heart of the defence, with Dani Carvajal and Jose Gaya likely to be the two full-backs. Kepa Arrizabalaga should keep his place ahead of David de Gea in the Spanish goal.
Up ahead in midfield, it is likely that Moreno will hand a rare start to Pablo Sarabia and Rodri, both of whom will be aching to make an impression. Thiago Alcantara should complete the midfield trifecta, with Dani Parejo among the options on the bench.
The three midfielders will aim to suffocate the visitors while controlling the proceedings for Spain, with Thiago and Sarabia providing the creative impetus.
There is not a lot to choose from in the attacking unit, with Mikel Oyarzabal, Suso, Rodrigo Moreno and Paco Alcacer competing for the three spots. Rodrigo should lead the line for Spain against Faroe Islands, with Suso and Oyarzabal being the wide men, leaving Alcacer as a backup option.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kepa; Carvajal, Ramos, Hermoso, Gaya; Sarabia, Rodri, Thiago; Suso, Rodrigo, Oyarzabal
Lars Olsen has no fresh injury concerns or suspension issues to deal with ahead of his side’s UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers tie against Spain on Sunday. The Danish tactician though, is likely to make a shuffle or two to the side that was handsomely beaten by Sweden this week.
The Faroe Islands head coach should also change his system a bit, reverting to a defensive 4-4-2 shape, which will have two blocks of four looking to stifle Spain’s build-up play systematically. In goal, there is unlikely to be any changes, with Gunnar Nielsen lining up between the sticks.
Andrias Hognason Eriksen, among the seven uncapped players called up by Olsen, is likely to make his debut against Spain, and will be deployed on the left side of the defence. Another change at the back should see Heini Vatnsdal returning to the starting lineup to be Faroe Islands skipper Atli Gregersen’s central defensive partner, with Viljormur Davidsen being the right-back.
There should be three further changes made by the Faroe Islands boss, with two of them coming in the midfield. Gilli Rolantsson Sorensen and Patrik Johannesen should be the two wide midfielders, coming into the side in place of Solvi Vatnhamar and Ami Frederiksberg.
Halur Hansson and Brandur Olsen are likely to be the two men occupying the central areas in midfield, while Joan Edmundsson will lead the line once again for Faroe Islands. But, Klaemint Olsen, who netted against Spain last time out, should return to be Edmundsson’s strike partner.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Nielsen; Davidsen, Gregersen, Vatnsdal, Eriksen; Sorensen, Hannson, Brandur Olsen, Johannesen; Klaemint Olsen, Edmundsson
- Spain have been victorious in each of their three meetings with Faroe Islands, with the aggregate scoreline thus far being 13-4.
- Curiously, however, Spain are yet to keep a clean sheet against the European minnows.
- Spain have won each of their last six encounters and have not failed to find the back of the net in 29 matches, a run stretching back to their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Italy at the UEFA Euro 2016.
- Faroe Islands, on the other hand, just cannot catch a break and have failed to win each of their last 10 games (D2 L8).
- Sergio Ramos is set to become the joint-most capped Spanish player in history, tying Iker Casillas at 167 appearances.
Player to Watch
Following a scintillating season with Sevilla, Pablo Sarabia’s stock has been on the rise. The summer saw him join a genuine European powerhouse in PSG and he will now be focused to nail down his spot in the Spanish squad ahead of next summer’s UEFA Euro 2020.
His task is anything but easy, however, with the playmaker being one kind of player that Spain are never in dearth of. Chances will be hard to come by for Sarabia in the coming international breaks, meaning he will have to grab the opportunities that do come his way with both hands. Faroe Islands are there for the taking and a strong performance will go a long way for Sarabia.
Spain 4-0 Faroe Islands
It is hard to predict anything but a run of the mill routing of Faroe Islands by Spain. The gulf between the two sides is incredibly huge and it is unlikely that Lars Olsen’s men will have what it takes to even hold Spain to a draw, let alone beat them.
With a number of Spanish players looking to make an impression, this should be a comfortable evening for Robert Moreno & co. The Hard Tackle predicts a 4-0 win for Spain, who will then take a step closer to qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2020.