Football: Soccer-Veterans Busquets, Azpilicueta in for Spain vs Slovakia


SEVILLE (Reuters) – Spain coach Luis Enrique called on the experience of Sergio Busquets and Cesar Azpilicueta as he rang the changes in search of a first Euro 2020 victory in Wednesday’s final Group E clash with Slovakia.

Captain Busquets, the only player in the squad that won the 2010 World Cup, was set for his first appearance in this tournament after missing two games following a COVID-19 positive. He was coming in for Rodri in midfield.

Azpilicueta, who captained Chelsea to Champions League glory last month, replaced Marcos Llorente at right back while the inexperienced Eric Garcia came in for Pau Torres at the heart of defence.

Pablo Sarabia was making a first start after lively if ineffective displays from the bench in the 0-0 draw with Sweden and 1-1 draw with Poland, joining Gerard Moreno and Alvaro Morata in a front three.

Slovakia, bidding for the knockout stages for the second time in only their second Euros, made two changes from the side beaten 1-0 by Sweden, recalling Lukas Haraslin and Jakub Hromada.

Slovakia: Martin Dubravka; Peter Pekarik, Lubomir Satka, Milan Skriniar, Tomas Hubocan; Juraj Kucka, Lukas Haraslin, Marek Hamsik (captain), Jakub Hromada, Robert Mak, Ondrej Duda

Spain: Unai Simon; Cesar Azpilicueta, Eric Garcia, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets (captain), Pedri, Koke; Gerard Moreno, Pablo Sarabia, Alvaro Morata

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Andrew Cawthorne)

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