Del Bosque names Spain squad

Vicente Del Bosque has named Javi Martinez in his Spain squad for the World Cup qualifiers with Belarus and France.

The Spain boss includes Martinez as cover for the absence of Gerard Pique, the only change to his squad from the previous two games with Saudi Arabia and Georgia.

Pique has not been selected despite battling to be fit for Sunday’s El Clasico at the Camp Nou, while there is no place in the 23-man party for either Chelsea’s Juan Mata or Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo, both of whom played in this summer’s European Championship triumph.

Only two central defenders have been selected – Real Madrid’s Raul Albiol and Sergio Ramos – for the games to be played in Minsk and at the Vicente Calderon on October 12 and 16.

The full squad is:

Goalkeepers: Casillas, Valdes, Reina

Defenders: Arbeloa, Ramos, Albiol, Alba, Monreal, Juanfran

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Javi Martinez, Fabregas, Silva, Benat, Cazorla, Pedro, Navas

Forwards: Torres, Villa, Soldado

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