Spain’s starting line-up to face Belarus in tonight’s World Cup qualifier has been confirmed, with a new look defence and a strikerless system in place.
In Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol’s place, Vicente del Bosque has, as anticipated from earlier training sessions, opted to field Barcelona defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets at centre-back alongside Sergio Ramos.
Notably, none of the squad’s three strikers – Fernando Torres, David Villa or Roberto Soldado – start, with Cesc Fabregas instead returning to a ‘false 9’ role he was deployed in during Euro 2012.
As Del Bosque earlier suggested, Andres Iniesta is left on the bench in a line-up that otherwise lists seven midfielders for tonight’s qualifying in Minsk, against Group I rivals Belarus.
Spain side to face Belarus: Casillas; Arbeloa, Busquets, Ramos, Alba; Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Cazorla; Pedro, Fabregas, Silva