Soldado, Cesc in contention

Roberto Soldado and Cesc Fabregas both returned to full training and could feature for Spain in their Confederations Cup semi-final against Italy.

The Valencia striker and Barcelona midfielder had sat out the previous two days of training having suffered with muscle discomfort during the 3-0 group stage win over Nigeria.

But, the duo returned to the full session in Wednesday’s workout and practice match and were described by Vicente del Bosque in his pre-game conference as looking alright.

“We will wait to see how they are. Today I saw Cesc and Soldado in training and they looked good,” the Coach commented yesterday evening.

“The important thing is that they are well enough to know if they can play against Italy. There is difference between Fernando Torres or with others, I see him as very well.

Whilst Fabregas is generally assumed to have fully recovered though, a couple of reports have indicated that Soldado was still struggling with his ailment and subsequently may not be considered for the Fortaleza test.

It is assumed that if this is the case then the striker’s place in the starting line-up will go to Fernando Torres. Fabregas’ return places him in contention to keep his starting berth against the presence of David Silva.

For the evening practice match, Del Bosque split the group in a way to hide specific intentions for tonight’s fixture with the Azzurri

However, it is speculated that beyond Torres perhaps coming in for Soldado and Iker Casillas in for Victor Valdes, the same other nine that started against Nigeria will feature again.

Meanwhile, Italy have confirmed that Alberto Gilardino will replace Mario Balotelli in attack, whilst Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi are both fit having missed the final group stage match through injury.

The Italians are believed likely to switch to a three-man defence for the match.

Probable line-ups

Spain: Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Torres, Fabregas

Italy: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Maggio, Pirlo, De Rossi, Giaccherini; Candreva, Montolivo; Gilardino

Tags Confederations Cup Fabregas Italy Silva Soldado Spain Torres