Lopetegui: No Italy surprises

Julen Lopetegui insists there will be no surprises in the Spain team for Saturday’s crunch 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy.

It had been reported that Lopetegui was considering a false 9 for the Group G decider, but the Coach made it clear there were “no special measures” being taken in La Roja’s preparation.

“I expect a very different game to the one in Turin,” he said at a Press conference.

“They’re going to play very differently, with different players. They’re going to ask a lot of us and I hope we’re ready for that.

“I don’t think they’ll be defensive, but we can’t waste too much energy on our opponents. The game requires us to reach the thresholds of excellence.

“Two games are never the same. You have to propose different things, and that’s what I’m expecting.

“They have players in great shape, who I think will play. They have variations. False 9? Morata has to be prepared to play, and he is.

“Ramos? He’s our captain and he shows it. We’re very happy with him in every sense.

“Decisive match? We understand the importance of playing and beating a great Italy team, but our focus is only on tomorrow. The future can’t be guessed.

“We haven’t worked any differently for them. We’ll play the way we normally do and how we want. There have been no special measures.

“Boos for Pique? We’re excited about playing at the Bernabeu and the support we’re going to get.

“The fans have to help us because we’ll need them. We’re not worried about anything else.

“Defeat at Euro 2016? This isn’t the time to analyse that game. Italy won because they played very well and had a great game.”

Tags 2018 World Cup Azzurri Italy Julen Lopetegui Spain