Football Spain clear favourite to win Euro qualifier at home to Cyprus

Madrid (Spain), Sep 11 : The Spanish national football team can take a big step towards assuring qualification for next summer's European Championships on Tuesday when it faces Cyprus in Granada of southern Spain. The Spanish were able to put the controversy over Football Federation President Luis Rubiales behind them on Friday when they cruised to an impressive 7-1 win away to Georgia. That win leaves Spain with six points from their three qualifying games to date and another win would give them a cushion over Norway, who is currently third in the group, reports Xinhua. Alvaro Morata scored a hat-trick in the game, where the only bad news for Spain were injuries to Dani Olmo and Marco Asensio, which led coach Luis de la Fuente to call up Yeremi Pino and Ferran Torres as cover for Tuesday. On paper, Cyprus should be a comfortable rival for Spain, given that they have lost their four qualification games to date, scoring just two goals and conceding 11, after suffering a 3-0 defeat at home to Scotland in their last game. The weakness of their rivals could give De la Fuente the chance to make some changes to his starting 11, with 16-year-old Lamine Yamal making his first start after he became the youngest player to ever score for Spain in Georgia. David Garcia or Pau Torres will get a chance in central defense, while Alejandro Balde is likely to start at left-back. Nico Williams is also likely to start after he also got on the score sheet on Friday. Midfielders Ferran Torres, Rodri and Gavi all impressed in Georgia and De la Fuente is unlikely to make many changes in the centre, although he could meditate a shot on goal, with either Kepa (now at Real Madrid) or David Raya getting a chance. /IANS


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