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Iniesta injury fright could harm Spain’s World Cup hopes

| 09.06.2010

The gloss was taken off Spain’s 6-0 thrashing of Poland as Andres Iniesta had to be taken off with a thigh strain.

The Barcelona playmaker was substituted as a precautionary measure, and Spain are hopeful that the 26-year-old will be fit for Wednesday’s opener against Switzerland.

Should scans reveal the injury to be worse than initial diagnoses, Iniesta would be a big loss, as he has started each of Spain’s last seven games, of which they have won all seven.

The midfielder has been an integral part of the Spanish midfield since making his international debut in 2006, and his intricate distribution was a feature of their triumphant Euro 2008 campaign.

Iniesta has been similarly instrumental for Barcelona in recent seasons, though he did miss the end of the club’s successful defence of their La Liga title this year through injury.

And despite their unrivalled strength in midfield depth, the absence of such a creative talent as Iniesta could prove a decisive blow for Spain should they reach the final. They are 6/1 to be eliminated at this stage.

Apart from Iniesta’s injury scare, the 4/1 World Cup favourites were in imperious form as they stormed to a 6-0 win in their final warm-up match before leaving for South Africa.

The big guns were all firing for La Roja, with goals for Fernando Torres, David Villa, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Xabi Alonso and Pedro.

Torres’s goal will have been particularly pleasing for coach Vicente Del Bosque, as the Liverpool striker looked to be in peak condition on his return from injury.

Torres is 5/2 to be Spain’s top scorer, while 8/1 World Cup Golden Shoe favourite Villa’s goal was his 38th for his country, which leaves him just six behind Raul’s Spanish record.

Will Spain reign supreme regardless of injuries? They are 4/1 to win the World Cup. See the full Tournament Winner market.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.