Injury worry for Barca star could see Torres claim starting berth
After drawing criticism for failing to start with an orthodox striker against Italy, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque could be forced to do so tonight, with Cesc Fabregas an injury doubt.
Fabregas, who somewhat vindicated his manager’s decision by coming up with a goal in Spain’s tournament opener, is suffering with a thigh problem, which could see him ruled out of tonight’s clash with Ireland.
Fernando Torres was a late introduction from the bench in Spain’s last game, and he could get the chance to start in place of Fabregas, as the defending champions aim to justify 2/7 odds for success.
That would see the Spanish side take on a slightly different shape, but one which the current World and European champions should easily adapt to.
It would also give Torres the chance to make history, with the Chelsea striker needing just one more international goal to become Spain’s joint-third top scorer of all time.
Torres is 7/4 to score in a Spanish win tonight, which may prove an appealing option to some punters, especially considering the sharpness of his movement in Spain’s draw with Italy.
He is also 9/2 joint-favourite to open the scoring in the game, and should he start, he would obviously be a more appealing option than Fabregas and Fernando Llorente at the same price, as his place in the side would be at their expense.
For their opponents, who are a massive 14/1 to win, Richard Dunne looks set to start, despite missing a Monday training session with blisters.
The Irish took positives from their opening outing in Poland and Ukraine, despite being defeated 3-1 at the hands of Croatia, but will have their work cut out against the tournament favourites.
Giovanni Trapattoni could make changes, as an impressive showing off the bench from Jon Walters may win him a starting berth ahead of Kevin Doyle, whilst James McClean could be preferred to Aiden McGeady.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.