WORLD CUP: European Qualifying preview and squads – Group I

Europe GroupI

The mouth-watering Spain-France clash happens on Tuesday night, prior to that they both have home games to contend with versus Finland and Georgia respectively.  In all honesty on paper it should be three points for each of the match favourites but the Finns and Georgians will looking for mistakes. Spain and France sit joint top with seven points from three games.  See the squads below for all teams but you will not find Chelsea’s Fernando Torres involved as Spanish coach Vincent Del Bosque has dropped him and demanded he proves himself.  Xavi may not feature as he is an injury doubt all week.


Spain v Finland, Friday 19:45

SPAIN – Goalkeepers: Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Jose Reina (Liverpool), David de Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Jordi Alba (Barcelona)

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Javi Garcia (Man City), Isco (Malaga)

Strikers: David Villa (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Pedro (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Jesus Navas (Sevilla)


FINLAND – Goalkeepers: Lukas Hradecky (Esbjerg), Niki Mäenpää (VVV-Venlo), Jesse Joronen (Fulham)

Defenders: Joona Toivio (Molde), Niklas Moisander (Ajax), Jukka Raitala (Heerenveen), Jarkko Hurme (TPS), Markus Halsti (Malmo), Kari Arkivuo (Hacken)

Midfielders: Tim Sparv (FC Groningen), Roman Eremenko (Rubin Kazan), Rasmus Schüller (HJK), Alexander Ring (Borussia Monchengladbach), Toni Kolehmainen (Honefoss), Perparim Hetemaj (Chievo), Petteri Forsell (Bursaspor), Kasper Hämäläinen (Lech Poznan), Teemu Tainio (HJK), Alexei Eremenko (Rubin Kazan)

Strikers: Mikael Forssell (HJK), Njazi Kuqi (Atromitos), Teemu Pukki (Schalke 04)


France v Georgia, Friday 20:00

France coach Didier Deschamps has announced a 24-player squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Spain in 2014, on 22 and 26 March respectively, in Paris. Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, 19, who has been a revelation in Jose Mourinho’s back four this season, and Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy were both recalled, while there is a debut call-up for 20-year-old Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. Newcastle’ right-back Mathieu Debuchy withdrew this past weekend after picking up an injury away to Wigan, marseille’s Rod Fanni was called up as a replacement.

FRANCE – Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Gaël Clichy (Manchester City), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Christophe Jallet (Paris Saint-Germain), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Newcastle United), Rod Fanni (Marseille)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Dimitri Payet (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Loic Rémy (Queens Park Rangers)

Withdrawn: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United)



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