Spain heads into their critical and consequential World Cup qualifiers versus Sweden and Greece without several of Spain’s important core players due to injuries. 9 of Spain’s footballers will not be available for their head coach, Luis Enrique, for the game on Thursday, November 11th, 2021 at Greece as well as the match vs. Sweden on Sunday, November 14th, 2021.
Spain will enter their last 2 Group B qualifying contests in 2nd – place, 2 – points behind Sweden and 4 – points in front of 3rd – place Greece. Only the winners of the group will directly qualify for the next year’s World Cup tournament that will be hosted by Qatar. The 2nd – place teams of the group will inevitably have to make it through a playoff in order to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
Key players such as Pedri González, Ferran Torres, and Marcos Llorente had previously helped to lead Spain to the semifinal round of the European Championship tournament several months ago, and they are also some of the players who will be unavailable to head coach Enrique and the Spanish national football club for these upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Other players that have to unfortunately miss these important matches vs. Sweden and Greece include Gerard Moreno, Mikel Oyarzabal, and Eric García.
García suffered an injury recently while playing for Barca in the Spanish League as well as the young forward, Ansu Fati, who was coming back to the Spanish national team following an extended absence due to a different injury that Fati endured.
Yeremi Pino was just another core player who was injured and his spot on the squad had to be replaced after he was called up to Spain’s national football club. Coach Enrique revealed that Mikel Merino although is unlikely to play in Thursday’s match will remain on the team.
Spain’s head coach was able to regain several players now that they mostly recovered from their recent injuries. Those players include Pau Torres, José Luis Gayà, Jordi Alba, Álvaro Morata, and Dani Olmo.
2 more wins in Group B will be adequate for Spain to finish in 1st – place in their group and automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup without having to rely upon on other results within the group.
A draw versus Greece will assure at the very least a 2nd – place finish in Group B, and Spain would be placed into the playoffs playing against the other 9 group 2nd – place finishers as well as 2 group winners out of the UEFA Nations League. Those 12 nations will be drawn into 3 4 – squad brackets and playoff against each other in March of 2022. Seeded teams will get a home game during the tournament’s semifinals.
A victory by Sweden at 4th – place Georgia this Thursday as well as a Spain draw vs. Greece will secure a 1st – place finish in Group B for the Swedish national team.
Spain has qualified for each and every World Cup since the year of 1978, and Spain won their only World Cup title in 2010 when the tournament was held in South Africa. Spain was eliminated by the host country of Russia in the final 16 of the 2018 World Cup tournament.
“We have to focus on what we can control,” Spain’s head coach Luis Enrique proclaimed. “I’m thrilled with the players I was able to bring. Fortunately, I’m a coach who can choose from at least 60 players who have a lot of quality. We are prepared.”
“I can’t imagine a World Cup without Spain,” Spain’s forward Brahim Díaz explained. “We have two finals ahead of us and we have to win them.”
Azzoni, Tales. “Spain facing injury battle ahead of decisive qualifiers”. The Associated Press. November 10, 2021.