Spain - China Preview: Champions aim to go into Euro 2012 on a high

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SPAIN

Casillas
Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba
Xabi Alonso, Busquets
Silva, Xavi, Iniesta
Torres
CHINA

Zeng
Zhang, Feng, Zheng, Zheng
Xhao, Liu
Yu, Hao,
Yu
Gao

Despite the injury-enforced absences of David Villa and Carles Puyol, Spain boast a strong squad going into Euro 2012 and will be confident of a resounding win against China in Seville in their final friendly before their Group C opener versus Italy on June 10.

Coach Vicente del Bosque welcomes back players from Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, who delayed meeting up with the team after the Copa del Rey final, so Gerard Pique, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente should all play some part in the match.

However, the players who featured in the recent 4-1 victory over South Korea, such as Valencia striker Roberto Soldado, Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez, and Betis midfielder Benat will all be going home after being cut from the provisional squad. Playmaker Cesc Fabregas is unlikely to be on the pitch ahead of the tournament as he is still nursing a muscle injury.

China coach Jose Antonio Camacho comes up against a familiar foe as he takes on the side he managed between 1998 and 2002, when he led La Roja to the quarter-finals of Euro 2000 and the World Cup two years later.

Seven members of his squad come from Guangzhou Evergrande, but those players, including striker Gao Lin, may only feature for limited minutes after earning a place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over FC Tokyo on Wednesday evening.

Camacho admitted there is "a big distance" in quality between the two sides, but hopes to see some positive signs from his team during the match to highlight the improvements made in winning their last three matches.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Spain have won all three of their friendlies so far in the year 2012, defeating Venezuela, Serbia and South Korea and only conceding one goal during that time.
  • Iker Casillas broke the international record for wins, earning his 95th victory with Spain after coming on a substitute in the 4-1 win over South Korea.
  • Fernando Torres bagged his 28th goal for La Furia Roja in the same match to open the scoring.
  • China last faced Spain in 2005, losing the friendly 3-0 with Torres, Xavi, and Joaquin on the scoresheet.
  • Only one player from the squad plays his club football in Europe: Zhang Chengdong of Beira Mar.
  • China are already out of the running for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, having failed to get past the third round of qualification from the Asian Football Confederation

Want to check out Spain's competition in the Euros? Watch Croatia’s friendlies LIVE!

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