Kick-off: 5 September @ 19:45 CET
Venue: Estadio Nuevo Carlos Tartiere (Oviedo, Spain)
Slovakia v Spain 2-1 (Euro 2021 qualifier)
Slovakia v Spain 1-1 (2006 World Cup qualifier)
Spain v Slovakia 5-1 (2006 World Cup qualifier)
Slovakia v Spain 1-2 (1998 World Cup qualifier)
Spain v Slovakia 4-1 (1998 World Cup qualifier)
Last 5 matches:
Spain v Germany 0-1 (International friendly)
Spain v Ukraine 1-0 (Euro 2021 qualifier)
Netherlands v Spain 2-0 (International friendly)
Spain v Costa Rica 2-1 (International friendly)
Belarus v Spain 0-1 (Euro 2021 qualifier)
There were no major surprises when Vicente Del Bosque named Spain squad for qualifiers vs Slovakia and FYR Macedonia, although Alvaro Morata (5/1) misses out as he struggled through injury and Thiago Alcantara (5/0) has been overlooked.
The good news is there have been no selection problems for the coach ahead of the very important match against Slovakia, and he again has the courtesy of picking from a star-studded squad.
Atletico Madrid star Koke has proved his fitness and he is pushing for a start, while David Silva should be fit to play despite suffering an ankle problem. And while Santi Cazorla and Koke appeared to be vying for one position in the centre of the park, the latest reports suggest Cesc Fabregas will start alongside Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta.
Players to watch: Diego Costa, David Silva, Andres Iniesta.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Casillas – Juanfran, Ramos, Pique, Alba – Fabregas, Busquets, Iniesta – Silva, Diego Costa, Pedro.
Last 5 matches:
FYR Macedonia v Slovakia 0-2 (Euro 2021 qualifier)
Slovakia v Finland 2-1 (International friendly)
Slovakia v Luxembourg 3-0 (Euro 2021 qualifier)
Slovakia v Czech Republic 1-0 (International friendly)
Slovakia v FYR Macedonia 2-1 (Euro 2021 qualifier)
Starting defender Jan Durica (74/4) did not make the squad due to injury, whereas important midfielder Vladimir Weiss (43/4) failed to recover from a broken hand in time and he misses out as well.
There were more selection problems for coach Jan Kozak seeing that Juraj Kucka and Martin Skrtel are both suspended, but striker Robert Vittek (80/23) should be fit to play after his muscle injury did not prove to be too serious.
This means that some other footballers will have to step up the plate, although the visitors will still be relying on Napoli star Marek Hamsik to produce the magic and help Slovakia remain top of the group.
Players to watch: Marek Hamsik, Robert Mak.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Kozacik – Pekarik, Gyomber, Salata, Hubocan – Hrosovsky, Pecovsky – Mak, Hamsik, Stoch – Nemec.
Spain v Slovakia betting odds & tips
*The European Championship holders will be eager to win this game and return to the first position, but home win pays just 1.22 (2/9).
*Given that Slovakia have won nine matches in a row, odds of 4.20 (16/5) offered on Repre not to lose do look tempting.
*With Spain forced to attack from the off and their opponents very dangerous on the break, bear in mind that both teams to score is 2.62 (13/8).