Spain will lock horns with Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium on Thursday as they look to seal their place in the Knockout rounds of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Spaniards were held to a 1-1 draw by Germany in their last outing so they will be looking to go back to winning ways and produce a similar showing as the 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica in their opening match.
Luis Enrique would likely opt for a 4-3-3 formation and is expected to make a single change in the starting XI. Gavi will drop to the bench making way for an experienced Koke to dominate in the central areas of the pitch.
4-3-3 Spain Predicted Line Up Vs Japan
Unai Simon will operate in between the sticks for Spain as he hopes to keep a clean sheet after conceding one goal against the Germans. Rodri will resume his defensive partnership with Aymeric Laporte at the heart of Spain’s backline as they try to keep things solid in the defensive third of the field.
Dani Carvajal will continue as the right-back along with Jordi Alba who will hope to use his pace well on the other flank as the left-back. Both of them will get to go forward on the attack as they stretch the opposition while keeping their shape defensively.
Eric Garcia and Cesar Azpilicueta will offer cover for the defensive positions on the bench.
Pedri, Sergio Busquets and Koke will make up Enrique’s midfield as they focus on dominating possession at the centre of the park and producing clear-cut chances to win this final game of the World Cup group stages.
Both Pedri and Koke will be responsible for setting up the front three for Spain as they make a few decisive passes down the middle.
Gavi and Carlos Soler will have to settle for a spot on the bench as they wait for their chance to shine in the second half of the game if Enrique decides to call upon their services.
Dani Olmo will function as the left-winger while Ferran Torres looks to give a good account of himself from the right flank. They will be asked to cut inside and create openings inside the opposition’s penalty box.
Alvaro Morata will lead the charge for the Spanish national side in the final third. He will be eager to put in a good display and make a difference for his nation as he fancies his chances of finding the back of the net.
Marco Asensio and Ansu Fati will take a spot on the bench but might come on to influence the game in the latter stages if Spain are in need of a goal by then.