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Sam Marsden’s Spain v Sweden preview: captain Busquets likely out, but Spain to keep faith in possession

| 10.06.2021

Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Spain throughout Euro 2020

Spain’s preparations for Euro 2020 have been derailed in the week leading up to the tournament after Sergio Busquets tested positive for coronavirus last Sunday, forcing the rest of the squad into self-isolation.

In the meantime, the players, who were all vaccinated on Friday, have been forced to train individually, with the U21s drafted in for Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Lithuania. A “parallel bubble” squad has also been built, with players not in Luis Enrique’s original squad summoned in case of a more severe coronavirus outbreak.

However, only captain Busquets looks set to miss Monday’s opener against Sweden in Sevilla. The emphasis will remain on midfield and possession even without Busquets, though, with Thiago Alcantara, Rodri, Koke, Pedri and Fabian Ruiz all jostling for places.

A goalless draw with Portugal last weekend suggests Spain can keep things tight at the back, with Unai Simon in goal behind Pau Torres and Aymeric Laporte, but goals have been hard to come by. Alvaro Morata looks set to get the nod ahead of Gerard Moreno in attack, with support from either Dani Olmo or Ferran Torres.

Check out the latest Euro 2020 odds.



Sam Marsden

Samuel Marsden is a sports journalist who covers Spanish football for ESPN and the Catalan newspaper Diario SPORT.

He has been based in Barcelona for eight years but regularly travels to Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla and all across Spain to cover La Liga, the Champions League and the Spanish national team.

He primarily focuses on Barca and has interviewed Javier Mascherano, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Luis Suarez and Frenkie de Jong, among others, in recent seasons.

Prior to his current work, he freelanced for the Daily Mirror, Goal, Bleacher Report and the BBC.

Sam is originally from Cornwall, England, but is a Burnley fan, for which he blames his dad.