International friendly: Spain vs Tunisia – Lineups, Preview and Prediction
2010 World Cup winners Spain face Tunisia as both sides prepare for the tournament at Krasnodar Stadium in Russia.
19:45 BST, Saturday 9 June, Krasnodar Stadium (Krasnodar, Russia)
Spain disappointed last time out as they drew 1-1 with Switzerland at home, though they dominated the game.
They lined up with a strong side as Diego Costa, Andres Iniesta, David de Gea, David Silva, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba all featured.
Tunisia, on the other hand, are undefeated in their last nine games and secured a 2-2 draw last time out against Turkey.
Their hopes at the World Cup lie solely on the shoulders of Sunderland player Wahbi Khazri who will also be playing for a transfer at this summer’s competition.
Last time these two sides face each other was at the 2006 World Cup where Spain ran out 3-1 winners.
Spain could welcome back Real Madrid stars Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Marco Asensio and Isco to their starting lineup.
We predict that they will field their strongest lineup against Tunisia in order to be fully prepared for the tournament.
Tunisia should welcome Wahbi Khazri back to their side after he sat out their 2-2 draw against Turkey.
Other than that there seem to be no real injury concerns for Nabil Maâloul’s team.
Keymen: David Silva (Spain) vs Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia)
On paper this game should easily fall to Spain, they have far more quality than their opponents. But can Wahbi Khazri inspire his side to victory?
His skill, trickery, and quality have been there for all to see this past season and his record in the Premier League at Sunderland was pretty good too.
David Silva is the heartbeat of this Spain side and his passing ability will be key for Spain if they want to head into the World Cup on the back of a victory.
It will be interesting to see if these two players can influence this game in the way that we know they can.
Europe’s best against Africa’s best?
Is this a matchup between the two best sides from Europe and Africa? Tunisia have been performing admirably over the last year and Spain are always contenders to win international honours.
You could most certainly argue that the crème de la crème of the world are meeting in this fixture.
Can Spain bounce back from Switzerland disappointment?
Despite dominating against Switzerland, Spain could not see the game through. The World Cup requires teams to be ruthless if they are to progress.
With that in mind, Spain ought to assert their dominance and make sure that they make their quality count. If they struggle to putaway Tunisia, then alarm bells may be ringing for the former World Champions.
Prediction: Spain 2-1 Tunisia
This will not be an easy game for Julen Lopetegui and his side, but a victory should be the expectation and we think they can get it.
Spain have such quality across the pitch that they should be able to deal with everything Tunisia throws at them. A victory is a must for the Spanish to build some momentum.
Listen to the RealSport football writers discuss the ins and outs of Group A of the World Cup in Kremlins in the Basement: RealSport’s daily World Cup podcast.