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World Cup: Holders Spain down but not out


World Cup: Holders Spain down but not out


Defending champions Spain are once again one of the pre-World Cup favourites but injuries concerns and fatigue continue to plague La Roja in the build up to FIFA’s flagship event.

Coach Vicente del Bosque will be sweating over the fitness of many of his star players from Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid who were involved in a tense fight for the La Liga title and Champions league crown.

The biggest concern lies with injured Atletico striker Diego Costa but his International team-mate and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea remained hopeful and said: “I’ve played a few years with him at Atletico Madrid. I think this year was spectacular for him. He is a player that makes the difference. He had an impressive year with Atletico and now we have to wait and hope he will recover in time to be able to play with us.”

25-year-old Costa hobbled out of the Champions League final on Saturday with a thigh muscle injury which needs ten days minimum to recover from while Man City’s Jesus Navas faces an anxious wait over an ankle injury as del Bosque prepares to name his final 23-man squad on Monday.

Del Bosque appears to be ready to cover his bases with Navas though after giving 20-year-old forward Gerard Deulofeu a surprise call up for the team’s warm-up match against Bolivia on Friday in Sevilla.

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