MADRID (AP) — Spain will be without some key players when it hosts England in the UEFA Nations League, including Francisco “Isco” Alarcon, Dani Carvajal, and Diego Costa. Spain coach Luis Enrique left all three…
MADRID (AP) — Spain will be without some key players when it hosts England in the UEFA Nations League, including Francisco “Isco” Alarcon, Dani Carvajal, and Diego Costa.
Spain coach Luis Enrique left all three off on Thursday because of injuries. Sergi Roberto and Inigo Martinez are also out hurt.
Spain faces Wales in a friendly in Cardiff on Oct. 11, and four days later hosts England in Seville. A win against England will keep Spain at the top of Group 4 in the top-tier League A, in good position to reach the Nations League final four in June.
Costa was dropped from Luis Enrique’s first list in charge because of the birth of his child. On Wednesday, he had to leave Atletico Madrid’s Champions League match against Club Brugge because of an apparent muscle injury.
It wasn’t yet clear how long Costa will be sidelined, but Luis Enrique was at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium when the injury happened and said it made him not consider the striker for Thursday’s list. He did not say whether Costa was in the squad before getting hurt.
“After he got injured, it doesn’t matter anymore,” Luis Enrique said.
Costa immediately called to be substituted after passing to Antoine Griezmann for his second goal in Atletico’s 3-1 win.
Isco has recently undergone appendicitis surgery and will be sidelined for a few more weeks, while Carvajal, Martinez and Roberto are dealing with muscle injuries.
“I really lament not having all these players because of injuries, but the good thing is that this allows us to give opportunities to other players to show what they can do,” Luis Enrique said. “This creates competition within the group, which is something that I like.”
Midfielder Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion made it back to the national team after being left out of Luis Enrique’s first list, as did defender Marc Bartra. Striker Paco Alcacer, in good form with Borussia Dortmund, also was called up.
Wolverhampton Wanderers left back Jonny Otto was included for the first time, while Barcelona defender Jordi Alba again was left out.
Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea), Pau Lopez (Real Betis)
Defenders: Marc Bartra (Real Betis), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Jonny Otto (Wolverhampton), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Jose Luis Gaya (Valencia)