Spain Eye Winning Start in FIFA World Cup Qualifying Opener

Updated: 03 September 2016 17:53 IST

After failing to make it to the quarters of Euro 2016, the Spanish national football team will look to kick off their 2018 World Cup qualifying with a win over Liechtenstein under new manager Julen Lopetegui

Spain Eye Winning Start in FIFA World Cup Qualifying Opener
Spain recently defeated Belgium 2-0 in an international friendly. © AFP

Madrid:

Spain's new chief coach Julen Lopetegui will expect his side to enjoy a comfortable start to the 2018 football World Cup qualifying tournament when they entertain Liechtenstein on Monday night.

Lopetegui can be pleased with his first game in charge after replacing Vicente del Bosque in summer as Spain produced a confident display to win 2-0 away to Belgium in an international friendly on Thursday.

The only disappointment in that game was the injury suffered by striker Alvaro Morata which forced him out midway through the first half.

Morata will be fit for Monday's game and Lopetegui will have to decide whether he continues with the Real Madrid striker or keeps substitute Diego Costa in the side after the controversial Brazilian-born frontman produced one of his best performances in a Spain shirt to force the penalty which allowed David Silva to seal the win.

Costa caused some controversies in a post-game interview on Thursday when he said he would receive better treatment from the press if he "either played for Madrid or Barcelona or had been born in Spain". Although he brushed over the discipline problems which at times make him a risk to his own side, he does have the support of the big guns in the side.

Although he is just one game into his term as Spain coach, Lopetegui has been able to restore optimism among the fans and that positive start should continue against a side expected to finish bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.

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Highlights
  • Spain will begin their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign on Monday
  • The Julen Lopetegui-managed side will take on Liechtenstein
  • Spain had failed to make it to the quarters at Euro 2016
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