SPAIN

Daily Mail - - World Cup 2018 -

THE BOSS FER­NANDO HIERRO

It doesn’t get much tougher than tak­ing over a team with 48 hours to go be­fore their World Cup opener. Spain re­main the strong­est side in the group but the 50-year-old must draw on all his ex­pe­ri­ence star­ring for Real Madrid if Spain are not to re­gret ditch­ing Real-bound Julen Lopetegui.

THE STAR DAVID SILVA

The Man City mid­fielder is given li­cence to roam. He dove­tails so well with An­dres Ini­esta. The in­ter­change be­tween these is key to Spain’s suc­cess.

THE PROSPECT MARCO ASEN­SIO

Hailed as the fu­ture for Real and Spain, the winger, 22, can shine with his pace and thun­der­ous left foot.

KEY STRENGTH

In David de Gea, Spain have the world’s best goal­keeper. His save per­cent­age of 80.3 this sea­son was the best in the Premier League.

BIG­GEST WEAK­NESS

Spain are slow starters — los­ing their openers in 2010 and 2014 — and the last-minute man­age­rial change will not help.

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