Spain vs Ukraine – Match preview and team news

Reigning European champions Spain will be looking to stay in touch with Group C leaders Slovakia with a win over Ukraine, with whom they are level on points.

After suffering defeat to Slovakia on October 9, Vicente Del Bosque’s side have hit back well, netting seven goals without reply in comprehensive wins over Luxembourg and Belarus. Those results went some way to silencing some of the doubters, but critical eyes will still be on them and their will be scrutiny if they do not finish top of the group.

With Slovakia playing the minnows of Luxembourg at home, it is unlikely they will be overhauled by either of these sides here, but Ukraine come into this having won their last three qualifiers, all without conceding a goal. The Euro 2012 co-hosts will be tough to break down, and have quality on both flanks through Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko.

Once again, Diego Costa is the high-profile absentee for Spain, who can, as always, expect to have the majority of the possession, but will be very wary of the counter-attack. In the Chelsea man’s absence, this could be another chance for rising Valencia star Paco Alcacer to enhance his reputation further, while Alvaro Morata will be hoping to have the opportunity to build on his fine form for Juventus.

Yarmolenko is the man in form for Ukraine, and along with Oleg Husyev recently helped Dyamo Kiev smash Everton in the Europa League. The club is also top of the league, and they highlight the potential danger the Spain defence could face in Seville.

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