Predicted Spain XI to play Netherlands - Manchester City star, Chelsea target to start

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Match to be played on Friday 13th June 2014 at 20:00. Venue: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.

Spain get their World Cup campaign under way this evening with a difficult match against the side they defeated in the 2010 final in South Africa.

Spain are one of the big favourites to win the tournament and it will be interesting to see if they can make it four major titles in a row, following back-to-back European championships and the last World Cup.

Here’s the side Vicente Del Bosque may select this evening.

GK – Iker Casillas

It will be harsh on Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea but Casillas has the experience to organise the back four and make big saves in an important opener.

RB – Juanfran

Plenty of pace and skill in possession down the right hand side is important. Juanfran may be someone who the Dutch target.

CB – Sergio Ramos

Ramos will be a key figure in the heart of Spain’s defence. He’s just come off the back of a good season with Real Madrid and will be full of confidence.

CB – Javi Martinez

Martinez has been used in central defence by Del Bosque in friendly games and training. The Bayern star reads the game superbly.

LB – Jordi Alba

The Barcelona man will feel he needs to put in some good displays after a disappointing season with Barcelona.

RM – Pedro

It’s important for Spain to have quick and skilful players in wide areas. Pedro is someone who can get up and down the right, nudging in centrally if he needs to.

CM – Xavi

It would be a major surprise if the experienced Barcelona man didn’t feature. His ability to control a game and pull the strings is well known.

CM – Xabi Alonso

The ex-Liverpool man is the perfect player to have controlling the region between Spain’s defence and midfield. He’s not a typical holding player but reads the game well and cuts out danger.

CM – Andres Iniesta

Iniesta also has to play. He’ll be the driving force from the midfield and the player urged to flood forward and support the attack.

LM – David Silva

Silva has been playing towards the left for the majority of his Manchester City career. If Del Bosque wants to control the game then Silva is the ideal man to have on that side.

ST – Diego Costa

The Chelsea linked striker will start if he’s fully fit. He has the ability to be the top scorer at the end of this tournament.

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