Spain to face Bosnia without players from Real and Atletico

Spain are preparing to take on Bosnia-Herzegovina Sunday, without any players from Champions League finalists Atletico and Real Madrid, in an interesting warm-up game ahead of Euro 2016.

Veteran manager Vicente del Bosque - who is planning to retire after the Euros - will have to get by without the Madrid-based likes of Dani Carvajal, Juanfran, Sergio Ramos, Isco, Koke and Saul.

But instead of complaining, the phlegmatic, stoical Del Bosque has tried to put a brave face on the situation, saying: "It is wonderful that two Spanish teams have reached the Champions League final.

"It's true that this situation delays our preparation for the Euros, but we should not be too negative about that.

"Sunday's game will be a chance to look at some new players, at players who are often on the sidelines at international level."

The players that are in line for a rare start include Sergio Rico, Cesar Azplicueta, Marc Bartra, Mikel San Jose, Thiago, Bruno Soriano and Nolito.

Azpilicueta of Chelsea is certain to start, given that Carvajal and Juanfran - Spain's other right-backs - are in Milan for the Champions final.

"We are trying to prepare for the Euros in the best possible fashion, despite the absence of the players from the Madrid teams," Azpilicueta said.

"I just want to be useful for the team, whether at right-back or left-back...There is a lot of competition to be in the squad.

"We are the defending champions (trying to be the first country to win three straight Euros) and we have to aim high. We will be trying to improve our image after the disaster at the World Cup (in 2014, when holders Spain crashed out in the first round).

"What happened to us in Brazil (at the World Cup) has made us a stronger group, I think."

Azpilicueta admitted that "it has been a tough year at Chelsea. But now I have the chance to revert the situation by doing well at the Euros."

Sunday's game against Bosnia - who failed to make the cut for the Euros - will be played in the small Swiss town of Saint-Gallen.

Since Thursday Spain have been installed at a training camp in Schruns, Austria, a town which has good memories for them since they were based there during Euro 2008 - when their unprecedented cycle of triumphs started.

Del Bosque has to discard three players from his 25-man squad before he announces his definitive list June 1.

Spain's other warm-up matches - with the Madrid-based players available - will be against South Korea June 1 and against Georgia June 7.

Last update: Fri, 27/05/2016 - 14:58
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