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Have Spain re-written the Tactics of Football/Soccer. Do we still need Center Forwards in the moden game?? Share your views with us..thnx
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Spain formation & selection

To a certain extent, it’s the same as always. The first nine names on the teamsheet are unquestionable (despite some reports Xavi could be dropped) but the balance and feel of the side changes according to the names of the centre-forward and the right-sided attacking midfielder.

The centre-forward – if you can call him that – seems likely to be Cesc Fabregas. You can take it as a process of elimination – Fernando Llorente hasn’t featured yet, Fernando Torres hasn’t convinced, Alvaro Negredo was invisible against Portugal – but it’s probably more accurate to look at the midfield battle. In basic terms Italy have a 4 v 3 in that zone, and having struggled to cope with Andrea Pirlo when it was a 3 v 3, del Bosque will want the extra midfielder to compete there, and possibly to put direct pressure upon Pirlo.

The right-midfielder will, in all probability, be David Silva. He’s started all five games, but so frequently the introduction of a proper winger, Jesus Navas, has made Spain more dangerous. The previous meeting against Italy was a fine example – OK, it was against a three-man defence, but with Italy’s full-backs likely to lack protection from ahead here, a natural wide player would stretch the play and create gaps for others. Silva will probably start the game but not finish it.

Italy formation and selection

Will Prandelli consider moving back to the 3-5-2? “In all honesty, no, I haven’t considered it,” he says. “We maintained a certain balance over the last few games, although we understood that during the match we can switch to a 3-5-2 if we want to.” That settles that.

Giorgio Chiellini should continue at left-back alongside his Juventus centre-back colleagues, and the real question is on the other side. Ignazio Abate is the natural option, but might not be fit. Christian Maggio is naturally right-sided, but is more of a wing-back than a full-back, so Federico Balzaretti is more likely to continue – he played well there against Germany, though is probably the weakest of the three players going forward from that flank, as he’s played at left-back for the past few years.

Elsewhere the only slight question is at the top of the diamond. Thiago Motta did well against Spain in the first game, but lost his place to Riccardo Montolivo because of injury. There’s no reason he should get it back – Montolivo’s forward-playing destroyer role worked brilliantly against Germany, although this drains his energy, which means Motta has a good chance of replacing him midway through the game.
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