SPAIN - BOSNIA

Experimental Del Bosque to lean on youth against Bosnia

The Spain manager is still without his full complement and will hand out a raft of debuts during the pre-Euro 2016 warm-up against Bosnia.

Experimental Del Bosque to lean on youth against Bosnia
Juan Flor

Spain play Bosnia on Sunday afternoon in their first warm-up game for Euro 2016. Vicente del Bosque has at his disposal 29 players at the moment, but he will use those that have been with the squad since the beginning of preparations for the tournament in France, including some of the younger players who have been filling in for the absent members of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético.

That will mean an unrecognisable Spain team, with some familiar faces such as Pedro, Cesc Fàbregas and David Silva in the first half, and a completely different look in the second when the manager will hand a first cap to some of the next generation of Roja payers. The game in St. Gallen will go down in history as featuring the most debutants in a single match, excepting of course Spain’s first ever international, which was played on August 28, 1920. Since Del Bosque took charge of the national team in 2008 he has handed debuts to 60 players. At the end of Sunday’s match that number will be closer to 70.

The veteran coach has been so impressed with some of the new incorporations that some will get a longer stay than initially expected. Most will return to Spain on Monday but it is likely Héctor Bellerín will be called into the squad if the injury Dani Carvajal sustained in the Champions League final rules the Real full back out of the tournament.

There are other things to look out for. Among them the performances of Aritz Aduriz and Álvaro Morata, who will bear the responsibility for goals in France. It is possible that Del Bosque will opt to play with just one striker, but in support will be Nolito, for whom the manager has high hopes. Del Bosque has full faith in his defensive set-up and considers the arrival of Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets in full fitness and form key to Spain’s title defence. On Sunday he will have a chance to run the rule over his back-ups (Jorge Meré, Marc Bartra and Mikel San José) are up to the task as well.