Lopetegui, Aduriz and a three man defence
25 man squad
Julen Lopetegui announced his third squad as Spanish national team coach yesterday with a debut call-up for Escudero and the return of Aduriz, who has found his goal scoring touch again. Sergio Asenjo is also back in favour and will be the third goalkeeper in the squad. Three players that I feel warrant a call-up and time will tell on the roles they will play in the forthcoming international games. What these call-ups do show is that Lopetegui's radar is active and he is prepared to draft in players on merit. This latest squad list is extensive (25 players) and it doesn't include four guarantees, Piqué, Ramos, Alba and Iniesta who are missing through injury.
Return of Aduriz
I'm happy to see Aduriz back, fresh from his five midweek goals against Genk, and leaving behind the record held by Zaldúa. Aduriz's situation is rare finding the the form of his career in his thirties. He has a habit of scoring goals and he provides a great alternative to both Diego Costa and Morata, both traditional counter attacking forwards. The Athletic striker still has great movement, especially useful against tight defensive line-ups and with his experience he can provide an invaluable alternative for Lopetegui.
3 man rear-guard v Macedonia?
I will be interested also to see how Escudero and Azpilicueta fare. Escudero plays well in the Sevilla on the left side of a three man defence and Azpilicueta is adapt at playing as the central figure in a three man rear-guard. I get the feeling that Lopetegui may look to use this formation and indeed has employed a three man defence at the end of recent games. Generally Spain find themselves playing against teams who sit deep and like to counter attack. This three man back line strategy makes perfect sense especially when we face Macedonia next Saturday in Granada. Another formation may be needed however in the following week's attractive friendly game against England at Wembley.
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