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Hierro launches assault on Queiroz' bunker

It's going to be a siege, was how someone described it to me yesterday, and that's exactly what we used as today's headline in the newspaper. Spain will launch an assault on Carlos Queiroz's tight bunker, a manager who has led the Iranian team for seven years, where creating a solid defensive system has been a focus. In 15 of their last 19 official games they have kept a clean sheet. This includes their last outing in the opening group game in which they won 1-0 against Morocco, having only had two shots on goal in the first half and none in the second, but an own goal from the head of a Moroccan gave them victory. Examine every last detail of the opposite and then carry out your duties with everyone fully attentive, allowing no respite, that is the model. When you don't have great players, this is fundamental.

Effective attacks down both flanks

They tell me that Hierro rehearsed for this game with Carvajal and Lucas Vázquez on the right. The other day, against Portugal, we saw magnificent combinations on the left side with the use of the Iniesta-Isco-Alba triangle. On the other side the equivalent did not occur. Silva didn't shine, while Nacho and Koke don't possess the exquisite feet of those on the other flank. So, I imagine that the plan is to create on the right a partnership between Silva, Lucas Vázquez and Carvajal that can be just as effective. Up top, of course, is Diego Costa, who finally turned up for La Roja, something we'd been yearning for. De Gea will be in between the sticks, but we don't have much to fear as Iran will not be shooting at him. Or so I hope.

Balance | Carvajal to replace Nacho.

Goals the difference to top group

Spain have to win, and with a flurry of goals. The draw against Portugal means that the team to top the group will most likely be the one who bags the most, assuming, as we are, that they will both be victorious against Iran and Morocco. Russia looks to be heading towards winning Group A (six points and a +7 goal difference) and they look more and more dangerous, as they exhibit strength, good play and positive morale. Not an good enemy for the Last 16. Better to line up Uruguay, and for that it is necessary to win the group, starting today by building a good goal difference. The date will be remmebered as the day Pique entered the '100 caps club', and in which Spain already has eleven world champions. Let's see if that brings us luck.