Rodri backs Spain squad to cope with three key absences against France

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Rodri is confident Spain can overcome the absence of three key players tonight and see off France to secure a place in the final of Euro 2024.

Luis de la Fuente cannot call upon defenders Dani Carvajal and Robin Le Normand through suspension while midfielder Pedri has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to an injury sustained following a heavy challenge from Toni Kroos in the quarter-final win over Germany.

Dani Olmo, who was outstanding against the Germans, will start in midfield with 38-year-old Jesus Navas and Nacho expected to come into the back four.

It’s an unwanted reshuffle but Manchester City star Rodri does not feel it will damage Spain’s chances.

He told “As you have seen throughout the tournament, there have been a lot of players who have come into our team and been important. 

“In the quarter-final against Germany, Mikel Merino and Dani Olmo didn’t start but were decisive for us.

“This speaks about the importance of our entire squad. We have important absences but that means the guys who come in are going to do even more, are going to run more. It is what it is. I’m pretty sure the team won’t notice any difference and we’re very confident.”

A France player has yet to score from open play in the tournament, leading to a barrage of criticism from the media, and Rodri expects another tight game in Munich.

“You want to be focused completely on winning and you have to continue that absolute focus for at least 90 minutes,” he added. 

“It’s about details because we’re both good teams out there and we know each other very well. There won’t be many great chances in the game, so we have to pay attention to what they’re going to do and try to be effective in what we do to try to affect them.”

De la Fuente is paying little attention to France’s troubles in front of goal and acknowledges the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele will always carry a threat.

He said: “We can all see the trajectories which have brought these teams here and what those trajectories say. But this is an entirely new, different match. 

“They are full of players who usually score frequently and we don’t want that to start again.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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