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Stewart Coggin

Spain’s Secret Weapon?

By June 1, 2010

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The Spain team that won Euro 2008 two years ago will show little change at the World Cup. The first-choice team at that tournament consisted of: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Marchena, Puyol, Capdevila, Iniesta, Xavi, Senna, Silva, Villa and Torres.

Assuming Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta prove their fitness after missing the end of the club season through injury, coach Vicente Del Bosque's team to face Switzerland on June 16 will likely show two changes to that side: Gerard Pique in for Carlos Marchena and Xabi Alonso replacing the dropped Marcos Senna.

Sergio Busquets, the excellent Barcelona midfielder, is also in contention to play in Senna's position, but I am more intrigued by his clubmate Pedro Rodriguez.

The wide positions are already occupied by Andres Iniesta and David Silva, but the sprightly Pedro could be a superb option to bring off the bench against tiring opposition. He only made his debut against Saudi Arabia on Saturday but Del Bosque has such faith in the 22-year-old that he named him in his final squad despite never having fielded him.

Throughout the 2009-10 season Pedro had the happy knack of being in the right place at the right time to score some crucial goals. His season tally of 17 must have exceeded his wildest expectations and he could well prove the ace up Del Bosque's sleeve in South Africa.

He impressed in his 30-minute cameo role against the Saudis, showing a good mixture of pace and skill as Spain edged to a late 3-2 win.

To see the final and provisional squads, visit the World Cup section.

Jasper Juinen © Getty Images

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