Belarus vs. Spain: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

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Belarus vs. Spain: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Dynamo Stadium in Minsk, Belarus will host Belarus vs. Spain in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match. The current European and world champions Spain will look to notch their second victory in the qualifiers, while Belarus hope to turn their luck around following two consecutive defeats.

As far as ranking is concerned, the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings would lead you to believe that Belarus are terribly outmatched. Spain are in first place while Belarus is in 87th. Belarus should not be so easily overlooked, though.

Don't be fooled by Spain's first place ranking, either. They hardly escaped their first qualifier with a win. Thanks to a late game goal from Roberto Soldado, Spain was able to defeat Georgia 1-0.

Both teams will need to step up offensively. One goal in two games is not enough offensive production for Belarus to contend with Spain. On the other hand, Spain are much more offensively capable than they demonstrated against Georgia.

With a win on Friday, Spain hope to tie France for first place in the Group I rankings. Belarus' home advantage may prove to be a lofty challenge for Spain to overcome to secure the three points needed.

 

Where: Dynamo Stadium, Minsk, Belarus

When: 2:00 p.m. ET

TV/Live Stream: Watch ESPN

EuroFootball/Getty Images
Vitaly Rodionov scored a goal for BATE in their 3-1 victory over Munich.

 

Players to watch for Belarus:

Vitaly Rodionov has a decent amount of World Cup Qualifier experience. His eight matches are split evenly between four wins and four losses. In addition, he has two goals in those eight games. With Belarus' stagnant offense, they need strikers to step up.

BATE Borisov upset Bayern Munich on Oct. 2, ending the German club's nine-game winning streak. Rodionov's goal was one of three scored in BATE's 3-1 win. Rodionov can be a difference-maker for Belarus if he can score again in the same stadium that BATE shocked Munich.

Alexander Hleb is another Belarusian to look out for. With 55 appearances representing Belarus, Hleb has the most experience. He's scored six goals in those 55 appearances. Belarus is going to need all the offensive contributions their midfielders have to offer if they want to have any hope of beating Spain.

 

Players to watch for Spain:

Roberto Soldado is on fire. He has two goals in four games this season with Valencia. He was also Spain's lone scorer in their 1-0 win over Georgia in the club's first 2014 World Cup Qualifier.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Look out for striker Roberto Soldado on Friday.

Spain are seeing similar offensive production from other strikers—namely David Villa. Villa has scored thrice in his five outings with Barcelona this season. In 83 appearances with Spain's national team, Villa has 52 goals.

Soldado and Villa will definitely be testing Belarus' goalkeeper. With the offensive depth that Spain have between their forwards and midfielders, there is a plethora of players who could score on Friday.

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas should also have a solid performance. As Real Madrid's goalkeeper, Casillas is averaging one goal against per game this season. Whatever offense Belarus can put together will likely be halted by the veteran goalkeeper.

 

Prediction: 

The home field advantage is one of few things working in Belarus' favor. It worked in BATE upsetting Munich but it probably won't be enough to overcome Spain. Especially considering Spain's depth, Belarus is terribly outmatched.

Spain wins 3-0.

 

Michael Prunka is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist and Sports Writing Intern. To stay up to date with his WWE and NHL commentary, you can like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and follow him on Tout.

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