Spain vs. Republic of Ireland: Complete Preview of Friendly at Yankee Stadium

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Spain vs. Republic of Ireland: Complete Preview of Friendly at Yankee Stadium
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Spain vs. Republic of Ireland

Venue: Yankee Stadium, New York

Date: Wednesday, 12 June (BST)

Kick-off: 8pm ET/1am BST

 

Spain will gear up for the Confederations Cup with a friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Yankee Stadium in New York.

The reigning world and European champions have had a mixed bag of results recently with a 1-1 shock home draw in World Cup Qualifying Group I at home to Finland followed by a 1-0 victory in France, which has helped to edge the Spanish above their rivals by a point at the top of the table.

In their most recent match, however, Spain defeated Haiti 2-1 in Miami on Saturday with goals from Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas

The Republic of Ireland will go into the game after two solid victories over Georgia and the Faroe Islands.

Giovanni Trappatoni's team hit a 7-0 aggregate across the two matches after drawing 1-1 with England in a friendly at Wembley.

The World Cup win over the Faroes raised hopes of an appearance at the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil, via the playoffs, as the team moved level at 11 points with Austria in Group C, five points behind leaders Germany.

 

Recent history

Spain rattled four goals past the Irish when the two sides met in the European Championship Finals a year ago.

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres scored twice in Gdansk, Poland, while David Silva and Fabregas also struck to dump the Republic out of the competition at the group stage.

The previous meeting between the two countries came in the 2002 World Cup Finals, where the Republic produced a creditable 1-1 draw in Suwon, South Korea, when Robbie Keane's 90th-minute penalty secured a point for Mick McCarthy's team after Fernando Morientes gave Spain an early lead.

 

Player to watch

LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane became the most-capped Republic of Ireland international with his 126th game in the win over the Faroe Islands, and he will be a familiar face for the crowd.

But the one man to watch is Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, who has been linked recently with a move to Arsenal and Chelsea this summer, according to Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Independent.

Trappatoni, himself, believes the game against Spain represents an opportunity to display his progress to the world, as BBC Sport reported.

Yesterday I said, 'James, in this game you have this great opportunity to play against the famous and most important players,' because I became famous when I was like James.

I played against Pele, Cruyff, Eusebio. They were the best players in the world. I grew because I took confidence because I could play against them.

I told McCarthy he must believe. He has vision, he has good shooting, but he can be more enterprising.

 

Team news

The Republic of Ireland will field a depleted team at Yankee Stadium with John O'Shea, Jon Walters, Wes Hoolahan, Glenn Whelan, Aiden McGeady, Shane Long and Richard Dunne all missing from the squad.

Spain will be without Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso after the former Liverpool star withdrew from the squad with a groin injury.

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