X

Spain vs. Macedonia: World Cup 2018 Qualifying Live Stream, Preview

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2016

Italy's defender Leonardo Bonucci (R) fights for the ball with Spain's forward Artiz Aduriz Zubeldia during the friendly football match between Italy and Spain at 'Friuli-Dacia Arena' Stadium in Udine on March 24, 2016. / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE        (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty Images

Spain will be expected to make light work of Macedonia in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes in Granada on Saturday. The Spaniards are unbeaten in their last four, while the visitors are on a disappointing run of four straight defeats.

Spain have been in prolific form, scoring 11 goals in their last three qualifying matches. Forwards such as Diego Costa, Nolito and Alvaro Morata have all been in fine form for manager Julen Lopetegui.

Here is the schedule, along with streaming details.

      

Date: Saturday, November 12

Time: 7:45 p.m. (GMT). 2:45 p.m. (ET).

Live Stream: Sky Go. Now TV. WatchESPN.

     

Preview

Lopetegui has been experimenting with different formations since he succeeded Vicente del Bosque in the summer. The former Porto chief has used both a back four and a back three in recent matches.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Yet his options in defence are thinned for this game. Both Barcelona's Gerard Pique and Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, two international linchpins, are expected to miss out.

However, theirs are just part of a spate of injuries facing Lopetegui. His main concern will be compensating for being without Costa.

Injured Costa will be a big miss.
Injured Costa will be a big miss.ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

The Chelsea striker has been ruled out of Spain's next two matches, including the friendly against England on Tuesday, with a groin injury, per BBC Sport. His absence could give an opportunity to Athletic Bilbao target man Aritz Aduriz.

The 35-year-old is back in the squad and told the press he's ready to contribute: "I am delighted and extremely grateful to return and happy to be with the best to try to help."

Another player keen to make the most of a return to the international scene is Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata. He's been in fine form for the Red Devils this season, scoring three times and providing an assist in all competitions, per WhoScored.com.

As they often do, Macedonia will rely on Goran Pandev for goals and inspiration in the final third. The 33-year-old Genoa forward still has the knowhow to punish an injury-hit Spain defence.

Pandev is still the main man for his nation.
Pandev is still the main man for his nation.Claudio Villa/Getty Images

However, even if Pandev is firing, La Roja have too much guile in midfield and brawn up top not to win by a convincing margin in Granada.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.