Madrid, Nov 17 (IANS) Spain coach Luis Enrique will make changes to his side when they play Bosnia-Herzegovina in Las Palmas on Sunday as he looks to find a way back to winning ways.
Spain’s 2-3 defeat to Croatia on Thursday night was their second defeat in two games after the 3-2 home defeat to England in October, reports Xinhua news agency.
Thursday saw several key players look below their best and the coach has to find a way to turn Spain’s form around and also to find solutions for the future of his side.
Sergio Busquets, Isco, Sergio Ramos, Marco Asensio, the recalled Jordi Alba and David de Gea all disappointed in Zagreb, with goalkeeper De Gea doing little to dispel the doubts over him in the World Cup finals.
The Manchester United keeper has conceded six goals in his last two appearances. Although it’s hard to say any of the goals was specifically his fault, Enrique will give some game time to Kepa Arrizabalaga or Pau Lopez in Las Palmas.
Ramos has had to withdraw from the squad with a groin injury and that absence will be coupled with that of Nacho Fernandez, who injured his knee before the Croatia game. Thus, Mario Hermoso is likely to start in defence, and Jony Otto and Gaya could also get their chance.
Rodri may get the chance to substitute Busquets, who has been looking jaded for Barcelona recently, while Pablo Fornals and Brais Mendez can also expect to make their debuts at some stage in the game.
However, after a winning start as coach, Enrique has a problem with key players below their best and he needs to find long-term replacements for Busquets and Ramos, as well as an in-form striker.
Although Sunday is a friendly match, it is important for Spain, with a win allowing Enrique to consider his solutions until March, while a third consecutive defeat would leave him with four months wondering how to get things right.