According to FootballEspana, Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta is a doubt for Spain’s Round of 16 clash against Morocco after he missed the group training of La Roja ahead of their important game tomorrow.
Azpilicueta has featured in all of Spain’s games so far, starting in a couple of them but had to be taken off in the game against Japan due to an injury issue. The Spaniard was replaced by Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal and it’s not evident if the Blues captain is fit for tomorrow.
Spain finished second in their group just behind Japan and will now face Morocco in an all-important clash. Luis Enrique’s side have played some excellent football at the World Cup but the ghosts of previous years have come back to haunt them as they lack the clinical touch in front of the goal.
It’s funny to say that about a team that just beat Costa Rica 7-0 a couple of matches ago but that was a one-off and we did see that against Japan and Germany, they failed to put their chances away despite being the superior team on the night.
A win against Morocco tomorrow should set them up beautifully for a clash against Portugal or Switzerland in the quarterfinals and Spain look to go on a long run in this tournament. It will not be easy but Spain have the quality to do just that.
In the absence of Azpilicueta should he miss the game, Spain are likely to use Dani Carvajal as the right-back again although Marcos Llorente and Eric Garcia are also contenders to play in that position should Enrique choose to shuffle up things.
After a contract saga in the summer when Azpilicueta seemed to be close to leaving the club a number of times to Barcelona, the Spaniard chose to stay with us and he has been as solid as usual for us whenever he has been given an opportunity.
Azpilicueta himself came out and admitted today that the new owners of Chelsea who wanted to keep him at all costs made him change his mind and stay at Stamford Bridge and did reveal that Barcelona coach Xavi would have understood the fact that London is his home.
Let’s hope that our captain can recover from his knock and help Spain at the World Cup, before he returns to club duty and helps the Blues have a better second half to what has been a very poor season.