Big Sunday in Confederations Cup

Barcelona’s Victor Valdes is set to start as Spain’s goalkeeper in their Confederations Cup clash against Uruguay at the Arena Pernambuco on Sunday.

Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper Iker Casillas. PIC/AFP

Captain Iker Casillas featured in friendly wins over Haiti and the Republic of Ireland last week, but is unlikely to get the nod, as he has not played for his club side Real Madrid since January.

Coach Vicente del Bosque will have to choose between David Villa and Fernando Torres in attack, with Cesc Fabregas offering another alternative as a ‘false nine’ striker.

Uruguay forward Luis Suarez is available after missing Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier win over Venezuela through suspension. Boss Oscar Tabarez could name an attack-minded side with Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani all starting together.

‘No problems with Casillas’
Defender Alvaro Arbeloa meanwhile, is adamant that he has no problem with club and country captain Casillas. Arbeloa and goalkeeper Casillas have emerged from a fractious season in Madrid, where the former was controversially frozen out by manager Jose Mourinho.

Speaking to the press ahead of the game, he said: “I don’t have a problem with him, we have a good relationship and it won’t damage the national team. I have a professional relationship with some of my team-mates and I’m friends with others — just like in any workplace.  

Figure Trigger
* Spain are unbeaten in their last 22 matches, winning 15.
La Roja have never lost to Uruguay in six previous encounters (W3, D3).
Spain are taking part in only their second Confederations Cup. They finished third in 2009.
Uruguay have just won one of their last seven competitive matches (W1, D2, L4).
The Copa America winners lost 3-1 to Spain in a friendly in Qatar in February.
Luis Suarez is Uruguay’s top scorer in their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with eight goals.

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