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FIFA Confederations Cup, Group B preview
Photo Credit: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU, Getty Images

FIFA Confederations Cup, Group B preview

Jun 10 2013, 4:48am CDT | by

Rio de Janeiro, June 10 (IANS) Spain and Uruguay raise the Group B curtain at Recife's Arena Pernambuco Sunday in a fixture laden with European-based stars. The less-fancied Tahiti and Nigeria open their campaign the following day at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao.

Rio de Janeiro, June 10 — Spain and Uruguay raise the Group B curtain at Recife's Arena Pernambuco Sunday in a fixture laden with European-based stars. The less-fancied Tahiti and Nigeria open their...

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1 year ago

FIFA Confederations Cup, Group B preview

Jun 10 2013, 4:48am CDT | by

Rio de Janeiro, June 10 (IANS) Spain and Uruguay raise the Group B curtain at Recife's Arena Pernambuco Sunday in a fixture laden with European-based stars. The less-fancied Tahiti and Nigeria open their campaign the following day at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao.

Rio de Janeiro, June 10 — Spain and Uruguay raise the Group B curtain at Recife's Arena Pernambuco Sunday in a fixture laden with European-based stars. The less-fancied Tahiti and Nigeria open their campaign the following day at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao.

Perhaps this is not the most evenly-matched group in Confederations Cup history, but players of the ilk of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Luis Suarez and John Obi Mikel ensure it won't be short of quality, reports Xinhua.

Spain:

La Roja have won just about every accolade possible over the past five years but this is the one trophy to elude Vicente del Bosque's team.

The reigning world and European champions finished third in their only previous Confederations Cup appearance in 2009 and Del Bosque says the competition will be taken seriously.

"There are four world champions but also three other teams that deserve a lot of respect: Japan, the Olympic champions Mexico and Nigeria, who won the African Cup of Nations," Del Bosque said. "There is also Tahiti, which is a little bit of an unknown entity for us."

As expected, Barcelona and Real Madrid have provided the bulk of the squad with 13 of the 26 players named by Del Bosque.

The 62-year-old coach has recalled striker Fernando Torres after the 29-year-old scored an impressive 23 goals for Chelsea in 2012-13 while Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez also returns. Both players were overlooked for Spain's World Cup qualifiers against France and Finland in March.

Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso will miss the tournament after undergoing surgery on an injured groin.

Uruguay:

The two-time World Cup winners have been in steady decline since winning the 2011 Copa America tournament in Argentina.

La Celeste are in danger of missing the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after managing just two points from their past six South American qualifiers and slumping to seventh, three spots below the automatic qualification cut-off.

A 1-0 victory over France in Montevideo last week was the team's first against Les Bleus since 1966 and went some way to placating concerns about Tabarez's team.

Uruguay's strength in recent years has been their attack and this tournament will be no exception.

Tabarez will have the luxury of choosing between Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Napoli), Diego Forlan (Internacional) and Abel Hernandez (Palermo) to front his team.

Juventus defender Martin Caceres has been included after a car accident forced him out of two World Cup qualifiers in March.

Nigeria:

The Super Eagles have experienced something of a renaissance in the past two years under manager Stephen Keshi.

Having achieved an all-time high world ranking of fifth in 1994, Nigeria missed the 2006 World Cup in Germany and failed to progress beyond the group stage in South Africa four years later.

But Keshi's men reinforced their resurgence as a regional force by winning the 2013 African Cup of Nations in February with a 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in the final.

They are also well-placed in their quest for a 2014 World Cup berth, heading Africa's Group F with eight points from four matches in the second round of qualifiers.

Nigeria's Confederations Cup squad includes Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel as well as Maccabi Tel Aviv goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. The team will be without Mikel's Blues teammate Victor Moses and former Almeria midfielder Kalu Uche due to injury.

Tahiti:

The tiny Pacific island-nation earned a ticket to Brazil with a 1-0 victory over New Caledonia in the 2012 Oceania Nations Cup.

Steevy Chong Hue struck the winning goal and became a national hero overnight in a country renowned more for its idyllic beaches than football.

Tahiti's side is made up mostly of amateurs but coach Eddy Etaeta has insisted the team will be no walkovers for their Confederations Cup rivals.

Etaeta might draw encouragement from the fact Oceania provided a finalist for the 1997 tournament when Australia reached the decider against Brazil.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
11

3 weeks ago

Torres: Not finished with Spain

Nov 3 2014 9:33am CST | Source: Football Italia

Milan forward Fernando Torres says that he still wants to be involved with Vicente del Bosque’s Spain in the ...
Source: Football Italia   Full article at: Football Italia
 

 
Update
10

3 weeks ago

Chelsea Will Have Star Striker Available For QPR Clash Claims Jose Mourinho

Oct 31 2014 12:46pm CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Diego Costa will be available and is in line for a start against QPR at Stamford Bridge this weekend according to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho... Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that summer signing Diego Costa is available for the game at Stamford Bridge against QPR this Saturday, according to ESPN. SEE MORE: Thorgan Hazard Goal Video: Thorgan Hazard reminds Chelsea of his quality with a finish Eden would be proud of. Walcott Start Burnley: Arse ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
9

3 weeks ago

Jose Mourinho confirms Diego Costa return as Vicente Del Bosque war of words continues

Oct 31 2014 8:38am CDT | Source: Mirror Football

The Spain boss has insisted he will remain stubborn over the Brazilian-born striker's playing time much to the anger of t ...
Source: Mirror Football   Full article at: Mirror Football
 

 
Update
8

4 weeks ago

Chelsea’s Diego Costa Mystery Takes Bizarre Twist As Doctor Denies Injury Exists

Oct 30 2014 2:01pm CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

The club and country battle rolls on as Costa misses the three games since his return from international duty. The back-and-forth between Chelsea and Spain over Diego Costa's injury has taken a strange turn, with the Spanish team's doctor denying the existence of the injury that has kept the striker out for three games. Costa was known to have an ongoing hamstring problem, which troubled him at the end of last s ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
7

4 weeks ago

Chelsea news: Vicente del Bosque won't back down in row with Jose Mourinho over Diego Costa

Oct 30 2014 7:39am CDT | Source: Football

Spain coach will be 'stubborn' about calling up Diego Costa despite Jose Mourinho's complaints about his condition aft ...
Source: Football   Full article at: Football
 

 
Update
5

4 weeks ago

Liverpool Make Offer for Quality Spanish Keeper to Replace Simon Mignolet

Oct 28 2014 5:51am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Anfield boss seeks to bring in alternative to faltering Belgian. Liverpool have reportedly made an opening offer for Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla with Brendan Rodgers seeking to replace Simon Mignolet according to the Metro. Read more: Read more Liverpool FC news. Valdes Liverpool: Free agent keeper on Anfield radar Belgian international Mignolet has come in for a fair amount of criticism in recent months and it a ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
4

4 weeks ago

Mourinho blames Del Bosque for Costa problems

Oct 28 2014 4:40am CDT | Source: Soccerway

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has blamed Spain coach Vicente del Bosque for Diego Costa's current injury pro ...
Source: Soccerway   Full article at: Soccerway
 

 
Update
3

4 weeks ago

Mourinho blames Del Bosque for Costa problems

Oct 28 2014 4:40am CDT | Source: Soccer News

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has blamed Spain coach Vicente del Bosque for Diego Costa’s current injury prob ...
Source: Soccer News   Full article at: Soccer News
 

 
Update
2

4 weeks ago

Chelsea boss Mourinho slams Del Bosque over Diego Costa injury

Oct 27 2014 9:59pm CDT | Source: Tribalfootball.com

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho blames Spain coach Vicente del Bosque for Diego Costa's injury. NO, This article does not meet Newsnow guidelines re ...
Source: Tribalfootball.com   Full article at: Tribalfootball.com
 

 
Update
1

5 weeks ago

Is Jose Mourinho Employing Mind Games Once More over Diego Costa Injury?

Oct 21 2014 7:26am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Jose Mourinho revealed this week that Diego Costa’s hamstring troubles have evolved from an “almost injury” into a problem that will see him sit out two games in a row for Chelsea, per Tony Banks of the Express. Having been left out of the squad which beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the Premier League, Costa is also set to miss the Champions League tie with NK Maribor. The Special One said before the international break that Costa could do with being left out of ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
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