Back to the drawing board after Spain squad announcement


Today’s announcement of Spain’s squad to face Ecuador next Wednesday has thrown up some conundrums for Fantasy managers, with the players omitted from the squad likely to force a reshuffle amongst many a Fantasy line-up.

Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and Roberto Soldado have not been included, whereas Santi Cazorla, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Man City’s trio of David Silva, Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo will all travel to Ecuador.

The full squad is as follows.

Spain squad to face Ecuador: Casillas, Reina, Valdes, Arbeloa, Azpilicueta, Inigo Martinez, Albiol, Ramos, Javi Martinez, Cazorla, Iniesta, Isco, Thiago, Koke, Navas, Silva, Fabregas, Negredo, Llorente, Tello.

What does this mean? From a Chelsea perspective, Jose Mourinho had previously stated that he would look to rest his Spanish trio should they travel to Ecuador, therefore limiting the appeal of Mata and heightening Lukaku’s appeal, should Torres be called up.

With Mata and Torres rested, suddenly Lakaku’s chances of starting against Hull are less secure, while Mata could well be set to start both games in the double.

I’m suddenly looking at my team and wondering whether I need to revert to a pre-prepared team with Mata in it. In fact, I’m teetering over the transfers button!

Fantasy managers with Branislav Ivanovic should now feel confident that their man will start the first game at right-back, with Azpilicueta facing the long haul trip to Ecuador.

While the announcement could be bad news for Lukaku, it’s perhaps good news for Edin Dzeko and Roberto Soldado.

Granted, Man City don’t play until Monday night, but Dzeko’s prospects of starting look improved with Negrado being called up. Elsewhere at City, the midfield duo of Silva and Navas should be monitored while away on international duty, prior to Fantasy managers opting for them ahead of the opener against Newcastle.

Finally, Soldado’s absence from the squad surely boosts his chances of starting Tottenham’s opener against Crystal Palace, although I still have an inkling that he may be eased in from the bench for that game.

The clock is ticking but the dilemmas don’t get any easier, do they? Happy tinkering!