Spain’s Negredo set to be Del Bosque's favoured striker

AFP, Wednesday 13 Jun 2012

Sevilla's Negredo is likely to play role of striker for Spain in Thursday's Euro 2012 match against Ireland

Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque (R) stands on the pitch next to his player Alvaro Negredo after a training session at Gniewino (photo: Reuters)

Alvaro Negredo looks to be the favourite to play in the striker's role for defending champions Spain in Thursday's Euro 2012 match with the Republic of Ireland based on their past two training sessions.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque raised eyebrows when he opted not to deploy a recognised striker in their opening 1-1 draw with Italy but it looks like he is not going to repeat that against the Irish.

The Irish are bottom of the table after losing their opener 3-1 to Croatia.

Wednesday's eve of match training session – which the Spanish preferred to do at their base camp here rather than at the stadium in Gdansk whose playing surface they heavily criticised following the Italy game – saw Negredo partner Fernando Torres in a training game.

While Del Bosque has fooled people in the past over his line-ups in competitive games as opposed to the ones in training matches Negredo looked to be in splendid form as he scored a spectacular goal.

On Tuesday it had been Negredo – who missed out on the World Cup squad two years ago – allied up front with Fernando Llorente in the first choice side in the training match.

The 26-year-old Sevilla striker – nicknamed "The Shark" – has shown terrific scoring form in La Liga over the past two seasons, his 20-goal tally in 2009-10 being followed by 14 goals in La Liga last term.

He has also got an eyecatching record for the national side as he scored five times in his first six appearances for La Roja.

There is also a possibility Del Bosque will sacrifice one of his two defensive midfielders – Sergi Busquets or Xabi Alonso – for an attacking midfielder as their goalscorer from the Italy game Cesc Fabregas is due to appear at the eve of match press conference later.

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