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International friendly preview: Spain v Uruguay

Spain and Uruguay will meet on the international stage for the first time since August 2005, when they clash in a friendly on Wednesday.

The two sides will go head-to-head at Khalifa International Stadium, after the Qatar government paid the Spanish football federation close to US$4million to switch the friendly from Portugal to Doha.

The South American nation have never beaten Spain in five meetings, with three draws and two wins to the current European and world champions.

It will be a tough ask for Oscar Tabarez’s men to break their duck against the top-ranked Spain, especially given the Uruguayans’ poor form.

They have lost three of their past four World Cup qualifiers, drawing the other, and have not kept a clean sheet in their past five overall.

A 4-1 loss to Bolivia stood out as a poor result in October, but they did bounce back to finish 2012 on a high with a 3-1 win over Poland in a friendly.

Spain, meanwhile, have been mixing World Cup qualifiers with friendlies against lesser nations, and regardless of opposition, they always seem to let their quality shine.

A 5-1 win over Panama last start was preceded by a 1-1 draw with France in qualifying, with Olivier Giroud denying them at the death.

Their other two qualifiers of note were 1-0 and 4-0 wins over Georgia and Belarus respectively, with neither as worthy opponents as Uruguay – who are ranked 16th.

Already ruled out for Spain is Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso, after he pulled out with a groin injury.

Uruguay have confirmed Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez will be in the squad for their trip to the Middle East.

Tue 5 Feb, 2013
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