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Italy v Spain: Del Bosque keen to find attacking solutions

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque does not want the goalscoring burden to fall to his strikers in Thursday’s international friendly in Italy.

The European Champions defend their title in France in June but they head to the Stadio Friuli with Del Bosque still seemingly unsure over his best solution in attack.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa was left out of the squad having failed to impress on the international stage, while Paco Alcacer was chosen to lead the line towards the end of qualification for Euro 2016 but is without a Liga goal for Valencia in two months.

The onus could therefore fall upon Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, fresh from an impressive Champions League showing against Bayern Munich and a brace in the Turin derby, to deliver the goals.

Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao veteran Aritz Aduriz has been rewarded for a stunning return of 31 goals in 48 matches this term.

“We have not brought him in due to pressure but on merit,” Del Bosque told Mundo Deportivo of the 35-year-old, who is poised to add to the solitary cap he won against Lithuania in October 2010.

“Aduriz has got his rewards because he is playing well.

“I don’t think it [goalscoring] is the problem of the players individually, more of the team.

“We have to find the solution of faster transitions – everything that has to do with our attacking football.”

Sergio Busquets is back with Barcelona due to a broken finger, potentially paving the way for club team-mate Sergi Roberto to make an eagerly anticipated full international debut.

Del Bosque said: “We know him from the Under-21s and the main thing and the best thing is how he has adapted to different circumstances at Barcelona and performed everywhere. That was fundamental.

“He has not come with the attitude of ‘no, I’m a midfielder’. He has been told to play left back, then right back, right-side midfield. He has managed to behave on the field and play where he has to.”

While Del Bosque is expected to step down at the end of Euro 2016, Italy will certainly be seeking a new coach after Antonio Conte confirmed his intention to seek pastures new earlier this month.

The inclusion of uncapped duo Federico Bernardeschi of Fiorentina and Napoli’s Jorginho demonstrates the outgoing boss is unwilling to stick entirely with an established formula, while there were recalls for Thiago Motta and Lorenzo Insigne.

“[Bernardeschi] is here because of the message he sent with his form in the league, like Jorginho,” Conte told a news conference. “There were other messages, but I can’t call 40 players.

“He’s here on merit, there’s no prize and there’s no time to waste. I want to see what he can do, and see if he can be useful for the present because he’ll definitely be useful for the future of the national team.

“When you coach a player, you know if he has features which will come in handy. He’s having a great season, and he’s here because he’s shown he has the capacity for sacrifice, in addition to his qualities. Well done to him.”

In the two meetings since Spain prevailed 4-0 in the sides’ Euro 2012 final meeting, Del Bosque’s men have triumphed on penalties following a goalless draw in the 2013 Confederations Cup and 1-0 when Pedro netted at the Vicente Calderon the following March.

Tue 22 Mar, 2016
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