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Ukraine v Spain: Alcacer vying for starting spot

Paco Alcacer is desperate to seize his opportunity for Spain when they travel to face Ukraine in their final Euro 2016 qualifier on Monday.

The Valencia striker scored twice in a 4-0 win over Luxembourg on Friday, a result which guaranteed the European champions’ place in France next year, but both David Silva and Alvaro Morata were forced off with ankle and leg injuries respectively.

With Diego Costa having been left out of the latest squad, Alcacer is now determined to make the most of his playing time in Vicente del Bosque’s side as he looks to build some consistency at international level.

“We’re happy to reach the finals, but that’s tempered by the first-half injuries. Hopefully they can be with the group soon,” he said after the match. 

“Obviously forwards live by their goals and the work they can do for the side. Lately things weren’t going too well for me, but this will help me get better and carry on with the Spain national side.”

Spain lifted their second successive European Championship crown at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev in 2012 and Santi Cazorla knows it will be an emotional return to the venue on Monday.

“We won the Euros in Kiev. It brings back some spectacular memories. I’m sure it will be very nice,” said the Arsenal star.

Del Bosque could experiment with his side given that Spain have already won Group C, though Cesc Fabregas is expected to start on what will be his 100th senior international appearance, while Silva and Morata will definitely miss out.

Ukraine, meanwhile, have been handed a lifeline after Slovakia’s surprise defeat to Belarus and could still snatch an automatic qualifying spot if they better the result of Jan Kozak’s side, who face Luxembourg.

Serhiy Sydorchuk and Yevhen Khacheridi will both miss out due to suspension after they were booked in Friday’s 2-0 win away to Macedonia.

Ukraine have failed to beat Spain in four previous competitive matches, with Morata scoring the only goal in their meeting in Sevilla back in March.

Sat 10 Oct, 2015
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