Fri, 06 Aug 2021

MADRID, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Spain play Poland in their second Euro 2020 group game on Saturday night with one key issue to resolve - putting the ball in the back of the net.

Spain drew blanks in their last two games - Monday's Euro 2020 opener against Sweden and their last warm-up game against Portugal.

Monday night saw Spain control around 80 percent of the ball and manage 17 shots against a defensive Swedish side. Juventus striker Alvaro Morata was the target of much criticism from the press and a sector of the fans, who booed the former Real and Atletico Madrid players at moments in the match.

Spain coach Luis Enrique strongly defended Morata after Monday's game and his team-mates have also backed him up, highlighting his pace, movement off the ball and ability to draw defenders out of position to create spaces for others, but Gerard Moreno - the top scoring Spanish player last season, does deserve the chance to start, either instead of Morata or alongside him.

Moreno told the press earlier this week the two were compatible on the pitch, but that would mean slightly changing Luis Enrique's preferred 4-3-3 formation with either Ferran Torres or Dani Olmo dropping out.

Sergio Busquets have still not been able to return to training and remains in isolation at his home in Barcelona after returning a positive PCR test for Covid-19 almost two weeks ago. Busquets' latest test result came back 'inconclusive' delaying his return.

That means that Rodri or Fabian Ruiz will occupy his central midfield role, with Pedri and Koke likely to continue. However, Thiago Alcantara also has a chance of starting and Luis Enrique could consider pushing Marcos Llorente (arguably Spain's best player on Monday) into midfield from full-back and bringing Cesar Azpilicueta into his side.

The pitch at Seville's Estadio de la Cartuja came in for heavy criticism after Monday's game as it looked dry, sandy and lumpy, but the wet weather in Seville this week should have helped improve the playing surface, which is one less thing for the Spain coach to worry about.

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