Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
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Pokerface: Del Bosque giving no clues about team selection
Torres, Negredo, Llorente, or no striker at all?. And you thought you had problems.

WHEN IT WAS put to Vicente Del Bosque that Giovanni Trapattoni had predicted that Fernando Torres would start today, the Spanish manager’s response wasn’t far off outright dismissive.

“It’s an opinion,” he shrugged.

Del Bosque was giving absolutely nothing away in what was generally a bit of a grumpy press conference as some of the Spanish media asked him about the “disaster” of the Italian game, but he did hand out a few compliments for Ireland.

“I am worried. They have lots of weapons. Tall players, who are good at headers. They have played with English clubs. [Kevin] Doyle is dangerous. They are aggressive.

“We have to be careful at set-pieces, where they are very good.”

Doyle was an interesting – and perhaps telling – name for Del Bosque to pick. He wasn’t so forthcoming, however, about his own forwards.

“We trust all of our three attackers. Any of them can play. They will do everything for the team. We have used Fernando Llorente and he helped us to become champions [in the 2010 World Cup]. He’s a different player.

“You cannot name every player.

“In sport you have to count on any situation, draw, win or lose. That’s how we take it.

“Our morale is intact. We have put Italy behind us.”

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Finally, Trapattoni’s constant mention of Chelsea’s Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich was put to Del Bosque

“We have to be prepared for that. The opponent is going to play this way. Ireland is a very competitive team. Spain have never beaten them by a clear score.”

The hope is that will not change tomorrow.

As it happened: Netherlands v Germany, Euro 2012