By Ciaran O Raghallaigh in Gdansk
Vicente Del Bosque kept Ireland guessing as he toyed with his riches of attacking talent in Spain’s training session at PGE Arena in Gdansk.
The Spain coach took some abuse for not playing a recognised striker in the 1-1 draw against Italy on Sunday evening.
Cesc Fabregas was the furthest forward for Spain, in a ‘false nine’ position, but Giovanni Trapattoni believes Del Bosque will play Fernando Torres as a traditional nine against Ireland on Thursday night.
But, Del Bosque put Torres and Alvaro Negredo up front in one training game, while Fabregas and Fernando Llorente were the attacking duo for the other side.
Xabi Alonso said that whatever decision the manager went with would be ‘the right one’, while Javi Martinez argued the debate was only of interest to the media.
But there remains a chance Spain will line up with the very same team that started the tournament.
When Spain played Scotland and England, in the last couple of years, Del Bosque picked teams without dedicated strikers in order to confuse the defence.
Manchester City midfielder David Silva is a cert to play against Ireland and the attacking midfielder believes Trap’s men will provide a tough test.
He referenced some of Ireland’s Premier League players, but he maybe learned more about the Irish mentality as a kid growing up in the Canary Islands.
“Ireland may decide to sit back a bit more,” he said, showing the kind of insight you usually only get from Alan Hansen.
“It also depends on the condition of the pitch and whether we can play the way we want to. There are several Premier League players in their team, so they know how to play on the counter attack.
“I think we had a good start against Italy, and now we´re up for it, and ready to try to win the next two games. It’s down to us. If we win both games we could finish top of the group”, he said.