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Iniesta starts for Spain

2010-06-16 15:44

Durban - Barcelona midfield star Andres Iniesta will start for Spain against Switzerland in their Group H match on Wednesday.

Iniesta had been an injury doubt, but will take his place alongside Xavi and Xabi Alonso.

Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas has to be content with a place on the bench where he was joined by Liverpool striker Fernando Torres who has only recently returned to action following a knee operation in April.

Torres scored the goal that landed Spain the European championship two years

Spain, on a run of 12 consecutive wins, will be playing their 50th Soccer World Cup match, becoming the seventh team in an elite club also comprising Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina, England and France.

Switzerland, who exited the 2006 World Cup on penalties to Ukraine in the second round despite not having conceded a single goal, have not beaten Spain in 18 games stretching back to 1925, managing only three draws.

In previous World Cup encounters, Spain beat the Swiss 2-1 in the first round in 1966 and 3-0 in the round of 16 in 1994.

They are missing captain Alexander Frei through injury, midfielder Gokhan Inler taking the armband.


Spain: Iker Casillas (capt), Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Joan Capdevila, Sergio Busquets, David Silva, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, David Villa

Coach: Vicente Del Bosque

Switzerland: Diego Benaglio, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Philippe Senderos, Stephane Grichting, Reto Ziegler, Tranquillo Barnetta, Gokhan Inler (capt), Benjamin Huggel, Gelson Fernandes, Eren Derdiyok, Blaise Nkufo

Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld (GER)

Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)

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