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International Friendly Preview: Spain v Republic of Ireland

By Football News



Spain will look to make it 22 games without defeat when they face the Republic of Ireland at the Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

The reigning world champions' impressive run stretches back to November 2011, when a Frank Lampard goal was enough to secure victory for England at Wembley.

The friendly fixture against Ireland will act as a good test ahead of their Confederations Cup campaign, which starts against Uruguay on June 16.

Goals from Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas helped Spain earn a 2-1 victory over Haiti on Saturday, though they were far from at their fluent best.

Spain have a wealth of talent among their ranks, and perhaps the biggest dilemma for Vicente del Bosque will be deciding who to starts up top with Fernando Torres, David Villa and Roberto Soldado all vying for a place. Del Bosque may also once more utilise the likes of Jesus Navas, Juan Mata and Cazorla - who all played a key role in the Haiti victory - as he finalises his starting XI ahead of the Confederations Cup.

For the Republic of Ireland, the game is a culmination of a busy period which will have seen Giovanni Trapattoni's side play four fixtures in two weeks. A draw and a win against England and Georgia respectively was followed by a 3-0 UEFA World Cup qualifying victory against the Faroe Islands on Friday.

That fixture saw Robbie Keane become the most-capped played for Ireland, as he scored a hat trick to mark his 126th appearance for his country.

The LA Galaxy star will be key if Trapattoni's men are to overcome the world's number one team, but he will need help from attacking colleagues Wes Hoolahan and Aiden McGeady.

Ireland suffered a 4-0 defeat the last time these sides met, which was in the group stages of Euro 2012.