Del Bosque cautions against complacency
By Football News
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque wants his all-conquering team to be on their guard when they play Finland in World Cup qualifying on Friday.
Del Bosque's side - the reigning world and European champions - sit joint top of UEFA qualifying Group I, level with France on seven points.
The top two teams meet in Paris on Tuesday in a potentially decisive showdown, but first Spain must deal with the less glamorous challenge of Finland at Estadio Municipal El Molinon.
"We have to be able to handle any problems they pose us," Del Bosque said.
"We know it is a team that likes to press high up the pitch but equally they might sit back tomorrow against us. They might offer us a lot of space out on the wings but then pack the middle.
"They are a very well organised team and, as they don't have as much pressure compared to us, they can play relaxed football. They can cause us problems. We can't make any mistakes or switch off, we have to get into the game and not think about the upcoming games.
"All the players are enjoying a lot of success with their clubs, but this is a national team match and we have two qualifiers left this season which we need to be at our best for."
Finland coach Mixu Paatelainen said his team have done their homework in the lead-up to the daunting fixture, but will try to do more than merely shutting down their gifted opponents.
"Of course we've watching Spanish games, as well as other games, for example Barcelona," he said.
"We know the players well. We have also studied how the non regular players play, that's how we have prepared for this game.
"However, we don't want to replicate any other team. We have our own team, our own players and our own ideas, so it wouldn't be intelligent to copy someone else.
"We know it will be a tough game for us, but we will do everything we can and hopefully get a result.
"It's very probable that Spain will dominate possession tomorrow. We also know that there will be moments when we want to attack but they won't let us, they'll press us.
"We have to be thoughtful about what we are going to do when we do get the ball, keeping it, passing it around and trying to create chances when we can. We are confident that we can create chances and perhaps get a goal."