Albiol out for Spain
Raul Albiol has been ruled out of Spain's vital FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia with a leg injury.
The Napoli man has made a fine start to life at the Stadio San Paolo since joining from Real Madrid, contributing to six wins in his opening seven games, tasting defeat for the first time in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League loss at Arsenal.
He has also featured once for his country this term, playing the full 90 minutes as Spain swept Finland aside 2-0 in September.
Albiol has made 42 appearances for Spain since making his debut against Denmark and his absence leaves Vicente Del Bosque with just Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos as recognised centre-backs.
Del Bosque may opt to call someone into his squad to replace Albiol, although a new name is yet to be added to the squad list.
Spain face Belarus in Palma on October 11 before taking on Georgia in Albacete three days later.
Two wins will guarantee their spot in Brazil next year, although dropped points could open the door to France and leave the World Cup holders facing a play-off to earn the right to defend their crown.