Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Fit Torres warms up for Spain return

Fernando Torres

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has yet to make a final decision on whether Fernando Torres will get a run-out against Poland tonight as the European champions play their final World Cup warm-up match before heading to South Africa.

Torres is the only member of Del Bosque's 23-man squad that did not feature in either of last week's friendly wins over Saudi Arabia and South Korea as the Liverpool striker continues to recover from the knee surgery he underwent in April.

Talk coming out of the Spain camp about Torres has been positive, but the 26-year-old has still to return to competitive action and it remains to be seen if he will feature tomorrow.

“His recovery is within the time-frames predicted by the doctors, and between us we will assess if he should play tomorrow or wait,” said Del Bosque.

“We will see after the final training session, listen to what the doctors say and to the player as well. He will play if possible but if not, we have no hurry. There are still days ahead to finish his recovery.”

Away from the question mark hanging over Torres, the make-up of Del Bosque's team for the clash with Poland is likely to mirror the one that starts Spain's opening World Cup match against Switzerland on June 16.

“It will be similar because we are obliged to build for that first encounter, but it's hard for me to talk of starters and substitutes, any of the 23 that are here can play,” said Del Bosque, who included only Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta in his first XI for both of the matches against Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

Those two triumphs saw Spain improve their phenomenal run of form to 44 victories — including two after extra time — in 47 matches, with just one defeat.

The Iberian nation needed late winners from Fernando Llorente and Jesus Navas to beat Saudi Arabia (3-2) and South Korea (1-0) though, and Del Bosque knows there is still work to do before the start of the World Cup.

However, he insists he is pleased with how things have gone so far.

“I was happy (after the games), and things are going how they have to go. We must go into our World Cup debut in the best mental and physical condition,” he said. “The test against Poland will be very similar to the one we will find against Switzerland — as much for the opponents as for the atmosphere, and we will take advantage to continue improving things in our play.”

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