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Fabregas out of Spain Euro qualifier

11 November 2014, 20:30

Madrid - Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas is out of the holders' Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Belarus on Saturday after being diagnosed with a hamstring problem.

Fabregas, who played the whole of Chelsea's 2-1 Premier League win at Liverpool on Saturday, had tests in Madrid on Tuesday and medical staff ruled him out of the Group C clash in Huelva, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said on its website (www.sefutbol.com).

Fabregas has been in fine form for his new club this season, with two goals and 11 assists in 15 appearances, and his injury is a blow to Spain as they seek to bounce back from last month's 2-1 defeat in Slovakia.

Villarreal midfielder Bruno Soriano was called up to replace him in the squad.

Also read: Mixed reviews as Balotelli returns to Italy squad

Slovakia top the pool on nine points from three matches, with Spain and Ukraine on six, Macedonia on three and Belarus and Luxembourg on one point each.

Fabregas will also miss the friendly against world champions Germany in Vigo on Nov. 18, the first meeting between the European heavyweights since a 1-0 win for Spain in the 2010 World Cup semi-finals.

With Andres Iniesta also injured, coach Vicente del Bosque is likely to deploy a midfield of Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla and Koke, with Isco, Raul Garcia, Soriano and Ignacio Camach also in the frame.

Camacho has been included in the squad for the first time along with forwards Jose Callejon, Alvaro Morata and Nolito as Del Bosque looks to revitalise a team still recovering from their woeful World Cup performance and rocked by the surprise loss in Slovakia.

Nolito, a product of Barcelona's youth academy who has impressed at Celta Vigo, said he was hopeful of making his senior debut.

"I think I can adapt well," the 28-year-old told a news conference at Spain's training base outside Madrid on Tuesday.

"In the end it's about playing football and I will available for the coach," he added.

"I hope to participate and that is why I am here. I can bring a lot of desire to the team."

- Reuters


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