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Preview: Spain v Tahiti

Confederations Cup

Teams: Spain v Tahiti

Date: 20 June 2013

Venue: Maracana, Rio de Janeiro

Italy are probably going to face Spain in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup, but before that they have the small matter of a match against Brazil.

Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli already admits that his team is tiring in the hot Brazilian conditions, and needs more time to recover between games.

And so he will be shuddering at the prospect of his likely upcoming clash with heavyweights Spain, who have the luxury of resting their best players against minnows Tahiti tonight.

La Furia Roja were field a second string team against Tahiti, and such is their unprecedented strength in depth, they will probably still record a goal deluge.

Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque readily admits that he will ring the changes, but insists it is not through a lack of respect for his tiny opponents.

"There will definitely be a change in goal and those who did not play against Uruguay will play," he said.

"It's not showing the opponent a lack of respect but an attempt to maintain balance.

“It helps improve relationships when everyone feels useful. The 23 players I have are starters for their clubs and they are all capable of playing for the national team.

"It is often difficult when you are facing a weaker opponent but you have to show all your virtues and try to win.

"We also have to show them total respect and naturally we want to score as many goals as possible."

Spain’s record victory is a 13-0 win over Bulgaria recorded in 1933, and they are not expected to show any mercy to Tahiti as they seek to better that landmark result.

Tahiti meanwhile, are approaching the game in good spirits. Christmas spirit in fact.

They know they can’t win, and have set limited their ambition to scoring just a single goal, which would signal the greatest party in their football history, regardless of the ‘goals against’ statistic.

"We must be highly realistic and it is impossible for us to beat Spain, quite impossible. They are the European and the world champions and the favourites to win this Confederations Cup tournament,” Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta admitted.

"But even if they score 15 or 20 goals, I would be happy if we scored one."

"Spain have won two European titles and the World Cup and the players on the bench are all stars. Spain is the top football nation and Uruguay only managed 28 per cent possession against them on Sunday, and I would be happy with that.

"But whatever happens, I do not want to play defensively and sit back and stay in our own half. When we get the ball I want us to go forwards and look for a goal.

"We know Spain will win and want to win and score a lot of goals, but even so, for us this is like Christmas and we will pick up our Christmas gift tomorrow when we play the world champions."

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