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How Spain Could Line Up At The World Cup

Spain shocked the football world when they sacked their coach just one day ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. New boss Fernando Hierro now has big decisions to make as to how he will line up a squad filled with world-class talent. Is this Spain's strongest starting XI?

Tired of reading? Click through the gallery above to see how Spain could line up at the 2018 World Cup.

The 2010 winners sacked Julen Lopetegui a day after Real Madrid announced that he will succeed Zinedine Zidane and take over the club's hot seat after the World Cup.

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales claimed that the federation was only informed about the development five minutes ahead of Los Blancos' official announcement, and that he felt disrespected by Lopetegui, who did lose any of his 20 games in charge of La Furia Roja.

Assistant coach Hierro will now lead Spain during the tournament, and the former Real Madrid captain has some tough decisions to make when considering his starting line-up for the team's opener against Portugal on Friday, 20:00.

Find a double-page pullout World Cup planner in this week's Soccer Laduma.

It is expected that Hierro will not make too many changes in order to not upset the dressing room, who wanted Lopetegui to stay, any further.

In goal, Manchester United's David de Gea is nailed on, while the four-man backline is only disrupted by Dani Carvajal's injury. The Los Blancos right-back returned to team training recently, but Alvaro Odriozola is expected to start in Spain's World Cup opener. He is expected to be joined by Real's Sergio Ramos and FC Barcelona duo Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba.

Spain's defence will likely shielded by Sergio Busquets in the holding midfield role, while his former Barca teammate Andres Iniesta is expected to start alongside him. Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara and Atletico Madrid's Koke will battle it out for the final midfield spot, with the former having started in La Furia Roja's most recent games.

Read: Messi Names Eight Stars To Watch At The World Cup, Snubs Ronaldo

On the wings, Isco and David Silva are likely to start, while Diego Costa could get the nod as the main striker.

Do you think Spain can go far despite sacking their coach one day ahead of the World Cup? Have your say in the comments section below. 

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