In addition, coach Luis Aragonés has selected Athletic Club Bilbao's Pablo Orbaiz for the first time, underlining a break with his policy of naming tried-and-trusted players. However, it is Aragonés's inclusion of the in-form De la Peña that stands out. Despite the promise of his early years with FC Barcelona and S.S. Lazio, he has never represented his country at senior level.
Villa, Real Zaragoza's 23-year-old marksman, has been another impressive performer this season, with eight goals in the Primera División. Likewise, the 24-year-old Guayre has been a key figure in Villarreal CF's recent push up the table. Both players were capped by the Under-21s.
Several regulars are missing from the selection, with Iván Helguera, Rubén Baraja and Xabi Alonso absent through injury, Fernando Morientes, José Antonio Reyes and Juan Carlos Valerón all ignored, and David Albelda suspended. In World Cup qualifying Group 7, Spain have five points and trail leaders Serbia and Montenegro by the same number of points albeit with a game in hand.
Casillas (Real Madrid CF), Cañizares (Valencia CF), Puyol (FC Barcelona), Marchena (Valencia CF), Míchel Salgado (Real Madrid CF), Del Horno (Athletic Club Bilbao), Romero (RC Deportivo La Coruña), Ibañez (Club Atlético de Madrid), De la Peña (RCD Espanyol), Joaquín (Real Betis Balompié), Xavi (FC Barcelona), Guti (Real Madrid CF), Luque (RC Deportivo La Coruña), Orbaiz (Athletic Club Bilbao), Guayre (Villarreal CF), Raúl González (Real Madrid CF), Torres (Club Atlético de Madrid), Villa (Real Zaragoza).
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