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De la Peña in line for debut

Published: Friday 4 February 2005, 15.05CET
RCD Espanyol's Iván de la Peña is in Spain's squad to face San Marino, along with two untried forwards.

Published: Friday 4 February 2005, 15.05CET

De la Peña in line for debut

RCD Espanyol's Iván de la Peña is in Spain's squad to face San Marino, along with two untried forwards.

RCD Espanyol midfielder Iván de la Peña is in line for his Spain debut at the age of 28 while young forwards David Villa and Antonio Guayre are also in the squad to face San Marino in Almeria in next Wednesday's FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Different approach
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.

Young stars
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 missing
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.

Spain squad
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).

Last updated: 16/04/12 3.30CET

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