Much more than a '9'

lvaro Morata I finished exhausted against Switzerland. The 7 of the Spanish team He showed again that he is the one who has best captured what Luis Enrique he asks his forwards: an exhausting, non-negotiable, titanic effort. They may be unsuccessful in front of goal, fight with the goal, but what they cannot turn their back on is being the first defensive element, as Unai Simón is the first when it comes to creating and generating advantages when the ball comes out from the Spanish rear.

With Ral de Toms back home Suffering from a respiratory infection, the Juventus striker remains the only pure ‘9’ for the match against the Czechs. “No one else will come. All the strikers we have can occupy that position,” Luis Enrique said in the Geneva press room.

Against Switzerland, when Morata left the field, it was Marco Asensio who occupied the position of false ‘9’. Del Bosque exploited that formula to the fullest with Cesc, Lopetegui gave it continuity once (Asensio played in that area in the 3-0 win against Italy at the Bernabu in September 2017) and Luis Enrique has used it at different times.

Nations League (Day 3): Summary and goal of Switzerland 0-1 Spain

The versatility of the top players was used by the coach in the semifinals of the Euro to drive Italy crazy. At Wembley, Dani Olmo gave a lesson on how to execute those functions and destabilize the best pair of central defenders in the tournament: Bonucci and Chiellini.

Milan as an example

Spain attended the Final Four of the Nations League without reference center forwards. The coach responded to the injuries to Morata and Gerard Moreno with the same speech as the one in Geneva. In Milan, he organized a forward line in which Oyarzabal, Sarabia and Ferran did not stop changing places, especially the first two. Thus Spain eliminated Italy and looked France, world champion, in the face in the final.

Oyarzabal’s loss is important for the coach. In the Real forward, who has just left the crutches after breaking his crusader, the coach finds endless answers in the two phases of the game. For him it would be great news if Mikel could reach the World Cup, but the deadlines are very tight. He will wait for you until the end.

Like fake ‘9’ too Has Pablo Sarabia ever played?. Ansu Fati, who has already entered the list in Switzerland and if things go well he may have minutes at La Rosaleda, knows that position well. Ferran Torres was tested by Guardiola in these functions, but in this case Luis Enrique prefers him in another profile. “For us he is a wide player, which doesn’t mean he can’t play there.” From that idea he is the top scorer in Spain after the return of Luis Enrique: 13 goals.

Goal by Sarabia (0-1) in Switzerland 0-1 Spain

Before the Czech Republic one of the options is that Morata starts from the bench after the effort in Geneva. Madrid has 11 games in which it reaches the 75th minute at most, the result of that clear message from Luis Enrique: “It doesn’t matter to me at all that when they ask for a change because they’re out of business.” If the 7 was not a starter, the variants are there, with Asensio and Olmo as candidates.

If anything has made this selection clear, it is that changes and casualties do not scare her. Win or not, but the way to play does not depend on who plays.

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