World Cup Group E: Spain have the talent but inconsistent form a cause for concern

Luis Enrique has a wealth of talent at his disposal but they made hard work of qualifying

Barcelona's Ansu Fati, Gavi and Pedri give Spain optimism for the World Cup and the future. EPA
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Spain’s squad possesses some of world football's most talented teenagers in Barcelona trio Pedri, Gavi and Ansu Fati. There are many other reasons for positivity but also some cause for concern for head coach Luis Enrique.

Starting with the positives, Luis Enrique led his side to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 last summer and there was plenty of character shown. Extra time was required against Croatia, while Switzerland were overcome on penalties before Italy outdid the Spaniards on penalties.

How Spain qualified - in pictures

Despite topping their World Cup qualifying group, this is where some questions have arisen about how Spain will fare on the biggest stage.

They drew against Greece, required Dani Olmo’s 92nd-minute winner to beat Georgia, lost their first match against Sweden, then required a last-gasp Alvaro Morata winner to overcome Sweden to secure top spot.

Luis Enrique will be unwavering in his ways. His side will attempt to dominate possession, but they will need to make it count if they are to emulate the great teams that have come before them.

Manager: Luis Enrique

Star player: Pedri

One to watch: Gavi

World Cup finals: 1934, 1950, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 (winners), 2014, 2018

Fixtures: Nov 23 v Costa Rica; Nov 27 v Germany; Dec 1 v Japan

Updated: September 28, 2022, 8:46 AM