Spain have been dealt a triple blow for this month’s World Cup qualifiers with key players Andres Iniesta, Alvaro Morata and Dani Carvajal all ruled out.
The 2010 winners face host Albania on Friday in Group G before travelling to Israel on Monday as they look to seal qualification for next summer’s tournament in Russia.
However, manager Julen Lopetegui will be without Iniesta and Morata due to muscular injuries, while Carvajal has a viral infection related to his heart.
Iniesta was hurt in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Las Palmas on Sunday and is expected to be sidelined for 10 days. Meanwhile Morata was injured in Chelsea’s 1-0 home defeat by Manchester City on Saturday in the Premier League.
Speaking after the match, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he did not expect the striker to be out long term.
‘I don’t think it’s a serious problem because he stopped before it will become a serious injury,’ he said.
‘He said to me, “I prefer to stop myself otherwise I risk a bad injury”. The doctor now in the next days has to check the situation, but I don’t think he’s available for the national team.’
Real boss Zinedine Zidane said Carvajal’s illness was not serious, but he did not say how long the right back was expected to be sidelined.
The Spanish federation said the players’ replacements will be announced on Monday.
Spain currently leads Group G of European World Cup qualifying with 22 points, three ahead of Italy with two games left.
SPAIN SQUAD FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Goalkeepers: Kepa, De Gea, Reina
Defenders: Alba, Azpilicueta, Bartra, Nacho, Monreal, Pique, Ramos
Midfielders: Isco, Thiago, Busquets, Illarramendi, Silva, Saul, Koke
Forwards: Asensio, Aspas, Callejon, Rodrigo, Pedro
SPAIN’S WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Friday, October 6 – Albania (H)
Monday, October 9 – Israel (A)