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Asensio false nine, Rodri in defence for Spain against Costa Rica

Luis Enrique has selected Marco Asensio as false nine for Spain’s opening World Cup clash against Costa Rica on Wednesday in Group E.

Alvaro Morata had a cold earlier in the week and the Real Madrid winger, who played well against Jordan in last week’s friendly win in that position, has kept his spot.

Manchester City defensive midfielder Rodri Hernandez starts the game at centre-back, a move coach Luis Enrique suggested he might make in some matches at the tournament.

Barcelona trio Sergio Busquets, Pedri Gonzalez and Gavi start in midfield, with Busquets the only 2010 World Cup winner still in the squad, behind the two teenage creators.

RB Leipzig winger Dani Olmo was preferred on the left flank to Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati.

Veteran Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz starts on the bench for Los Ticos, while former Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas is in goal and looking to deny some familiar faces from his time in La Liga.


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