By Paul Giblin MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua)
-- Reports in the Spanish media
suggest that Spain coach Fernando Hierro is considering a change
in goal for their last 16 clash against Russia in the Luzhniki
stadium on July 1.
qualified to meet the World Cup hosts in knockout stages of the
tournament as the winners of Group B, they only amassed 5 points
with a 3-3 draw against Portugal, a fortunate 1-0 win over Iran
and a 2-2 draw against Morocco on Monday night.
Most worrying for
Hierro has been the defensive frailty shown by his players and
the poor form of goalkeeper David de Gea.
United keeper came into the World Cup with a reputation as being
one of the best in the world, but committed a bad error to gift
Portugal’s second goal of the game and stats show that in
Spain’s first three matches he has managed to make just one
Meanwhile he has
looked nervous on crosses, while his distribution has also been
below par, leading to suggestions that Athletic Club Bilbao
goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could get the nod in the Luzhniki.
Hierro defended De
Gea following his error in Sochi against Portugal, but appeared
to have changed his message on Monday night saying.
“There are things
that definitely need to be worked on, and we will definitely be
“Five goals in three
matches is not the way forward, I’ve told the players that. But
they are professionals and understand... if they score against
us so easily it will be very difficult to reach the ultimate
Kepa has enjoyed an
excellent season with Athletic Club, but has made only one
appearance for the Spanish national side as Spain beat Costa
Rica 5-0 in November 2017.