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FC Barcelona on International Duty: Spain vs Finland: Preview

A preview of Spain's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Finland -- albeit from an FC Barcelona perspective

Laurence Griffiths

With just 11 points from their opening five group games, Spain are in desperate need of a win tonight against Finland, a side who upset the odds to escape El Molinon with a 1-1 draw the last time these two teams collided. With a 100% record away from home in Group I, the grass is very much greener on the other side for Vicente del Bosque's side, and another win tonight at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium would secure a play-off spot for La Furia Roja.

In order to get the job done. Vicente del Bosque has called up six FC Barcelona players -- and it's possible that all six will be included in the starting line-up. Victor Valdes is without a shadow of a doubt, the in-form keeper in Spain, Jordi Alba is a guaranteed starter at left-back, while Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas are all key members of a strong Spanish midfield. The only real question mark surrounds Pedro Rodriguez -- who may be struggling for form at domestic level, but has excelled on the international stage. With four goals, Pedro is Spain's top-scorer in qualifying and after this sensational overhead kick in training, it would be a surprise to see the versatile forward start on the bench.

Probable Starting Line-up (Barca players in Bold):

Victor Valdes; Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Cesc Fabregas; Pedro, Isco, Andres Iniesta; Roberto Soldado

For more coverage of this week's international break, be sure to keep an eye on our International Break StoryStream, and check in later with our International Break Open Thread, where you can discuss all of tonight's action.

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