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Eric Garcia tipped to start for Spain vs Italy

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The defender could replace Pau Torres

Croatia v Spain - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Barcelona defender Eric Garcia is being tipped to return to the Spain starting XI for Tuesday’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Italy at Wembley Stadium.

Garcia started the wins over Slovakia and Croatia earlier in the tournament but dropped out for the quarter-final win over Switzerland.

According to Sport, Garcia will be recalled for the clash against Italy and will partner Aymeric Laporte in central defense with Pau Torres dropping out.

Garcia will be one of two changes made by Luis Enrique, according to the report. The other change will see Dani Olmo come in for Pablo Sarabia who is expected to miss out.

Sarabia was forced off against Switzerland with a muscle strain, and Luis Enrique hinted in his pre-match press conference the 29-year-old won’t be ready in time.

The Spain boss also confirmed that Laporte is fit for the match despite missing training on Sunday. The Manchester City defender has spoken previously about his good relationship with Garcia.

“We’ve been lucky enough to share a dressing room both here and at Manchester City,” he said. Eric is a fantastic footballer, he’s very young and he has plenty to come.”

“I think we complement each other well in every sense. I couldn’t pick one out for you but he’s a right-footer, I’m a left-footer and that’s good for the both of us. I’m very pleased to be sharing a dressing room with him here.”

Laporte has been linked with a move to Barcelona this summer after losing his place in the Manchester City starting XI, although a transfer looks unlikely due to the Catalan giants’ financial problems.