Spain's Iniesta doubtful to face Honduras
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -- Injury-prone Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta is still suffering from a knock sustained against Switzerland and is a doubt for Monday's World Cup game against Honduras, coach Vicente del Bosque said.
Iniesta has struggled with a string of muscle injuries this season and was substituted in the second half of the shock 1-0 defeat to the Swiss after a crunching challenge. Del Bosque said he was the only one of the 23-strong squad not at 100 percent.
"We have all the players available except Andres Iniesta who is not fully fit," Del Bosque told a news conference at Ellis Park Stadium where the Group H match will be played. "He has a sore spot, but if he had to play he could and we have time tomorrow to decide."
The European champions are looking to get their World Cup back on track against group minnows Honduras and anything other than victory would leave their hopes of a first World Cup triumph in serious jeopardy.
The former Real Madrid coach was criticised after the Swiss game for fielding a cautious 4-5-1 starting 11 and may deploy a more attacking 4-4-2 formation on Monday with Fernando Torres joining strike partner David Villa up front.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas watched the defeat against the Swiss from the bench and his vision and eye for goal could be the key to overcoming a Honduras side expected to defend and look to catch Spain on the counter.
"Perhaps we have to be more decisive in the final phase of attacks," Del Bosque said. "But every day we are seeing more evidence of how evenly matched the teams are at this World Cup.
"No team will give you space and it's hard to exert superiority over any opponent."
At an earlier news conference, central defender Carles Puyol said the squad would not be told who was starting until just before the match.
"Every coach has their style and way of working and (Del Bosque) is making sure that all the players are fully focused and nobody switches off," he said. "The team is really fired up after the setback the other day," he added. "We have to stay calm and not get anxious and just play the way we know."