October 03, 2016

MADRID (AP) Spain coach Julen Lopetegui is adding Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera to his squad for World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Albania.

The 27-year-old Herrera will be making his debut with the Spanish national team.

Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez was ruled out because of a muscle injury in his left leg.

Spain plays against Italy in Turin on Thursday and Albania three days later.

Spain will be seeking to avenge a loss to Italy at the European Championship that ended its bid for a third consecutive continental title.

The 2-0 loss to Italy at Euro 2016 marked the end of Vicente del Bosque's long and successful stint as Spain's manager. Lopetegui has since been tasked with rejuvenating a team that won the 2010 World Cup and 2008 and 2012 European Championships.

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