Match Preview: Romania vs Spain

Romania will welcome Spain to the National Arena in Bucharest for their UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers encounter.

Former European champions Spain face Romania in the fifth round of the European Qualifiers tonight at 20:45 (CET). La Roja will be looking to maintain their perfect start of the qualifying campaign, having won all four games in Group F.

It is going to be an emotional night for everyone in the squad, as it is Spain’s first game since the nine-year-old daughter of their former coach Luis Enrique passed away.

Romania has registered seven points from their opening four games, as they are trying to challenge Sweden for the second place on the table.

It is time for their biggest test in the qualifiers so far, as they host Spain in an official encounter for the first time since 1987.

Team news

Anderlecht midfielder Alexandru Chipciu, who scored in Romania’s 4-0 win against Malta is suspended for the hosts, after seeing a red later in the game in Ta’ Qali.

Experienced defender Vlad Chiriches is back in the squad,  having only played once for his country since November 2017 ​due to ongoing injury problems.

Real Madrid midfielders Marco Asensio and Isco will miss Spain’s qualifiers against Romania and Faroe Islands, both of them out with injuries.

Robert Moreno also left a few Atletico stars out of the traveling squad, with Koke, Alvaro Morata and Diego Costa staying in Madrid for the weekend.

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Talk to the press

Spain boss Robert Moreno, who replaced Luis Enrique in charge of the national team, says he is ready to step aside if the 49-year old ever decides to return in the dugout.

“If Luis wants to return one day I would be delighted to step aside and work with him,” said Moreno according to BBC. “I consider Luis a friend and friendship comes ahead of everything.

“It has been a very difficult week. We will try to bring a tiny bit of happiness at a very bad moment. That is the only thing we can do as a group.”

Stats

This is going to be the first competitive game between Romania and Spain since their 1996 UEFA EURO encounter in England.

In terms of history, Romania and Spain are equal. They’ve met each other 16 times since 1962, each winning five games, while six ended in a draw.

Their most recent meeting came in a friendly game in Romania back in March 2016. It finished in a goalless draw.

La Roja won the European Championship twice in its last three editions – in 2008 and 2012. They were finally stopped by Italy in the Round of 16 back in 2016.

Romania will be looking to qualify for their second consecutive UEFA EURO tournament. Their best result at the competition came back in 2000, when they reached the quarter-finals.

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