Spain predicted lineup vs Italy - Nations League semi-final

De la Fuente is trying to figure his squad out
De la Fuente is trying to figure his squad out / Nigel French/Allstar/GettyImages

The challenges don't get any easier for Luis de la Fuente as his Spain side prepare to take on Italy in the semi-final of the Nations League on Thursday.

The new boss had a tough start to life earlier this year, with a 2-0 defeat to Scotland last time out still fresh in the memory, but victory over an Italy side facing its own issues would go a long way to rebuilding morale.

Here's how the boss could set up for this one.

Spain predicted lineup vs Italy (4-3-3)

Alvaro Morata
Morata could do with a goal / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/GettyImages

GK: Unai Simon - Injury ruled Simon out of the March internationals but Spain's starter is back and raring to go here.

RB: Dani Carvajal - Carvajal is the more reliable defender compared to Jesus Navas and that should get him the nod in a traditional four-man defence.

CB: Robin Le Normand - Granted Spanish citizenship in March, French-born Le Normand instantly becomes a key player for this team.

CB: Aymeric Laporte - Laporte's legs should be fine after he went unused in the Champions League final. His inclusion here may depend on how he spent the three days of celebrations and whether water was the drink of choice.

LB: Jordi Alba - Fran Garcia is a new face in the squad but the elder statesman Alba should get the nod for a fixture of this size.

DM: Martin Zubimendi - Rodri's legs may need a bit of a rest after playing in the Champions League final on Saturday so expect young Zubimendi to start. He might not succeed Sergio Busquets at club level, but he might get the chance on the international stage.

CM: Mikel Merino - Pedri's injury leaves a spot open for Merino, whose nine La Liga assists last year tied him for third on the creator charts.

CM: Gavi - He occasionally turns up on the left wing but Gavi is most at home in this central role.

RW: Marco Asensio - Still technically a free agent, Asensio's performance will be watched closely by fans of his next club, Paris Saint-Germain.

ST: Alvaro Morata - Morata was out injured when these two sides last met in the 2021 semi-final. He's currently without a goal in his last two outings for his country, having netted in four straight games before that.

LW: Dani Olmo - With his future now wrapped up by a contract extension at RB Leipzig, Olmo can focus on his football once again.