Liechtenstein vs Spain - Spain manager Julen Lopetegui warns players not to take anything for granted

Posted Monday, September 04, 2017 by PA

Julen Lopetegui has warned his Spain side they cannot take anything for granted in their World Cup qualifying bid after an impressive victory over Italy put them in charge of Group G.

Spain moved three points clear following Saturday's win - which extended their unbeaten run in World Cup qualifiers to 60 matches.

Next up is a trip to Liechtenstein - a team they thrashed 8-0 in the reverse fixture 12 months ago.

On paper it looks easy but that is the sort of scenario that worries any manager, and Lopetegui is keen for his players to remember their responsibilities.

"There is still nothing that we have achieved," he told Radio Marca. "Every game will require us to win."

Isco was the stand-out performer in Saturday's win, scoring two goals as the Real Madrid midfielder continued on the upward curve which began last season.

"This Isco is better than the one of last year, but we have always had confidence in him," Lopetegui continued.

"We have seen great growth in him."

There has been some bad news for Spain, however, as veteran striker David Villa has been ruled out of Tuesday's match with a thigh strain.

The 35-year-old New York City forward, Spain's all-time leading scorer with 59 goals, had been recalled to the squad for the first time in three years and appeared as a late substitute in Madrid, but suffered the injury in training.

"He has had a minor injury, but we do not think it's anything major," Lopetegui said.

"His appearance at the Bernabeu was nice, but he was on the pitch not to honour him, but for him to contribute."

While Spain sit top of the group with 19 points from their seven matches, Lichtenstein are yet to get off the mark, having scored only one goal and conceded 26 in losing all seven qualifiers so far.

They will hardly be looking forward to Spain's arrival having lost all seven of their meetings to date, conceding 31 without scoring.

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