Marchena - Spain can cope
Spain defender Carlos Marchena has called on his team-mates to fill the void left by the injured Xavi.
Last Updated: 06/10/10 8:25pm
Spain defender Carlos Marchena has called on his team-mates to fill the void left by the injured Xavi when the world champions tackle Lithuania and Scotland.
Vicente del Bosque will be without the midfield playmaker for the two Group I Euro 2012 qualifiers on Friday and Tuesday due to tendinitis.
Barcelona have struggled without the influential schemer, losing twice and drawing once in the three matches he has not started in this term, while winning six and drawing once when he has been in the first XI.
But veteran centre-back Marchena believes Spain can cope without the 30-year-old, even though his most obvious replacement, Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, is also absent through injury.
When asked if Spain were dependent on Xavi, the new Villarreal player said: "We hope not.
"Xavi is important in this side, but there are other team-mates who can take on his role with calm and confidence.
"We hope to be prepared so that we don't notice any player being missing."
Aside from Xavi and Fabregas, Spain will also be without three other attacking players after Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, Sevilla winger Jesus Navas and Barcelona wideman Pedro were forced out of Del Bosque's plans after picking up injuries over the weekend.
In their places, Del Bosque has called up Valencia's Aritz Aduriz and Pablo Hernandez as well as Villarreal duo Borja Valero and Bruno Soriano.
Of the four newcomers, Aduriz and Valero have never before played for Spain while Bruno and Pablo only have three caps between them.
Spain meet Lithuania in Del Bosque's home town of Salamanca on Friday night before travelling to Scotland four days later.
Looking ahead to those two matches, striker Fernando Llorente said: "I think they are two very important games.
"Lithuania are an opponent who are going to keep it very tight, who are coming into the game having beaten the Czech Republic and drawn with Scotland.
"We will have to be very attentive, because they can be dangerous on the counter-attack."