Favourites Spain to test injured duo against Saudi Arabia

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Spain v Saudi Arabia, kick-off Saturday 7.00pm

Enter the favourites. Two days after Brazil announced two World Cup warm-up matches, their main rivals for the trophy begin their own pre-tournament campaign with a game against Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Unlike many of his counterparts, Spain boss Vicente del Bosque is unlikely to be in much doubt about his strongest XI. Instead, his main concern will be over the fitness of two of his most important players, Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas.

The England-based duo aren’t expected to start, but even a few minutes on the pitch will boost the Spanish squad, so a couple of late cameos could be part of the plan.

And with the Spanish side not having played together for three months – when they embarrassed France by winning at a canter at the Stade de France – Del Bosque is likely to play a strong team, explaining the odds of 1/8 on the Spain win in Innsbruck, over 500 metres above sea level.

But Saudi Arabia aren’t simply there for an Austrian jolly. They beat Congo 2-0 at the same stadium last Friday before holding World Cup-bound Nigeria to a 0-0 draw in nearby Wattens on Tuesday, proving that Jose Peseiro’s side are determined to make a good showing for themselves.

And with Spain likely to take it easy, with two more warm-up games to come against South Korea and Poland, some may fancy a bold bet on the draw at 11/2.

But if the appearance of Xavi, Silva, Casillas and Puyol in the starting line-up puts you off backing against the Spanish, the correct score market offers prices of 5/1 for 2-0, 8/1 for 2-1 and 6/1 for 3-0.

Fancy a bet on this game in Austria? See the full Spain vs Saudi Arabia market.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.