MADRID, 5 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Spanish women’s soccer team will face this Thursday at the Can Misses Stadium in Ibiza (6:00 p.m. / Teledeporte) a demanding duel against Norway, also a World Cup player, the first of their last two friendlies before knowing the list of summoned for the World Cup
Spain is in the final stretch of its trials for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and three and a half months after its debut against Costa Rica, it will try to continue refining its set-up against the Norwegian team and, next Monday and in the same scenario, against China, also present in the Oceania tournament.
Two rivals from the current ‘Top 15’ of the FIFA world ranking that will put the team led by Jorge Vilda to the test, who returns to action at home after knowing first-hand what can await him in the summer in Australia with his passing for the Nations Cup. There, the ‘Red’ added two clear victories against Jamaica (3-0) and the Czech Republic (3-0) and a defeat against Australia, host and most powerful rival, by 3-2.
The setback against the ‘Matildas’ was the first conceded by the team since the elimination in the last Eurocup against England (2-1) and the first with the new block that the coach is setting up after the announcement of 15 players not to be called up until certain changes were made in the national team.
None of these soccer players entered this list of the Madrid coach for these two friendlies in Ibiza, the last one before announcing those chosen for the World Cup challenge, which seems to be getting further and further away for almost all of them, except for a turn that has not been seen since October given nor does it have any sign of being given.
However, in the latter, she was called one of the most important soccer players like Irene Paredes. The FC Barcelona central defender, captain of the team until the turbulence unleashed in September, was not officially part of that group, but she had given her support and demanded improvements.
The Catalan had stopped going to the national team since then and now, her call, which joins that of another veteran like Jenni Hermoso, who had also shown both her support for her teammates and the need for dialogue and who returned for the Cup of Nations, comes to reinforce a team in its defensive zone, although the role that the Basque will play remains to be seen. For now, the captaincy will be held by Ivana Andrés and the question is whether she will recover her former role as the undisputed starter at the back.
Vilda has practically bet on the block with which she has been working since last October, although on this occasion she will have two relevant and theoretical starting casualties such as the Real Madrid midfielder Claudia Zornoza, injured in the fibula and whose presence in the World Cup is in danger, and the extreme of Atlético de Madrid Marta Cardona. In addition, she maintains her commitment to youth with the calls for Asun Martínez (Valencia) and Jana Fernández and María Pérez (FC Barcelona), from the generation of 2001-2002.
NORWAY, A RIVAL WITH POTENTIAL IN MIDFIELD AND ABOVE
Seeking to return to the path of victory and gather strength for the future, Spain will have as its first rival a level team like Norway, number twelve in the ranking that also started a new project after its disappointing time at the EURO and that He will have the last-minute loss of one of his two main current references, the Barça winger Caroline Graham Hansen due to knee discomfort.
This leaves Ada Hegerberg, from Olympique de Lyon, somewhat alone in the offensive framework, a world-class striker for a team that also has a good midfield with top-level players like Ingrid Engen, also from Barcelona, Frida Maanum (Arsenal) or Guro Reiten (Chelsea).
Despite this, Norway, which in the World Cup is framed with New Zealand, Switzerland and the Philippines, did not shine in the continental event last summer in which it was not able to pass the group stage, also conceding a devastating 8-0 against England. This led to the arrival on the bench of a myth like Hege Riise, who holds the Norwegian women’s record for international caps (188) and who is looking to improve the performance of a team that lost to Denmark in February (2-0), drew goalless against France and beat Uruguay (1-0), although without Hansen or Hegerberg.