Spain will kick their Euro 2024 campaign up a gear on Sunday evening as they play their first match of the knockout stages in Cologne against Georgia.

While many will point to the vast gap in rankings between the two sides, with Spain ranked eighth and Georgia 74th in the FIFA rankings, anyone who has watched Georgia so far at the tournament will know that this doesn’t do the nation justice.

Spain will need to have their wits about them, no matter what anyone says, if they want to be sure they will progress to the quarter-finals.

It is with this in mind that Spain will likely go with their strongest possible squad, which will be very similar to the line-up we saw in their first two matches of the group stage against Croatia and Italy.

Ayoze Pérez is the only player missing for Luis de la Fuente, however, it is unlikely he would have played a major role in the match regardless of this.

The biggest question mark will be whether Aymeric Laporte or Nacho will partner Robin le Normand at centre-back, with Laporte playing despite widespread rotations against Albania.

Nacho meanwhile missed the last two of Spain’s matches with a muscle injury, but now that he is recovered he could represent a well-rested option to start in the back four.

Predicted Spain XI vs Georgia

Unai Simón – Dani Carvajal, Robin Le Normand, Nacho, Marc Cucurella – Pedri, Rodri, Fabián Ruiz – Lamine Yamal, Álvaro Morata, Nico Williams

GSFN | Ciaran Currie

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