- Associated Press - Sunday, October 8, 2017

MADRID (AP) - Coach Julen Lopetegui will have to make changes for Spain’s final World Cup qualifier against Israel on Monday with three regular starters unavailable.

With a World Cup berth already secured, Spain will play Israel in Jerusalem without Gerard Pique, David Silva and Thiago Alcantara.

Pique and Silva are suspended, and Alcantara has a knee injury.

Lopetegui did not say if he plans other changes to observe players who haven’t regularly featured in Spain’s qualifying campaign.

Israel is already out of contention for a World Cup spot, although it could still surpass Albania for third place in Group G.

Spain has secured first place and Italy is certain to finish second.

Pique and Silva were suspended after being shown yellow cards in Spain’s 3-0 win over Albania on Thursday.

Alcantara was released from the squad on Saturday after tests showed that the Bayern Munich midfielder has a sprained knee ligament. Alcantara scored one of Spain’s goals on Thursday.

The victory over Albania ensured participation for Spain at its 11th consecutive World Cup.


More AP World Cup coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup

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