Enrique forced to defend De Gea once again ahead David Silva’s farewell: Preview

Spain boss Luis Enrique has defended Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea after another disappointing display in between the sticks for his country.

De Gea came under fire for his below-par performance against Croatia on Thursday as Spain were beaten 3-2 late on.

La Furia Roja are in action on Sunday evening as they host Bosnia in Las Palmas in a friendly for David Silva’s farewell.

The Manchester City midfielder called time on his international career after last summer’s World Cup but will make an appearance in Gran Caneria, performing the ceremonial kick-off before the game.

Luis Enrique paid tribute to Silva in his pre-match press conference: “As a player he is different, a symbol of the national team for what he has achieved. I’ve never heard a bad word said of him. I’m glad that he can say goodbye to his people.”

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The former Valencia man earned over 100 caps for Spain and was part of the squads that won two European Championships and the World Cup. Silva is remembered best for his header in the Euro 2012 final which proved to be the first goal of four as Spain cruised past Italy.

Enrique is expected to make several changes to the team that lost in Croatia on Thursday with many expecting Kepa Arrizabalaga to replace David De Gea in goal.

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“I’m not going to pass judgement on a player. This would be too easy. In no case am I going to make a public judgment on any of my players. It could be a good start to find other solutions. Spain play differently to Manchester United,” Enrique said of De Gea.

“The goalkeeper doesn’t fail if the ball doesn’t get to him. I’m not going to say my preferences. My actions speak louder than my words.”

The Spain boss also admitted he intends to switch his side up against Bosnia: “I’m looking to have a team of 23 players. Footballers have changed and we are looking at options.”

Spain last faced Bosnia in 2016 when a brace from Nolito helped them to a 3-1 win at St. Gallen’s SFG Stadium in Switzerland. Out of the 7 meetings between the two countries since Bosnia’s independence, Spain are unbeaten, winning 5 and drawing 2.

England’s dramatic victory over Croatia in the Nations League saw them progress to the semi-finals at Spain’s expense.

Enrique’s side lost their last two games in the competition and those results ultimately cost them a place in the finals next summer.

Spain finished in second place in Group A4 and will compete in the top tier once more in the tournament’s next installment.

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