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Torres to start against Croatia

Gdansk - Striker Fernando Torres was again preferred to Cesc Fabregas for Spain's Euro 2012 match against Croatia after his double in last week's 4-0 Group C win against Ireland.

Coach Vicente del Bosque left Torres out of his starting lineup for their opening match, a 1-1 draw against Italy, and deployed Fabregas as a roving forward.

Striker Fernando Torres was again preferred to Cesc Fabregas for Spain's Euro 2012 match against Croatia after his double in last week's 4-0 Group C win against Ireland. Credit: REUTERS

Fabregas netted the equaliser against the Italians and scored Spain's fourth goal against Ireland after coming off the

bench to replace Torres.

With Torres again starting, Spain are unchanged from the Ireland game as they seek to top the group and set up a meeting with the runners-up from Group D featuring France, England, Ukraine and eliminated Sweden.

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic dropped forward Nikica Jelavic to the bench and opted to play with in-form striker Mario Mandzukic as a lone forward in a more defensive 4-2-3-1 formation.

Teams (1845 GMT):

Croatia: 1-Stipe Pletikosa; 21-Domagoj Vida, 5-Vedran Corluka, 13-Gordon Schildenfeld, 2-Ivan Strinic; 7-Ivan Rakitic,

8-Ognjen Vukojevic; 11-Darijo Srna, 10-Luka Modric, 6-Danijel Pranjic; 17-Mario Mandzukic

Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 18-Jordi Alba; 8-Xavi, 16-Sergio Busquets, 14-Xabi Alonso; 21-David Silva, 9-Fernando Torres, 6-Andres Iniesta Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany). – Reuters

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