Ukraine vs Spain: David de Gea starts, Juan Mata benched

by Sam Peoples

David de Gea has been chosen ahead of Iker Casillas for Spain’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Ukraine.

Having already wrapped up qualification in their last outing against Luxembourg, tonight was an opportunity for Vicente del Bosque to give De Gea the gloves.

We all know that De Gea deserves to be first choice on merit alone but Iker Casillas has won everything there is to win under Del Bosque and that loyalty is clearly playing into Casillas’ hands right now.

It’s disappointing to see Juan Mata not in Spain’s starting XI after he replaced David Silva early on against Luxembourg but again it’s indicative of how strong their midfield options are.

For De Gea, he won’t be happy at just being given chances in throwaway games. He wants to be first-choice for Spain and has to prove to Del Bosque that he deserves to be No.1.

Seemingly, De Gea isn’t going to get those chances with Spain, so his best bet may well be to keep up his fine form with Manchester United. That being said, a strong performance away to Ukraine won’t do his chances any harm.

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