The terraces of Bill Clinton Boulevard and those adjacent to the letters that make up the word Newborn, a monument that honors the independence of Kosovo in the capital, Pristina, are mostly occupied by young people who consume relaxed soft drinks and coffee.
A few meters further, the tension is cut off at times in the press room of the Fadil Vokrri stadium, where Spain will face the local team this Wednesday (8:45 pm, TVE1). Spain does not recognize Kosovo as a country and the local media, in the appearance of Pablo Sarabia, ask the press officer of the Spanish team why he always refers to his team as a local team. “I am not here to answer questions and hold the press conference,” the Spanish press officer said.
Shortly before, Luis Enrique was asked about the atmosphere he expects tonight. “We have a perfect atmosphere to play in and we are on the fringes of politics. We come to play a soccer match and the only thing that worries me is to beat the rival, ”replied the Spanish coach.
Due to attendance, the atmosphere will be less heated than expected. Restrictions due to the increase in COVID-19 infections have lowered the number of viewers from 3,800 to 1,200. Probably, as happened in the last game against Greece, which also does not recognize Kosovo as a country, the local fans will not get up when the Spanish anthem sounds in protest.
Under this environmental landscape, Spain needs to add another victory and score to try to be first in the group ahead of Sweden and avoid the play-off. “You have to try to win every game, but it is getting more and more difficult. The way to put pressure on Sweden is to win our games, but this one in Kosovo is going to be one of the most complicated, one of the most difficult, and everyone will see it. Kosovo will have the support of its public, play well and seek the opposite. They do it well and deserve more points than they take [cuatro en cuatro partidos]”Warned Luis Enrique. “When a team does not lock back, they are brave, daring and do it well, you have to be very fine on high pressure. It is a team that complicates your life ”, ventured the Asturian coach.
The rotations with respect to the game against Georgia point to the return of Jordi Alba to the left side, to that of Koke and Busquets in the center of the field, and Morata as a reference in attack. The big question is whether Luis Enrique will continue to trust Marcos Llorente as a midfielder or will he return to the right back.
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