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Raul snubbed as Albiol and Riera get Spain nod

5 October 2007 16:21

MADRID (AFP) - Defender Raul Albiol and mifielder Albert Riera got their first call-ups on Friday as Spain coach Luis Aragones named his 20-man squad for a Euro 2008 Group F qualifier against Denmark on October 13 at Aarhus and a friendly against Finland four days later in Helsinki.

Defender Carles Puyol has also been included but Real Madrid striker Raul has once again been overlooked by Aragones.

Raul, 30, has not played for Spain for a year, but the Real Madrid captain had been expected to feature given his strong club form.

Aragones insisted however that the door was not closed on Raul, but said: "It's a match which we're playing to qualify and we can't try out Raul now."

Riera, 25, owes his first call-up to his form with Espanyol, while Albiol, 22, also gets his first nod, as he joins six teammates from Valencia.

Sevilla's Danish international midfielder Christian Poulsen warned that his country "were hungry to beat Spain", although he conceded he expected a "very difficult" tie.

Spain lead Group F, three points ahead of Northern Ireland and Sweden. Denmark are fourth, five points back but with two games in hand on the Spaniards.

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Jose Manuel Reina (Liverpool/ENG)

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol, Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Pablo, Mariano Pernia (Atletico Madrid), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carles Puyol (Barcelona)

Midfielders: Francesc Fabregas (Arsenal/ENG), Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), David Silva, David Albelda, Joaquin Sanchez (Valencia), Albert Riera (Espanyol).

Strikers: David Villa, Miguel Angel Angulo (Valencia), Fernando Torres (Liverpool/ENG), Luis Garcia (Espanyol).

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