The prospect of the reigning world champions missing next year's World Cup finals in Brazil will become a very real one if stumbling Spain suffer another slip-up in France on Tuesday evening.
Vicente Del Bosque's side have not lost a competitive match since the 2010 World Cup in
South Africa, but two consecutive home draws have seen them fall behind France in this qualifying campaign.
After being held 1-1 by France in Madrid in October, La Roja allowed Finland to escape with a draw by the same score in Gijon on Friday and are now two points adrift of the French at the top of Group I.
"The result is disastrous," admitted David Villa after Spain failed to add to Sergio Ramos' opener against the group's bottom nation despite monopolising possession and camping in the opposition half, and Finland hit back to equalise late on.
Lose at the Stade de France and Spain will be five points behind Didier Deschamps' side with just three matches remaining, all but ending their chances of qualifying automatically.
Flirting with future
Madrid: The future of Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho continues to be the question of speculation in the Spanish press following a hectic weekend for the Portuguese. "Everyone knows I have an adventurous spirit. It is not easy for my family but we will see what happens... There are things that could be on the point of happening that nobody's could imagine," said Mourinho, who has a contract with Real Madrid until the summer of 2016.
Podgorica: Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic has raised the stakes ahead of his side's World Cup qualifying showdown with England by claiming that Roy Hodgson's team are anxious about the game. Montenegro approach Tuesday's match two points above England at the top of Group H.