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Villa gone, Aragones to tweak lineup

Spain coach Luis Aragones must tweak his lineup for Sunday's final against Germany with Cesc Fabregas a possible replacement for injured striker David Villa.Special: Euro 2008

sports Updated: Jul 01, 2008 01:41 IST

After starting the same team in four of the five matches at the European Championship, Spain coach Luis Aragones must tweak his lineup for Sunday's final against Germany with Cesc Fabregas a possible replacement for injured striker David Villa.

Special: Euro 2008

Spain's team doctor has confirmed the Valencia forward will miss the final after tearing a muscle in his right leg while taking a free kick in the semifinal against Russia on Thursday.

Aragones replaced Villa with Fabregas to boost Spain's midfield and chances are he will stick with that successful strategy on Sunday.

"Villa had the bad luck of not being able to play. It's too bad for him and for us," Aragones said. "We'll see in the last training who will replace him."

He added that Fabregas had a "good chance" of being picked.

With Fernando Torres alone up front with five players in midfield, Spain was able to control the flow of the game against Russia, scoring three goals in the second half. Fabregas set up two of the goals with deft passes.

Aragones also picked Casillas for special praise. "Iker is a 10 in everything, as a goalkeeper, as a captain and in the way he behaves," he said.

The Spanish players were studying videotapes of their rivals Saturday before their last training session ahead of the final. Except for Villa, the squad is injury-free.

Spain has not won a major title since the 1964 European Championship, but Aragones said he was confident the long wait would soon be over.

"I think Spain will win because we are better," said Aragones, who has only lost four matches as Spain coach.

"Since the start of this tournament we've entered the field with the attitude that we're going to win. Then, anything can happen."