Del Bosque plays down favourites tag
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Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has poured cold water on claims his side are favourites to win next year's FIFA World Cup™, despite their remarkable run of success over the last couple of years.

Saturday 10 October's 2-1 win over Armenia kept already-qualified Spain on course for a perfect ten in South Africa 2010 qualifying. It also means that in 41 matches since the start of 2007 they have won 36 times, drawn four - of which two finished with Spanish triumphs after extra time - and lost just once.

During that time the Iberians were crowned European champions, broke the international record for successive wins with 15 and equalled Brazil's record of 35 matches unbeaten before Del Bosque's men surprisingly lost to the USA at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009.

"Talk of winning the World Cup is premature, as we've never managed it before," said the former Real Madrid supremo. "Although it's true that there is optimism in Spain, who appreciate how well the national team are playing, there is a long road ahead of us and on it we will meet very strong teams."

After seeing off Armenia thanks to goals from Cesc Fabregas and Juan Manuel Mata, whose winning penalty came in the 64th minute - not long after Armenia had netted a shock equaliser through Robert Arzumanyan, Spain will now attempt to complete a perfect qualifying record when they meet Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday.

Del Bosque felt the Armenia game was a difficult one for his side, and the upcoming fixture is likely to be another test for the European champions with Bosnia-Herzegovina assured of finishing second in Group Five and going into the play-offs.

"Bosnia's qualification (for the play-offs) is fair and deserved. They've earned it. Against us they showed they were a good team," added Del Bosque, who will be without a number of regulars for the game in Zenica.

Definitely not involved will be the suspended Carles Puyol and injured trio Carlos Marchena, Xavi and Dani Guiza, while Fabregas has also been granted leave from the squad for personal reasons.

Striker Fernando Torres and midfielder Andres Iniesta also picked up knocks in last night's match, and the duo's fitness will be monitored by Spain doctor Oscar Celada and his team over the next few days.