Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has denied his squad for their upcoming FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers against Finland and France lack offensive bite to them
Although the squad features just two recognised centre-forwards - Villa and Negredo - Del Bosque refuted suggestions it was a negative selection. "I believe in the centre-forwards and we have brought two that are sufficient for us because we have other alternatives in attack such as Pedro, Silva and (Juan) Mata," he said. "Nobody can doubt that we are an offensive team."
English Premier League duo Fernando Torres - who scored Chelsea's winner against Steaua Bucharest last night - and Swansea City's Michu - who Del Bosque was unlucky to be left out of the last squad - were both left out.
Del Bosque confirmed he had spoken to Barcelona defender Puyol ahead of leaving him out. He added: "I have had contact with him but he still walks with inconvenience. He wanted to come but we prefer not to bring him if he is struggling with his condition." Puyol captained Spain while winning his 100th cap in the friendly win over Uruguay last month.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas is injured, meaning Manchester United's on-form David de Gea returns to the senior squad in search of a first cap - though the presence of Victor Valdes and Jose Reina limit his chances.
Torres' club-mate Cesar Azpilicueta and Malaga midfielder Isco are both retained after making their international bows against Uruguay.
Spain squad to face Finland and France:
Goalkeepers: Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Jose Reina (Liverpool), David de Gea (Man Utd)
Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Ignacio Monreal (Arsenal), Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Javi Garcia (Man City), Isco (Malaga), David Silva (Man City), Pedro (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Jesus Navas (Sevilla)
Forwards: Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), David Villa (Barcelona)