Spain have been left sweating over the fitness of defender Gerard Pique after the Barcelona star suffered an ankle injury during training ahead of their World Cup last 16 clash with Russia on Sunday.
As reported by Marca, the 31-year-old was involved in a collision with goalkeeper Pepe Reina, receiving treatment to his ankle before rejoining the training session at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
However, it is unclear how much damage was done to Pique’s ankle and he should be cleared to play in Spain’s knockout game against Russia as Fernando Hierro’s side look for a second win at the tournament.
Pique has played every minute of Spain’s campaign so far and is looking for his second World Cup title triumph after succeeding with the national team back in 2010. He was also part of the team that won the 2012 European Championship.
Hierro explained tactics during the training session while the squad went through ball exercises and rondos.
David de Gea is expected to start again despite recent reports claiming the Manchester United goalkeeper could be dropped, while Koke could play from the outset and Diego Costa is expected to feature again up front.
Russia looked impressive during their group stage victories against Saudi Arabia and Uruguay but the 3-0 loss to Uruguay, who themselves reached the quarter finals after beating Portugal on Saturday, exposed the defensive fragilities present in the host nation’s side.
Spain have conceded five goals in three games at this World Cup, three in the 3-3 draw against Portugal and two in the 2-2 tie with Morocco, and kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 success versus Iran.