Euro 2012: Spain blow as David Villa ruled out
Spain's Euro 2012 hopes received another major setback last night when David Villa was officially ruled out of the tournament, WRITES DANIEL MCDONNELL.
The Barcelona striker will join his clubmate Carles Puyol on the sidelines after failing to recover from the broken shinbone he suffered in December.
Manager Vicente del Bosque was keen to give one of his star men every chance, but the medical staff at the Catalan club have judged that he won't be ready.
His absence increases Fernando Torres' prospects. The Chelsea front man has been recalled to the squad for this weekend's friendly with Serbia. Del Bosque will name his 23-man panel on Sunday.
Athletic Bilbao attacker Fernando Llorente is likely to spearhead Spain's 4-2-3-1 formation.
Other goal threats which the Irish defence could encounter are Valencia's Roberto Soldado and Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo.
Villa's absence, however, is a huge blow -- he has 53 goals in 81 internationals, including being top scorer at Euro 2008 and joint-top scorer at the 2010 World Cup.