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Costa to be put to the test six days before the tournament

AS AS 07/06/2014 Juanma Trueba

The final friendly before the World Cup. In six days it all kicks off, and the adversary too. Today's game is useful, but not essential. It will, firstly, let us see how Diego Costa is, something which has bee shrouded in mystery since May 8. Since then, the striker has played a grand total of 39 minutes, against Barça in the league (30) and against Madrid in Lisbon (9).

Almost one month later (horse placenta and all), the objective is to give him a definitive test, something which isn't possible in training sessions. If Costa breaks down today, Del Bosque can replace him with a player who is on their holidays (Negredo and Llorente are the front runners). The closing date for squad changed due to injury is 24 hours before Spain's first game.

In addition to the first thing, the match will also serve to observe the chemistry in this side. The most pressing subject is the nine: real or false. The dilemma, as always, brings Cesc into the equation. The manager's go-to guy, and the centre of attention this week thanks to Piqué's admission that he had been sold by Barça for €33m. The way Fàbregas will handle this is unknown, but in similar situations, players have been known to up their game.

The opponents, El Salvador, are perhaps famous for their side in the 1980's (the Naranjito generation), especially in Cádiz. El Salvador didn't only play in the 1982 World Cup, but they also uncovered Mágico González, an absolute genius. Give the country's small size (six million inhabitants), they have not yet recouped a generation of such talent.

El Salvador will play their second game since the match-fixing scandal (against USA, DC United, México and Paraguay). All is new there now, starting with the coach, Spaniard Albert Roca, a missionary in El Salvador from the school of Barça.

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