SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 19: Alba Redondo of Spain celebrates scoring a goal during the 2023 Cup of Nations Match between Australian Matildas and Spain at CommBank Stadium on February 19, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

FIFA Women's World Cup 70 Day Countdown: Day 6 - Spain Snapshot

As we enter day two of Edge of the Crowd’s electrifying 70-day countdown to the highly anticipated 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, we’re diving headfirst into a whirlwind tour of the fierce and fabulous teams gracing this year’s tournament.

Join us on this journey as we dish out the inside scoop on each squad's strengths, weaknesses, players to keep an eye on and what a pass mark might be for each nation.

Next up is Spain, whose lead-up to the World Cup has been derailed by a fracture inside the camp over the past 12 months.

FIFA Women's World Cup appearances: 2 (2015, 2019)

Best Performance in a FIFA Women's World Cup: 2019 (Round of 16)

Players to watch

With the future of Las 15 still up in the air, it's hard to say just how the squad will look for Spain's first match against Costa Rica on July 21, however, all eyes will be on 23-year-old goalkeeper María Isabel Rodríguez who has earned her stripes from just 12 caps for La Roja.

Nicknamed Misa, Rodríguez has become a reliable figure both for Spain and Real Madrid in 2023, playing three international matches, keeping two clean sheets and starting in 25 matches for the Las Blancas. The more Rodríguez settles into her position as coach Jorge Vilda's first-choice keeper the better the La Roja will be for it.

Spain has its pick of the litter with world-class strikers but one of the most reliable figures in the squad in recent months has been Alba Redondo with five goals to her name since the exit of Las 15, including a handy late goal against Australia in the 2023 Cup of Nations.

Redondo has dominated in Liga F, playing for Levante, leading the competition for goals scored with 24 - eight goals ahead of the next best Spanish striker, Esther González, who is also set to be a key figure in the World Cup squad.

2023 form

There's no doubt that Vilda's team has rallied despite the controversy, winning four of their five matches in 2023, and putting two goals on the Matildas in their lone loss for the year, finishing as runners-up in the Cup of Nations.

La Roja looks comfortable playing in Australia in front of packed crowds in summer, however, they'll be in New Zealand under very different conditions and will need to survive the Group Stage before they can make the trip across the Tasman.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: With no shortage of goalscorers, Spain has the opportunity to be creative with its scoring opportunities, looking for multiple outlets rather than relying on two players.

Spain, like England, has an additional advantage with only a handful of players both in and out of the current squad not playing in Liga F. As a result, the players are all very familiar with each other's playing styles and settle when the squad comes together for friendlies or tournament football.

Weaknesses: Spain's main weakness continues to be the issues permeating the squad due to the uncertain status of Las 15. With six Barcelona players still missing from the squad despite leading Liga F this year, the Spanish national team is never going to be at full strength.

However, if Vilda and the administration concede to the pressures of Las 15, the re-entry into the squad for some of those players could disrupt a team that has been very successful since September last year.

Pass mark

Considered one of the favourites for the tournament, Spain is expected to emerge from the Group stage on top and at least make the quarter-finals. However, a pass for Spain will be a first semi-finals berth at a major international competition since the 1997 Euros.

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