BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa - Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was left out of Spain’s starting line-up for their Confederations Cup meeting with Iraq on Wednesday, following a hefty challenge from Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso in training. It is the second time the pair have come to blows this season, after Alonso left Fabregas sidelined for four months earlier in the campaign after injuring his knee in Arsenal's clash with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.
Spanish newspaper AS claimed that this time Alonso damaged Fabregas' left knee with a robust tackle in training.
Teams for the Confederations Cup Group A match between Spain and Iraq at the Free State Stadium:
Spain: 1-Iker Casillas (captain); 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 4-Carlos Marchena, 11-Joan Capdevila; 20-Santi Cazorla, 22-Juan Manuel Mata, 8-Xavi, 14-Xabi Alonso, 7-David Villa, 9-Fernando Torres.
Iraq: 12-Mohamed Kassid; 3-Basem Abbas, 14-Salam Shaker, 15-Ali Hussein Rehema, 4-Fareed Majeed, 2-Mohamed Ali Kareem, 22-Muayad Khalid; 11-Hawar Mulaa Mohammed, 5-Nashat Akram (captain), 20-Samer Saeed, 17-Alaa Abdul Zahra.
Referee: Matthew Breeze (Australia)