Injury-hit Spain turn to Aduriz

MADRID, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Injury-hit Spain may have to rely on some unfamiliar names including uncapped Aritz Aduriz in their Euro 2012 qualifier against Lithuania on Friday.

Coach Vicente del Bosque called the Valencia striker into his squad on Monday after injuries to forwards Fernando Torres, Pedro and Jesus Navas. The world and European champions are also missing playmakers Xavi and Cesc Fabregas.

Arriving at Spain's training camp outside Madrid on Tuesday, Aduriz, a tall, powerful forward who has been compared to former Wales striker Mark Hughes, said he had been surprised to get the call.

"If they had told me two months ago I would never have believed it," the 29-year-old said on the Spanish football federation's website.

"I am thinking only about this match, in making a contribution and working as hard as I can," he added ahead of the Group I match in Del Bosque's home town of Salamanca.

Spain began their title defence with a 4-0 defeat of Liechtenstein and, even with a number of key players sidelined, should still have more than enough quality to see off Lithuania.

Striker David Villa, joint top scorer at the World Cup with five goals, will be chomping at the bit after missing Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Real Mallorca on Sunday through suspension.

Midfielder Andres Iniesta, who netted the dramatic winner against the Netherlands in the final in South Africa, appears to have shaken off the niggling injuries that plagued him last season and has been in sparkling form for Barca.


Aduriz's Valencia team-mate Pablo Hernandez, who has two appearances and one goal to his name and was also a late addition to the squad, is keen to take the chance thrown up by injuries to other players.

"It's an honour to be with the national team and these players, all the more so after winning the World Cup," Hernandez said on the RFEF website. "Now it's time for the hard work."

Lithuania drew their opening match against Scotland before upsetting Czech Republic 1-0 in Prague and coach Raimondas Zutautas made three changes when he named his squad for the Spain clash at the end of last month.

Goalkeeper Vytautas Cerniauskas replaced Giedrius Arlauskis, Arturas Rimkevicius was picked instead of striker Andrius Velicka and defender Mantas Fridrikas was also given a chance.

"Spain's titles speak for themselves but every general must believe in his troops and I believe we can go there, give a respectable performance and possibly achieve a result," Zutautas said on UEFA's website.