Confederations Cup: Spain will show Tahiti respect in their clash on Thursday
Last Updated: 20/06/13 7:55pm
Juan Mata: Spain midfielder knows Tahiti deserve respect
Spain are out to make sure they avoid any slip-ups against Tahiti when the two sides meet in the Confederations Cup on Thursday.
The Oceania champions lost their opening game of the Confederations Cup 6-1 to Nigeria while Spain beat Uruguay 2-1 with an impressive performance in Recife.
Tahiti are 137 places below the European and world champions in the FIFA rankings and certain bookmakers are offering odds of 1/125 for the Polynesians to pull off what would certainly be a shock win over Vicente Del Bosque's side.
And Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata will show the minnows the utmost respect.
"All of our success stems from the respect we continue to show for our opponents - and Tahiti deserve our respect," he said.
"Even with their limitations, they showed against Nigeria that they are a side that wants to play and has pace. Spain go into it as the favourites but you have to win matches on the pitch and not beforehand".
Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez believes Spain have to produce a similar performance against Tahiti as they did against Uruguay, despite the clear disparity between the two opponents.
He said: "Spain are the favourites, there's no point trying to hide it but that doesn't mean that we don't have the utmost respect for all of our rivals, and in this case, for Tahiti.
"For us, the most important thing is maintaining the same good sensations we had in the first match against Uruguay."
Manchester City team-mates Jesus Navas and David Silva could make their first appearances while Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta prepares to win his third cap for Spain.
Tahiti defender Nicolas Vallar managed 53 minutes of the defeat to Nigeria despite struggling with an ankle problem and he should feature on Thursday.
FIFA Confederations Cup Group A
FIFA Confederations Cup Group B