World Cup: Spain expect Sergio Ramos to line up in crucial qualifier with France

Sergio Ramos: Looking to shake off a slight knock

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Vicente del Bosque is confident he will have Sergio Ramos at his disposal when Spain face France on Tuesday.

The Real Madrid defender's involvement in an eagerly-anticipated Group I encounter was cast into doubt when he limped out of a meeting with Belarus on Friday.

Ramos was unable to train on Sunday with the rest of the Spain squad, but rejoined the group on Monday.

Del Bosque is now expecting the centre-half to be in contention for a starting berth in a crucial clash on the road to Brazil 2014.

"He told me he was better and we are confident he'll be available for tomorrow," said the experienced coach.

"But if he cannot play we will not force the issue, we won't take risks. In that case someone else will play."

Del Bosque will be hoping Ramos is ready to face the French, as he is one of just two recognised centre-halves in the Spain squad - with Barcelona pair Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique currently out injured.

While the reigning world and European champions face something of a defensive headache, they have no such troubles further up the field.

A side brimming with creative options in the final third could be set to welcome David Villa back into its starting XI, with the Barcelona forward raring to go after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a broken leg.

On his potential involvement against France, Spain's all-time leading goalscorer said: "I need to be patient but I am ready to play.

"I know my leg will respond, I am not so sure about my stamina."