Saez to rest top stars

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Spain coach Inaki Saez will field a second-string side in Wednesday's friendly international against Denmark in order to give a number of players the chance to win their place at Euro 2004.

Valencia trio David Albelda, Ruben Baraja and Vicente, as well as Real Madrid troika Iker Casillas, Michel Salgado and captain Raul will all be left out of his starting line-up in Gijon.

"I already have my basic first-choice team sorted out," Saez told reporters after training on Tuesday night.

"At the moment I don't think it is vital for them to play, so instead I want to have a look at those players who might join them in the final squad."

Instead, recalled strikers Fernando Morientes and Salva Ballesta will get the chance to impress up front, while Barcelona's Gabri and Deportivo La Coruna's Joan Capdevila would start as the full backs.

Saez said that he would also be trying out a new central midfield partnership consisting of Real Sociedad's young playmaker Xabi Alonso and the versatile Guti of Real Madrid.

But the Spain coach, whose side face Portugal, Greece and Russia in Group A at Euro 2004, made it clear that his decision to field an experimental side did not mean he was not taking the game seriously.

"What I want to do is to check out the state of certain players," he said. "But we always play to win and this will be no different.

"Denmark are a quality side who are also going to the European Championships. They have gained good results in recent games against England and Turkey and it is going to be an interesting game."