"It ends today" - Fans left furious as 30-year-old is dropped from Spain line-up ahead of FIFA World Cup knockout game against Morocco

Spain have named their starting XI to face Morocco in the FIFA World Cup
Spain have named their starting XI to face Morocco in the FIFA World Cup

Fans have been left baffled by Luis Enrique's decision to drop Alvaro Morata from Spain's starting line-up to face Morocco in the FIFA World Cup knockout match.

Spain booked their place in the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup as runners-up of Group E. Having not won the tournament since 2010, they will now be hopeful of going all the way in Qatar.

La Roja are scheduled to face Morocco in the Round of 16 of the World Cup today (November 6). A win against the African nation would see them face either Portugal or Switzerland in the quarter-finals.

With less than an hour to go until kick-off, Spain have announced their starting line-up for the match. Enrique has notably made five changes to the team that lost 2-1 to Japan in their last group-stage match.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain XI: Unai Simรณn; Marcos Llorente, Rodri, Laporte, Jordi Alba; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Ferran Torres, Asensio, Dani Olmo.๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Morocco XI: Bono; Mazraoui, Aguerd, Saรฏss, Hakimi; Amrabat, Amallah, Ounahi; Boufal, En-Nesyri, Ziyech.

Marcos Llorente has replaced Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back, while Jordi Alba has taken over from Barcelona teammate Alejandro Balde at left-back. Manchester City duo Rodri and Aymeric Laporte are Enrique's preferred centre-back pairing today.

The Spanish tactician has notably kept his midfield three unchanged, with Pedri, Gavi and Sergio Busquets retaining their places. Meanwhile, Ferran Torres has replaced Nico Williams on the right wing.

It is also worth noting that Marco Asensio will be leading the line for La Roja instead of Morata. The Atletico Madrid striker has been relegated to the bench despite scoring in each of the team's three matches in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Enrique is confident that his preferred starting line-up will get the job done against Morocco. However, many fans are not on board with his decision not to start Morata today. One fan wrote on Twitter:

"Europa league midfield + that clown front three. Enrique has been overachieving but it ends today."
@TheEuropeanLad Europa league midfield + that clown front three ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Enrique has been overachieving but it ends today. ๐Ÿ™

Here are some more reactions to Enrique's decision to leave Morata on the bench against Morocco:

@TheEuropeanLad Why is morata not starting?
@TheEuropeanLad I love Lorente at RB...frightening pace...surprised no Morata
Why tf heโ€™s that stubborn with Asensio ffs use morataโ€ฆ
i love enrique but why is he not playing morata when he has 3 goals in 3 games, all while not even reaching 90 minutes in all of them?โ€ฆ

How are Morocco lining up against Spain in the FIFA World Cup?

Morocco qualified for the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup as Group F toppers. With seven points to their name from three games, they notably finished above Croatia and Belgium.

The Atlas Lions will now be looking to keep their dream run going by beating Spain today. Walid Regragui has made just one change to the team that beat Canada 2-1 in their last group match.

Selim Amallah has taken Abdelhamid Sabiri's place in midfield, alongside Sofyan Ambrabat and Azzedine Ounahi.

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Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer
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