Vazquez replaces injured Vitolo in Spain squad

Vazquez replaces injured Vitolo in Spain squad
Deportivo La Coruna's Portuguese defender Luisinho (L) vies with Real Madrid's midfielder Lucas Vazquez during the Spanish league footbal match RC Deportivo de la Coruna vs Real Madrid CF at the Municipal de Riazor stadium in La Coruna on August 20, 2017. MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP
Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez was called into the Spain squad for crucial World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Liechtenstein on Monday after Vitolo was forced to withdraw with a knee injury.

Atletico Madrid winger Vitolo, who is on loan at Las Palmas until January, has been a key player for Spain since Julien Lopetegui took charge just over a year ago, scoring four times in five games in qualifying.

“Yesterday morning in training, the player suffered a strain in the medial collateral ligament of his knee,” the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said in a statement.

“After consultation with the medical services of his club and those of the RFEF, the player will leave the squad this evening.”

Vazquez has three international caps, but his only appearance in a competitive fixture came when Italy beat Spain 2-0 at Euro 2016.

Spain will be looking for revenge when they host the Azzurri at Real’s Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday with both sides locked together on 16 points at the top of Group G of European qualifying.

La Roja travel to Liechtenstein on September 5.

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