City's Rodri ready to renew club rivalry when Spain face Scotland

City's Rodri ready to renew club rivalry when Spain face Scotland

© AFP 2022
March 27, 2023 at 6:54 PM
Manchester City and Spain midfielder Rodri (R)
Manchester City and Spain midfielder Rodri (R). Photo: Paul ELLIS / AFP
Source: AFP

Rodri said on Monday he is looking forward to facing some familiar Premier League foes when Spain face Scotland in a Euro 2024 qualifier at Hampden Park this week.

The Manchester City midfielder is set to feature against Manchester United's Scott McTominay and Aston Villa's John McGinn on Tuesday in Glasgow.

McTominay came off the bench to score twice late on in Scotland's opening 3-0 qualifying win over Cyprus after McGinn had broken the deadlock midway through the first half.

"I know them very well, of course," Rodri told reporters.

"They are fine players with a lot of physicality to go box to box."

The 26-year-old, who helped Spain to a 3-0 home win over Norway on Saturday, added: "I think they are of massive importance to the national team and, of course, they have experience of playing big games in the Premier League -- against us, for example.

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"With Scott, it's a big rivalry, of course, in the Manchester derby.

"They are good players, as we have also. We don't focus too much on individual players, we focus more on the things they do collectively...Tomorrow is going to be an important game.

"If we can win tomorrow we'll have taken six points from the two best teams in the group -- Scotland and Norway -- so it's going to be a very tough game."

Hampden is set to be full to its 50,000 capacity for the match.

"It's the first time I've played here," he said.

"I spoke with some of the lads and I think it's also the first time for them.

"There is always a great environment when you play in the UK - the passion for football is great.

"It's going to be very emotional tomorrow and if the stadium is full, it means it will be good for the players.

"It could be (our toughest away game). To be honest, I don't know. Let's see tomorrow."

Spain manager Luis De La Fuente said he expected to face a "very aggressive, very dynamic" Scotland team after starting his time in charge with victory over Norway.

"Scotland are a very strong rival," he added. "They've got a good team that has evolved over the years.

"They have individuals in top teams in the Premier League so they are capable of competing at the highest level and at international level."

© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022