06/09/2013 14:00, Report by Ryan Grant
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World Cup Reds: Spain

We run the rule over United stars' prospects of playing at the World Cup finals next year...

United player: David De Gea (0 caps)

Chances of qualifying: Spain currently sit a point above France atop the Group I table, and are yet to lose in qualification. Vicente del Bosque’s side are among the favourites to win next year’s tournament, so elimination at this stage would be unimaginable.

How has De Gea contributed so far? The United stopper was a named substitute as his side earned a draw against Finland back in March, and again for their 1-0 win in France later that month. He remains a victim of the Spanish squad’s strength in depth though, and hasn’t yet featured for them in Group I. While De Gea’s credentials as a European champion with Spain’s Under-21 side cannot be questioned, La Roja have conceded just twice in five games in qualification. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Situation at United? The 22-year-old has maintained his status as first-choice between the sticks at Old Trafford under David Moyes, and has played 90 minutes in each of United’s first three Barclays Premier League games this season. De Gea saved well from Wayne Routledge and then Michu in the club’s opening win over Swansea, and kept a clean sheet as United drew with Chelsea.

Likelihood of being involved in the squad? Unfortunately, Spain’s better-established goalkeepers are favoured by del Bosque. Should Spain qualify, he will have a chance of being named in the World Cup squad, but is unlikely to feature regularly in Brazil. With Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes all over the age of 30, however, David will hope to stake a claim for the number one shirt in years to come.

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