Holding a sporting event during the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be challenging, not only for the hosting nations but also for the contestants themselves, especially when there is a contraction case. Such circumstance is happening to Spain and Sweden, which are about to square off at the opening match of Group E in Estadio La Cartuja, Sevilla this weekend. Each sides has lost two players from their squad and bound to be absent in the first match. They are the skipper Sergio Busquets, Leeds man Diego Llorente from La Furia Roja, while Dejan Kulusevski and Mathias Vanberg. Now both teams are now in isolation based on the health protocol.
La Furia Roja's captain tested positive coronavirus after the friendly match against Portugal in Madrid last week which ended in a goalless draw. Busquets' fate in the squad is still in doubt due to this contraction as he is set to miss the first match. Even Spain's preparation for the opener is distracted because they have to undergo isolation procedure when they are supposed to do the final training. Then, only a few days later, COVID-19 took another victim, Leeds man Diego Llorente. Now, the former Barcelona boss who initially only named 24 men in the squad instead of 26 as the maximum number of players in the squad, apparently realises that his team is on the eve of crisis. Enrique has even prepared 11 names on thr stand-by list and still exclude Real Madrid players. They are Alvaro Fernandez, Oscar Mingueza, Marc Cucurella, Bryan Gil, Juan Miranda, Gonzalo Villar, Alejandro Pozo, Brahim Diaz, Martin Zubimendi, Yeremy Pino, Javi Puado, Brais Mendez, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, Leeds forward Rodrigo Moreno and the veteran Raul Albiol who just helped Villareal win this year's Europa League. The entire team is scheduled for a vaccination before the kick off.
On the other hand, Sweden boss, Janne Anderson, who initially decided to wait for Kulusevski and Sandberg's recovery from COVID-19 instead of calling up the replacement, changes his mind. He has recently named six players to be ready to cover their absence. Those six names are Isaac Kiese Thelin, Jesper Karlsson, Joakim Nilsson, Jacob Rinne, Mattias Johansson and Niclas Hult.
Meanwhile, A number of favorite teams are losing their stars who suffer serious injury only few days ahead of the tournament. England, Netherland, Italy and recently, the World Cup winner France, will need to brace themselves with some back-up names. The Three Lions missed out Trent Alexander-Arnold and replaced by Brighton defender Ben White, De Oranje is losing Manchester United man Danny Van de Beek but Frank dr Boer opts to stick to the remaining players instead of getting a replacement. In the meantime, Roberto Mancini opts for Fiorentina man, Gaetano Castovili to cover AS Roma skipper Lorenzo Pellegrini after being injured in the training and Les Blues is concerned about the injury blow from their two France aces, Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann and Real Madrid man who has just recalled for the major tournament, Karim Benzema.