When and where: The 2014 World Cup qualifier kicks-off from the Boris Paichadze Stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia, at 1.30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN Deportes, with a live stream available in both English and Spanish via ESPN3.
Preview: Spain begin their quest to retain their World Cup title and win an incredible fourth successive major championship with a potentially tricky trip to Georgia. Spain reaffirmed their status as the dominant force in international soccer this past summer as they put on a stunning performance to defeat Italy 4-0 in the final of Euro 2012.
Since that occasion in Kiev at the start of July, Vicente del Bosque's side has stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games with victory last month against Puerto Rico and on Friday with a 5-0 cruise over Saudi Arabia.
It was a somewhat experimental side that took to the field in Pontenedra last time out, with just three players starting from the side that began the Euro 2012 final. While Fernando Torres captained the side on the occasion of his 100th cap, the night will arguably be best remembered for the return to the Spanish side of David Villa. Spain's all-time record scorer came off the bench following a nine-month absence with a broken leg and duly recorded his 52nd goal for La Roja from the penalty spot. Despite Villa's scoring return, Torres is expected to get the nod in a central striking role in Tbilisi.
With a group also featuring France as well as Belarus and Finland, Del Bosque has affirmed his desire for his players not to take anything for granted as they seek to make it to Brazil and defend their title.
"The World Cup does not start in 2014, but now, here against Georgia in Tbilisi. To defend the title that Spain won in Johannesburg we need to first qualify for Brazil," Del Bosque said in AS.
"The players know that we are starting a tough qualification phase, where we cannot afford to be complacent because a mistake could be a problem."
Their opening opponents already have three points to their name in Group I, having beaten Belarus 1-0 at home on Friday. Coach Temuri Ketsbaia began with a young side in their opening contest and looks set to do the same against the World champions.
"We have plenty of young, creative players who can run fast and have good stamina," said the former Newcastle United forward, according to Uefa.com.
D: Grigalava, Kashia, Amiusulashvili, Khizanishvili
M: Kankava, Daushvili, Okriashvili, Targamadze
F: McHedlidze, Jano
D: Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba
M: Xavi, Busquets, Alonso
F: Pedro, Torres, Iniesta
Prediction: The question has been asked for some time over whether Spain can maintain the motivation after so much success in recent years. So far they have answered the doubters in a resounding manner at every turn. While there will be far harder tests down the line if they are to retain the World Cup, Spain should again be up to the challenge on Tuesday. Tbilisi is not the easiest of places to visit and there is sure to be a ramped up atmosphere inside the stadium, but Spain showed with a 100 percent record in qualifying for Euro 2012 how adept they are at getting the job done away from home.
Georgia 0-3 Spain