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Omission of Ontiveros and Pau Torres from Spain under-21 squad gives boost to play-off hopes

Pau Torres, at a recent Spain under-21 training session.
Pau Torres, at a recent Spain under-21 training session. / Pepe Marín
  • It had been expected that at least one of the pair would have earned a call-up for the tournament held in Italy from 16 to 30 June

Malaga's Pau Torres and Javi Ontiveros will be available to play in the play-offs, should Malaga get there, after the pair were left out of Luis de la Fuente's squad for the upcoming under-21 European Championships.

It had widely been expected that Pau, who had been in the previous Spain under-21 squad, would be included in the provisional squad for the tournament held in Italy from 16 to 30 June. However, he is off the list, as is teammate Ontiveros who, because of his recent form, had been considered an outside bet.

Their omission, however, comes as good news for Malaga who will most likely be competing in the play-offs to return to La Liga at the first time of asking.

Coach Víctor Sánchez will, however, have to do without goalkeeper Munir and midfielder Alfred N'Diaye, expected to feature for Morocco and Senegal, respectively, at the African Cup of Nations.

Delaying the tournament by a week because of Ramadan will allow both to play on the final day, but neither will be able to feature in the play-offs should Malaga get there.