Regional matches

Several of the autonomous regions of Spain organise international matches at this time of year pitting the best players of their area against international sides. This season is no exception, with five 'selecciones' lining up between now and the end of the year.

The first to kick off is Andalucia, who line up against Tunisia with Depor's Diego Tristán and Romero and Real Madrid's Hierro in the Olympic stadium in Sevilla tonight, 27th December.

Catalunya will play Chile on the 28th at Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium, with Guardiola being given permission despite his pending doping case to play alongside Puyol, Xavi, Celades, Aguado, Sergio and others. Injuries to Luque, Tamudo, Jordi Cruyff and Rubén Navarro mean that Barcelona's Dani will probably play up front.

The Community of Valencia will play their first match for several years at the Mestalla stadium, also on the 28th against Lithuania. Well known names include Albelda (Valencia), Molina (Depor), Juanfran (Celta) and Farinós (Inter Milan).

Lithuania then go on to play Asturias the next day in Sporting Gijón's Molinon stadium, a side which will be missing Luis Enrique but which will include Juanele (Zaragoza), César and José Manuel (Deportivo), Esteban and Oli (Oviedo) and Castaño (Betis).

Mendieta will captain a Basque side (Euskadi) which also contains Spanish internationals Urzaiz, Etxeberria, Julen Guerrero, Aranzábal and Aitor Karanka against Ghana in Bilbao's San Mames stadium, also on 29th December. (27.12.01)

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