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Spain will return to the scene of their 2010 FIFA World Cup triumph when they face South Africa on Tuesday.

Vicente del Bosque’s men, who became world champions with a 1-0 extra-time victory over Netherlands at Soccer City in Johannesburg, will be looking to end 2013 on a high after the year produced their first loss in a competitive match since that tournament.

It was Brazil, hosts of the 2014 competition, who inflicted that defeat in the final of the Confederations Cup, but Spain have since won five of the last six matches, qualifying for next year’s tournament as winners of their group.

But while the return to the stage of their greatest success will invoke happy memories among the Spain squad, the reigning world and European champions will hope to produce a better performance than they did in their hard-fought 2-1 victory over Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

A much-changed Spain were far from their fluent best in Malabo but goals from Santi Cazorla and Juanfran proved enough for the visitors.

Spain have never lost to South Africa in the three previous meetings between the two sides, although they needed extra time to take a 3-2 victory in the third-place play-off at the 2009 Confederations Cup.

South Africa go into the game in good form having lost just one of their last five outings, and the hosts will be keen to end a disappointing year on a high.

Gordon Igesund’s men failed to qualify for the World Cup as they were eliminated in the second round of CAF qualification after finishing second in their group behind Ethiopia.

South Africa’s next competitive priority will be to reach the finals of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but of immediate concern is the task presented to them by the number-one ranked nation.

Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker should provide South Africa’s main attacking threat after scoring five goals in their qualification campaign.

But Parker and South Africa are likely to have a more difficult task as they try to break down a Spain defence that conceded just three goals en route to the finals.

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