Spain vs Czech Republic Preview

Hector Bellerin, David Silva and Andres Iniesta - Spain
Spain will look to go all the way in the Euro's for a record third time in a row.
EURO 2016 Group D | Stadium Municipal | Monday 13 June | 15:00

European Championship holders Spain kick their defence of the trophy off with a tie against Czech Republic on Monday. The sides last met in the Euro 2012 Qualifiers with Vicente del Bosque’s side winning 2-1 in Granada, before securing a 2-0 victory in Prague seven months later.


To Win (90mins)
Spain 9/20
Draw 32/10
Czech Republic 62/10

Spain

Spain are level with Germany with the most title wins in the European Championship with three each and will make history twice if they win it in France by becoming the first nation to win it four times and the first to complete a hat-trick of title wins. 

Their qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 saw them go up against Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Luxembourg and Macedonia in Group C. 

During their 10 matches they were virtually untouchable with nine wins and one defeat, their only loss coming in Slovakia when they went down 2-1 in October 2014. 

Since that defeat they went on a run of eight successive victories without conceding a single goal and scoring 17 in the process. 

Spain have an embarrassment of riches in nearly every position and if they all play to their full potential then they will certainly be there and thereabouts come the latter stages of the tournament. 

Manchester United shot-stopper David de Gea is tipped to start in goal ahead of Spain’s most capped player Iker Casillas, while Juanfran, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba make up the back line.

Spanish Playmaker Cesc Fabregas

Sergio Busquets will sit just in front of them which will allow David Silva and Cesc Fabregas to do the roaming in midfield. 

The duo are among the best providers in the business and have the ability to unlock any defence. Other midfield options are Thiago, Koke and Bruno. 

With Diego Costa, Fernando Torres and Paco Alcacer surprisingly left out of the squad, Alvaro Morata or Aritz Aduriz will spearhead the attack, while Pedro will offer a constant threat on the right flank with Andres Iniesta expected to play higher up the pitch on the left side.



Czech Republic

Czech Republic have only been competing as an independent nation for 20 years, yet in that time the country has qualified for every UEFA European Championship. 

Pavel Vrba’s men won a very challenging group – one that included the likes of the Netherlands, who will not be at this year’s tournament. 

The Czechs played fast, fluent attacking football in the qualifying round. 

However, Petr Cech did not manage any clean sheets, highlighting their defensive vulnerability. 

Czech Republic Player of the Year Petr Cech

The coach emphasises all-out attack and entertainment. 

With the exception of Cech, Tomas Rosicky and highly rated wing-back Pavel Kaderabek from Hoffenheim, the bulk of the squad play in the domestic Czech league. 

The Arsenal shot stopper will be crucial to his side’s chances in the tournament. 

Protected by a seasoned defence, the seven-time Czech Footballer of the Year is vital to stopping any chances that may occur as a result of Vrba’s men bombing forward.

Probable line-ups:

Spain: 4-2-3-1
De Gea; Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Fabregas, Silva; Iniesta, Pedro, Morata

Czech Republic: 4-2-3-1
Cech; Kaderabek, Kadlec, Sivok, Limbersky; Pavelka, Darida; Dockal, Rosicky, Krejci; Necid

Betting Verdict: Spain (9/20)
Holders Spain are strong contenders to win the tournament and they should have far too much quality for Czech Republic. Back La Furia Roja to get the ball rolling.

Written by Chadley Nagel.