Spain are one of the best teams in this edition of European Championship, with the FIFA ranking of seven. Although the team have regressed in terms of quality since their Euro 2012 victory, they are expected to reach the final, if not then semi-final. The defending champions of past two European titles are in the process of rebuilding, as the loss of legendary figures of Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol and Xabi Alonso have left them huge voids to fill.
Match: Spain Vs Czech Republic (European Championship, Group stage)
Date: Friday, June 13, 2016; 6:30 (IST time)
Venue: France, Stadium Municipal
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The encouraging news for Czech will be that the defending champions have played well below expectation; the defeat with Georgia, ranked 137th places in FIFA rankings, being proof for that. La Roja have won just two of their last five games and should uplift their performance if they are to reach fans expectation in the tournament.
Spain: Team News
Vicente Del Bosque will have to make a big decision whether to go with captain Iker Casillas at goal, or to pick current Manchester United goalie David De Gea. While Alvaro Morata will spearhead attack with the help of fellow attackers Nolito, a Barcelona target last January, and David Silva of Manchester City.
Spain: Predicted Line-up (4−3−3)
De Gea – Juanfran, Ramos, Piqué, Jordi Alba – Busquets, Fabregas, Iniesta – Nolito, Morata, David Silva
Czech Republic: Team News
The Czechs will be lead by two Arsenal veterans, Thomas Rosicky and Petr Cech, and apart from these two no one plays for any major leagues. Czech Republic know that they are underdogs in the game and will have pulled a major surprise, if they emerge victorious against the defending champions.
Czech Republic: Predicted Line-up (4−2−3−1)
Čech – Sivok, Kadlec, Gebre Selassie, Kadeřábek – Pavelka, Darida – Šural, Rosický, Krejčí – Necid.
Spain vs Czech Republic: Head-To-Head stats
In the major tournament qualifiers, Euros and World Cups, since 1996 Spain have locked horns with the Czechs a total of four times, in which the Spanish side have never tasted defeat. The last time Czechs were able to hold off Spain was in 1997 WC Qualifiers. Also, in last two European Champions Qualifiers in 2011, Spain came out victorious.
Spain vs Czech Republic: Prediction
If the world were ideal and there were not any surprises, Spain should win the game comfortably. The sheer class of Spanish contingent will be too much to deal for Petr Cech and his companions. However, it will be expected that the Czech will stop De Gea from keeping a cleen sheet.
Final Prediction: Spain 3–1 Czech Republic