EURO 2016: Spain-Czech Republic
Monday fixtures will be opened with a Group D clash between the reigning European champions Spain and the group outsiders the Czech Republic. La Roja brought a star-studded outfit to France with a number of other great players such as MartÃƒÂnez, NiguÃƒÂ©z, Costa and Torres not even making it to the squad. Judging by the calibre and team quality, the Czechs can hardly be a match for the Spaniards and the head-to-head statistics also favours Spain to win this fixture. Starting at 3 PM (CET), the duel Spain vs. the Czech Republic will be played at the Municipal Stadium in Toulouse.
Despite suffering an unexpected defeat at Slovakia at the beginning of their qualifying campaign, the Spanish met the expectations, emerging victorious in their group. Spain won both of the previous European championships and they are looking to complete what would be a glorious golden hat-trick at this yearÃ‚Â´s tournament. In their preparation for EURO 2016, del BosqueÃ‚Â´s men played six friendlies with their opponents ranging from top-notch sides (England, Italy) to average (Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and even very low rated teams (Korea, Georgia). In these warm-up duels, La Roja suffered just one defeat but shockingly, it was against the weakest side Georgia (0:1). After this embarrassing result, the Spaniards will certainly make sure not underestimate any of their EURO opponents, including their first rivals the Czech Republic. Just a few days before the Georgia fiasco, Spain hammered Korea (6:1), the same team that the Czechs lost to (1:2) in their final warm-up.
The Czechs gave a remarkably great performance in the qualification, winning a very tough group that also featured some renowned sides including the Netherlands and Turkey. However, their elation was greatly reduced in the preparatory stage after the Czech Republic produced several disappointing results (e.g. defeats at the hands of Poland, Scotland and South Korea). Undoubtedly, the teamÃ‚Â´s coach biggest headache is the defence. The Czechs conceded an alarmingly high number of goals in both the qualifiers and the warm-up duels. Considering the enormous strength of SpainÃ‚Â´s attacking line, solid and well-organized defence seems absolutely necessary for the Czech outfit to obtain a good result in the match. In fact, some experts even consider the Czechs one of the tournamentÃ‚Â´s outsiders but the teamÃ‚Â´s captain Tomas Rosicky said it actually might be an advantage for his side as they will be under no pressure. Let us see if the Czech Republic take advantage of being the underdogs in their game against Spain and impress the sceptics with a good showing.
The Municipal Stadium in Toulouse will host what is likely to be a one-sided affair as the defending European champions Spain will take on the Czech Republic. At EURO 2004, the Czechs amazed Europe with stunning performance and highly attractive football produced by stars such as Nedved, Baros and Poborsky but their current squad is far from being that formidable. With a number of young and inexperienced players in their outfit, the Czech Republic should be an easy prey for star-packed Spain. Will the game really end up this way? Or will the Czechs staged a surprise in the match? We will know by Monday afternoon.
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