Defending Champions Spain started their defense of European championship against Czech Republic on Monday afternoon. Just like all the other games in the group stages so far this prove to be another hard fought competitive game. Spain dominated the first 45 minutes with large chunk of possession but failed to score. Czech Republic on the other hand looked to be happy with a 0-0 for most part and never really got out of their half. Gerard Pique finally put Spain 1-0 up from a close range header and Spain started their championship defense with a win.
Spain started with David De Gea in goal but they barely needed him in first 45 minutes as Spain absolute bossed the midfield and possession. Petr Cech made couple of quality saves but other than that Spain lacked final ball and cutting edge.
Spain 1-0 Czech Republic Highlights
[European Championship 2016, Monday, 12 June ]
87′ 1 – 0 Gerard Pique headed home from close range after Iniesta put in a delightful cross from the left flank.
Match Highlights (English)
Match Preview: Spain who won three back to back major tournaments from 2008 to 2012 are not the same team anymore with several key players retired or past their best. They have a formidable defense and a solid midfield but lacks cutting edge upfront with only Juventus youngster Alvaro Morata playing on his own with packed midfield. Czech Republic on the other hand are way down the packing order and their recent 6 games leading up to the european championships suggest they will struggle to get out of this highly competitive group.
Team News & Lineups: Czech Republic has a fully fit squad to choose from after their only doubtful player Borek Dockal recovered in time to start in important tournament opener. Czech are set to start with a 4-2-3-1 formation, Necid playing upfront while trio of Krejci, Kolar and Dockal playing in attacking roles behind him.
Spain on the other hand have a major concern whether to start with David De Gea who has been caught up in scandal just before the start of the competition. Prolific striker Aduriz might get the node upfront with David Silva, Nolito and Iniesta to play in attacking roles with Sergio Busquest and Koke playing in central midfield roles.
This is how I expect both teams to lineup on Monday afternoon.
Match Predictions: Hard to see anything other than a Spain win here but young Czech side who nobody is giving a chance might have other ideas. So far we have had some very competitive games in full 90 minutes and no team has blown the other away but this is one fixture where if Spain scores early goal they might be in for a riot. I am going with a easy Spain win here.