Spain and the Czech Republic will kick off Group D at the Euro 2016 tournament in France this Monday, June 13th with a match between sixth-ranked Spain and 30th-ranked Czech Republic in the city of Toulouse. Spain will be going after their unprecedented third straight European Championship crown with the Czech Republic seeking their first. The group also consists of 18th-ranked Turkey and 27th-ranked Croatia. This is another of the tournament’s most competitive groups and should feature some close contests.
Spain vs Czech Republic – 5Dimes Soccer Betting Line:
- 5Dimes currently lists Spain as the favorites at -200 with the Czech Republic +711 and a draw at +338
Spain vs Czech Republic – Head to Head:
- The last time these teams met was in October of 2011 with Spain winning 2-0 on the road in a 2012 Euro qualifier. They also won their home qualifying match 2-1. The sides have met just four times in the past with Spain winning three and drawing one. They’ve outscored the Czech Republic 5-1 in those contests.
Spain is the reigning European champion, but the team struggled at the 2014 World Cup n Brazil as they failed to advance from the group stage. They won the Euro 2008 and 2012 competitions and have gone undefeated in their past 12 European Championship matches. They qualified for the 2016 event by winning their group with nine victories and just one defeat, which came against Slovakia. They also outscored the opposition 23-3 in their 10 qualifying clashes.
Spain has played five pre-tournament games in 2016 and managed to draw in Romania and Italy. They also beat the Korean Republic 5-1 and Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 at home, but lost their most recent outing 1-0 to Georgia. Veteran Iker Casillas is one of the three goaltenders along with David De Gea and Sergio Rico. There’s an ongoing debate among fans over who should start, Casillas of Portuguese club Porto or the younger De Gea of Manchester United.
The Spanish squad has a wealth of experience with defenders such as Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Dani Carvajal, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta and Juanfran. The midfield features stars such as Bruno, Sergio Busquets, Koke, Thiago, Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Cesc Fabregas. However, the forwards could be their weak point as they’re relatively inexperienced on the major tournament stage with the likes of Aritz Aduriz, Nolito, Alvaro Morata and Lucas Vasquez.
The Czech Republic Had a fine qualifying campaign as they won their group with seven victories, a draw and two losses. They finished a pair of points ahead of Iceland and four up on Turkey. The Czech Republic beat Holland home and away to knock the Dutch out of qualifying. The team competed in the Euro 2012 event and advanced from the group stage with two wins and a loss. They were then eliminated by Portugal with a 1-0 loss in the first knockout stage. The nation also failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
The Czech Republic lost at home to Scotland in a pre-tournament game this year and was also beaten by the Korean Republic. However, they did manage to draw in Sweden and win in Russia. The side is solid in goal with Petr Cech and he’s backed up by Tomas Koubek and Tomas Vaclik. The defense isn’t the strongest and the midfield will be led by the injury-prone veteran Tomas Rosicky. The forwards consist of David Lafata, Tomas Necid and Milan Skoda.
by Ian S. Palmer