The most successful international side of the last decade, Spain, start their European campaign against the Czechs at the Municipal Stadium in Toulouse.
Controversy has marred Spain’s build up to the main event with De Gea being subject to sexual assault allegations, which he has vehemently denied. Vicente Del Bosque has also come out and shown his faith in the young shot stopper, saying that the team’s undying support is always with De Gea and that he has explained the entire situation to the administration.
Even though the Spanish administration has tried to suppress the controversy by coming out and saying positive things about the harmony within the team, such ‘news’ from within the camp always plays on the mind of the players as the focus shifts from the game to the story that is presented in the media. And staying entirely focused on the game is something that is very important before the start of any major tournament as the initial game can set the tone for the entire championships.
De Gea has been in the news apart from this controversy as well .He is all set to replace Iker Casillas as Spain’s long-term goalkeeper and Del Bosque will be looking at the European Championsips as a brilliant opportunity for the young goalkeeper to get some big stage international experience.
Now, while Spain has been the decorated international side of the last 10 years, since the 2014 World Cup they have lost a fair bit of ground to Germany and Belgium, and would be hoping to get on top of things against the Czech’s.
Czech Republic are making their 9th European appearance, having won it once in 1976(as Czechoslovakia).
While the Czech’s had a pretty successful qualifying campaign, winning 7 out of 10 games, they are defensively the ‘leakiest’ of all teams that have qualified for the European finals, having conceded 14 goals in the qualifying campaign. But having qualified despite that shows that they are full of creativity and scoring instinct going forward.
Petr Cech would need to be at his best if Czech Republic want to salvage anything out of this encounter. Spain haven’t traditionally been an out and put scoring side and thus a solid defensive display on part of the Czech’s can certainly test the mettle of this Spanish side.
Spain’s Predicted XI- De Gea, Alba, Ramos, Pique, Juanfran; Iniesta, Busquets, Koke; Silva, Morata, Nolito
Czech Republic’s Predicted XI- Cech; Limbersky, Kadlec, Sivok, Kaderabek; Darida, Plasil; Krejci, Kolar, Dockal; Necid
Spain to win it 2-0