Spain v Turkey, Friday June 17
Nice, Live on ITV, 8pm
Spain meet Turkey in the late kick off in Nice (8pm, live on ITV), with the Spaniards knowing that a victory will guarantee their place in the Round of 16. Last time out, both team’s matches ended in a 1-0 result, Spain coming off as the victors against the Czech Republic and the Turks coming off second best in their clash against Croatia.
Spain – the story so far
Spain have a history of starting tournaments slowly – in the 2010 World Cup they went down to a 0-1 defeat to Switzerland, in the 2012 Euros, they opened up with a 1-1 draw with Italy and in the 2014 World Cup they got utterly pumped by the Netherlands 5-1. The fact they were ultimately able to grind down the Czechs in their opening game of Euro 2016 and come away with a victory will be pleasing to Vicente del Bosque.
Spain did dominate their opening match, seeing 68% of the ball and completely dictating the flow and tempo of the match, but they weren’t able to break the deadlock until the 87th minute when Pique rose at the back post to head in Andres Iniesta’s cross. Against Turkey they will face a side who is capable of posing more of an attacking threat, but you would feel that if Spain are able to control the game in the same way they did their first game, the Turks may be cruising for a bruising.
Turkey – the story so far
In their opening match against Croatia, Turkey only managed two shots on target and will need to seriously improve if they’re to trouble Vicente del Bosque’s side. Barcelona man Arda Turan had a disappointing match and at times the Turkish midfield was completely overrun by his teammate Ivan Rakitic and the Real midfielder Luca Modric. Oguzhan Ozyakup looks like an interesting prospect, but in this match he’ll be up against the evergreen Andrés Iniesta who completely controlled the game against the Czechs.
Turkey will look ahead to their final match against the Czech Republic as their best chance of securing a win in Group D, but they know that they’ll probably need to secure a point against Spain in order to qualify as one of the best third place teams. With that in mind, I expect there to be a few goals in this one – either with Turkey pushing forward and having a go, or more likely Spain ruthlessly putting the Turks to the sword as they push forward in search of a goal.
If Spain score early in this one, it could get ugly. Turkey will need press for goals of their own and that could create a few spaces which the Spanish are more than capable of exploiting. Having already got a win under their belt in the opener, the pressure is off Spain and released from the shackles, this one could provide the tournament’s first blow out.
- Spain to win both halves @
- Over 3.5 goals in the game @
- Spain to score 4 more more goals @
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