After a very slow start to the tournament, Spain still get another chance to qualify here, but standing in their way is a Slovakian team that’s on the cusp of also advancing the next phase.
European Championship 2020
Venue: Estadio de la Cartuja
Slovakia’s narrow loss to Sweden last time out was their first defeat in 2021. The Slovaks have become a tough side to beat and they tend not to give away many clear cut chances.
They are a plucky side that defends well enough and can take their chances when they present themselves. If they play against Spain the same way they’ve played in their opening two games then they’re almost guaranteed a point against a Spanish side that is experiencing some finishing woes up front. A point for them here guarantees a place in the round of 16 while even a loss could still put them through as one of the best third placed teams. That said, a defeat by more than a goal margin will surely knock them out.
When the draws were made for the Euros, very few would have expected Spain to be outside of the automatic qualification spots heading into their final group game, but there you have it.
Consecutive draws to Sweden and Poland due to some horrendous finishing by their strikers has put them in this tough spot. Spain had the chance to take all three points against Poland midway through the second half from the spot but Gerard Moreno shot the ball against the post and then with the gaping goal at his mercy, Alvaro Morata managed to somehow miss the target on the rebound.
Thus, the former champions are now on the brink of elimination and another draw here may not be enough. Fortunately, they go into this one boasting a hundred percent record against their opposition on home soil, winning all three.
Ivan Schranz is still out with a thigh injury whilst Denis Vavro will miss out after recently testing positive for COVID-19.
Luis Enrique is set to have all 26 members of his squad available for selection, following the return of Sergio Busquets.
Slovakia’s last five games: DWDWL
Spain’s last five games: WWDDD
Slovakia are unbeaten in their final group stage game at both of their previous two major tournament appearances.
Spain are unbeaten in their last nine games but have now drawn their last three games and six of the last nine matches.
Spain are averaging almost 80% possession this tournament and that figure is unlikely to drop against Slovakia. Spain are going to see more of the ball and have more chances than their opponents, but recently they haven’t been able to turn them into goals.
Slovakia have shown they’re comfortable under constant pressure and they are going to have to be once more. Slovakia will likely put ten men behind the ball and hope for a that one vital chance up front. Spain’s terrible form upfront is a reason to believe this will be a low scoring game if they’d be any goals at all. Let’s go for Under 3.5 goals at 40/85 odds.
Odds subject to change – 18+|BeGambleAware.org – Please gamble responsibly