The second match of Group D commences with the defending Champion’s locking horns against Czech Republic at the Stade de Toulouse. Can Spain conquer Czech or will Rosicky and his men pull off a surprise?
Spain and Czech Republic face each other after a loss each in their respective warm-up games. Playing their first game of the tournament, both managers will look to start their campaigns with a victory in the hopes of advancing to the next round.
Del Bosque vs Pavel Vbra
Vicente Del Bosque is known to be able to work well with a team full of stars and win a trophy. However, this is the first time he is with a squad that requires strategic tinkering for a victory. With no star striker like Diego Costa or Fernando Torres, Spain must make do with Alvaro Morata and Nolito, who no doubt are in excellent form. Del Bosque is most likely to employ his 4-3-3 formation with Pedro and David Silva on either side of Mata. With much of the team’s creativity coming from Fabregas and the ageing Iniesta, Del Bosque will instruct his defensively sound squad keep as much possession of the ball as possible and build up a steady attack against a Czech side who will prioritize on defence against the champions. With the opponents possessing slow central defenders, Del Bosque will encourage the left sided and left footed Silva to drift deep in the gap between the midfield and defence to try long range shots.
Pavel Vbra possesses a strong, fast, attacking lineup which is heavily reliant on the aging Rosicky. Struggling with a lot of injuries, Rosicky is not the most dependable player at the moment, but without him in the side, Czech loses its ability to break down a strong defence such as the Spanish side. With the opponents playing almost 5 defenders (Busquets providing adequate cover for the back four), Vbra’s men will find it hard to score against the towering presence of Ramos and Pique. He will insist that his men sit deep and wait for an opportunity to dispossess Spain off the ball and run at Pique and Ramos with their wingers in a counter attack.
Busquets vs Rosicky
Sergio Busquets is one of those breeds of players who play the most unattractive role in football. However, it should be noted that this role has forever been vital to any team where the full backs contribute to the attack. Busquets’ role will include sitting in front of the back four and adding to the defensive solidity of Spain. With Rosicky the creative outlet for Czech Republic, it will be Busquets job to ensure he doesn’t receive the ball or when he does, to dispossess it from him.
Rosicky, on the other hand, has a lot of responsibility on his ageing shoulder. With no player coming off the bench to aid him, Rosicky, who is struggling with injury, must not only carry the team forward but make up for the lack of extraordinary talent in his side. Although experience is on Rosicky’s side, Busquets is most likely to shut him down completely and will be the winner of the battle.
Silva vs Cech
The two have already faced each other in the Premier league and are proven performers in their respective field. Cech is probably one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League if not the world. However, what has always complemented his exceptional goalkeeping has been a strong defensive line ahead of him. In this particular case, Cech has a reasonably strong defensive line, however, the team’s tactic where the midfield press while the defenders sit back might lead to a lot of space in between the midfield and forward line. This is the sort of region where Silva thrives.
Although playing a wide striker in the 4-3-3 formation, Silva is usually given the freedom to roam in anywhere across the final third of the pitch. With gaps available between the midfield and defensive line, Silva will make sure he slots into that pocket trying to take long range shots or setting up Pedro and Morata who have more than enough pace to out run the Czech defense. Petr Cech is sure to be tested in this game and Silva is most likely to come out on to in this battle.
Necid vs Ramos
Necid is the striker that will be chosen to start for Czech Republic. Plying his trade in Bursaspor in Turkey, the 26 year old is a strong finisher and good in the air. He will look for Rosicky to play short passes inside the 18 yard box for him to finish or will look to crosses from either side of the wing.
However, opposing Necid is Real Madrid’s captain Sergio Ramos. The veteran defender is experienced, tall and also adept at heading the ball. Often scoring from corners, Ramos is unrivaled in the air and will surely make it hard for the likes of Necid, who will look to use his height to his advantage. Accompanied by the tall figure of Pique, Sergio Ramos is sure to win the duel against Necid.
- Spain has a very stable defense and adequate cover in their midfield
- Spain are spoilt for choice when it comes to goalkeepers, as they have Iker Casillas and David De Gea who are both excellent
- Spain’s strike force isn’t one to be feared – apart from Silva and Morata, the others have had average seasons
- Petr Cech in goal is a strong positive for their defence
- Pacey wingers might prove to be advantageous in their counter attacks
- Over reliance on Tomas Rosicky might lead to their downfall