Spain and the Czech Republic will meet again in the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League less than a week after their entertaining 2-2 draw in Prague.

Spain will welcome the Czech Republic to La Rosaleda in Malaga on Matchday 4 of the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League on Sunday, June 12. The two sides faced off just five days ago in Prague and played out an exhilarating 2-2 draw, with La Roja scoring a last-minute equaliser.

Jakub Pesek opened the scoring for the Czech Republic in the fourth minute, with Gavi equalising for the visitors at the stroke of half-time. The home side took the lead again, with Jan Kuchta striking in the 66th minute.

Luis Enrique made all five changes in search of the equaliser and eventually got one through Inigo Martinez in the 90th minute, with substitute Marco Asensio providing the cross. Spain will want to go one step further and gather all three points when they face the Czech Republic in the return fixture.

La Roja returned to winning ways in their last match-up, defeating Switzerland 1-0 with Pablo Sarabia scoring the only goal of the encounter. On the other hand, the Czech Republic were condemned to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Portugal, with Joao Cancelo and Goncalo Guedes scoring in the first half to give Seleccao the win.

Spain are currently second in Group A2 behind Portugal, while the Czech Republic are third with Switzerland, who are yet to open their account, in the last spot. Ahead of the latest meeting between Spain and the Czech Republic, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.

Team News & Tactics

Spain

Luis Enrique’s rotation policy could see him field quite a different side from the one that started in the win over Switzerland. The Spain head coach will be without Raul de Tomas, who has been ruled out due to an infection.

Spain have dominated possession in both of their recent UEFA Nations League encounters and are expected to enjoy the majority of the ball once again with Enrique employing a 4-3-3 that best suits his possession-based style of football.

Unai Simon started against the Czech Republic and Switzerland in the goal, and Enrique could give Robert Sanchez the nod for this match. Dani Carvajal, Eric Garcia, Inigo Martinez and Marcos Alonso are expected to form the back four.

Koke, Rodri and Carlos Soler could be the midfield trio, with Gavi having started in their last two matches. With Raul de Tomas missing out and Alvaro Morata having started the last game, Ferran Torres could lead the line, with Marco Asensio and Dani Olmo starting on either flank.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Sanchez; Carvajal, Garcia, Martinez, Alonso; Koke, Rodri, Soler; Asensio, Torres, Olmo

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Czech Republic

Jaroslav Silhavy will be without Jakub Jankto for the encounter. Jankto suffered a knock during their last meeting with Spain and was replaced by Stanislav Tecl in the squad. Jaroslav Zeleny is expected to be fit to start after being named on the bench against Portugal.

Tomas Vaclik could also return between the sticks, and with this being the Czech Republic’s third match in five days, Silhavy could rest some other players who took the field against Portugal.

He will continue with a 3-4-3 with the back three of Ales Mateju, Jakub Brabec and David Zima expected to retain their spots. Zeleny will take the left wing-back spot, with Vladimir Coufal taking the other one. Michal Sadilek could start on the bench, with Alex Kral taking his place in the midfield alongside Tomas Soucek.

Though Jan Kuchta was taken off at half-time against Portugal, Silhavy could start with him in an important encounter. Jakub Pesek could come in for Ondrej Linger with Adam Hlozek keeping his spot on the left-wing.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Vaclik; Mateju, Brabec, Zima; Coufal, Kral, Soucek, Zeleny; Hlozek, Kuchta, Pesek

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Key Stats

  • Spain and the Czech Republic have faced off six times in the past with La Roja winning four while two matches have finished in draws.
  • The Czech Republic are yet to defeat Spain in an international encounter.
  • Spain last played at La Roselada in 2017 and hammered Costa Rica 5-0 in an international friendly.
  • Except the first-ever match between the two sides, which finished in a 0-0 draw, Spain have scored in all of their games against the Czech Republic.
  • The 2-2 draw list time out was the first instance of the Czech Republic scoring more than one goal against Spain.

Player to Watch

Marco Asensio

Embed from Getty Images

The Real Madrid winger, after being brought on from the bench in the last two matches, is expected to start this time. Asensio made quite an impact in the reverse fixture against the Czech Republic, providing the assist for Inigo Martinez’s equaliser.

The performance will be fresh in Asensio’s mind, and he will take the field full on confidence. Expect him to influence the proceedings quite heavily if he gets to start the match.

prediction

Spain 2-1 Czech Republic

Spain’s defense has not looked the strongest in their last two matches, so they could end up conceding once in Malaga. But they have enough firepower to score one more than the visitors and take all three points from the match. We predict a 2-1 win for the hosts.

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