Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Nations League clash between Spain and the Czech Republic, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Spain will try to finish the month UEFA Nations League Devices on a high note if they welcome that Czech Republic to Malaga for the Group 2 League A game on Sunday.
La Roja scraped a 1-0 win against Switzerland during the week, while the visitors suffered a 2-0 defeat by Portugal in the last Iberian game.
For the third time, the stimulus for Spain was in the Nations League when Luis EnriqueSwitzerland bounced back from a point against the Czechs and Portugal on Thursday night, defeating an unlucky Swiss side.
La Roja returned to what is arguably their strongest eleven amid the relentless game plan and prevailed Pablo Sarabia in the 13th minute, and that was enough to put them over the line against the group’s basement side, forcing Portugal to look over their shoulder.
After three games, the 2020-21 Nations League runners-up sit second in League A Group 2 standings and are within reach of Portugal, the next guest in Geneva, allowing everyone to get to their heavyweight showdown on Matchday 6 in three months.
Enrique has now overseen a seven-game unbeaten streak in all tournaments since Spain lost to France in last year’s flagship event, and Spain have also scored in each of their last 17 games since being hosted by Sweden at Euro 2020 – not half bad given the lack of celebrated strikers of old.
A determined start in life with the big boys didn’t count in the Czech Republic’s showdown against Portugal, as the Selecao comfortably defeated their opponent by two goals at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Bernhard Silva configuration João Cancelo and Goncalo Guedes in the first 45 minutes, hopes for a positive result for the Czech Republic gave way early on Jaroslav SilhavyStill, the side can be satisfied with a month’s work during their inaugural League A campaign.
Remaining in League A would be small consolation for the Czech Republic after their World Cup qualifiers playoff heartbreak and Silhavy’s side currently sit third in the rankings and cannot be usurped by Switzerland no matter what happens here.
The 33rd nation in the world is still searching for their first away game in the Nations League but should take positive results from their first clash with Spain earlier this month, which ended with La Roja saving a point straight in death Inigo Martinez tied at 2:2.
That four-goal thriller, however, extended the visitors’ winless streak against Spain to six games in all tournaments, and La Roja have a perfect record of three wins out of three against the Czech Republic on familiar ground.
Form of the Spanish Nations League:
Spain form (all competitions):
Form of the Czech Nations League:
Czech form (all competitions):
While he could watch from the sidelines on Thursday night, Ansu FatiHis fitness worries are still plaguing him and it’s unclear if the Barcelona star will be ready for minutes this weekend.
striker Raul de Tomas also left the camp because of an infection, who could therefore see Ferran Torres acting as a provisional number nine if Enrique continues his policy of rotation – dropping Alvaro Morata to the bank in the process as Marco Asensio come back in.
The hosting manager jumped to the defense of Unai Simon and Diego Llorente albeit after shaky moments in the win against Switzerland Eric Garcia can expect to be drafted for the latter one way or the other.
The Czech Republic also saw a player leave camp in the form of Jacob Janktowho suffered a blow in the first clash with Spain and was replaced by Stanislav Tekl.
Yaroslav Seleny was fit enough to be on the bench against Portugal and is now struggling to return down the left flank Tomas Vaclik should return to the target Jindrich Stanek.
Jan kitchen and Ondrej Lingr‘Spots are also at risk after Thursday night’s half-time withdrawal Alex Kral could be confiscated if Tomas Soukek or Michael SadilekThe legs need a break.
Spain possible starting line-up:
Sanchez; Carvajal, Garcia, Martinez, Alonso; Koke, Rodri, Soler; Asensio, Torres, Olmo
Czech Republic possible starting line-up:
Vaclik; Mateju, Brabec, Zima; Coufal, Kral, Soucek, Zeleny; Hlozek, Kutschta, Pesek
We say: Spain 1-0 Czech Republic
Even if Enrique decides to field a second starting XI for the final matchday of this month, La Roja’s reserve options are certainly impressive and Silhavy was generally reluctant to change his line-up throughout June.
Such a tactic may not pay off as his players battle fatigue and given the Spaniards’ hot streak in front of goal, we’re backing Enrique’s side to dig deep and record a second straight win.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com predict under 2.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their football best tips.Under 2.5:Data