A sign of things to come?
Between both teams’ opening matches, there were just two goals, however the direction in which the goals were awarded were contrasting.
Spain emerged victorious against a resilient Czech Republic team, a late Gerard Pique goal earned the Spaniards all three points, just as there were doubts over the final result of the match. Spain were far from impressive during their opening game, despite controlling the play from start to finish, the Vicente del Bosque’s eleven lacked the punch that they were notorious for having in the 2012 Euro’s.
Their opponents tomorrow will be geared up to earn their first three points of the competition, something that La Roja must look out for.
Turkey were defeated in their opening game, as they represented the role of the Czech Republic Spain’s opener; Fatih Terim’s team were left chasing a vibrant Croatian team, and were defeated by just one goal, a Luka Modric volley rightfully separating the two.
Despite the valiant efforts of Turkey to change the recurring theme of them losing their opening matches at International competitions, they lost their fifth consecutive opening match.
If anything, this could inspire Fatih Terim’s team following the direction in which their last Euro campaign went – losing their opening game, and eventually reaching the semi finals – however, dependant on the results elsewhere in the group, it would be thought that the Turks will be in desperate need of getting a result against Spain.
As it stands in Group D
The group is currently split evenly in two, nothing but alphabetical ordering separating Spain and Croatia at the top, the same with Czech Republic and Turkey who both conceded one goal in their first game.
It would be assumed that if Croatia and Spain both win their second matches, the group will be decided; however, the Czech’s and Turkey will place their hope in the potential of securing one of the four ‘wildcard’ spots as the ‘best third-placed team’ in the competition.
del Bosque has admitted that rotations could be made, none in correlation with injury, but based upon training performance and individual performances in the last game. Alvaro Morata’s disappointing display against Czech Republic could open up a place for Athletic Bilbao striker, Aritz Aduriz.
It has been confirmed that there is a slim chance that Mehmet Topal could be forced to sit on the side-line after sustaining a leg injury, Gokhan Gonul is another small doubt following his sufferings with illness this week.
Spain: De Gea; Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Thiago, Busquets; Iniesta, Silva, Nolito; Aduriz
Turkey: Babacan; Gonul, Topal, Balta, Erkin; Inan, Tufan; Calhanoglu, Ozyakup, Turan; Tosun
It’s judgement time for Fatih Terim’s Turkey, as anything but a win would take their European hopes out of their hands, can the Turks’ fond memories of 2008 revive and inspire their current campaign?