Spain vs Slovakia predictions and match preview for Wednesday’s Euro 2020 clash. Read on for the head-to-head and analysis as La Roja face their decisive final group game.
- DATE: Wednesday 23rd June 2021
- KICK-OFF: 18:00 (local time)
- STADIUM: Cartuja
- COMPETITION: Euro 2020 Group E
Spain vs Slovakia Preview
This was supposed to be the game where Spain could rest key men and experiment a tad to save energy ahead of the knockout stage. Instead it’s “do or die” for La Roja’s very future in this tournament. After two frustrating draws, Luis Enrique’s side must beat Slovakia to ensure they finish in the top two in this group. Another draw would mean at best 3rd place and even that’d be dependent on Poland not beating Sweden.
Not qualifying from a relatively weak group, with all matches played in Spain, in a format where you don’t need to be brilliant to reach the last sixteen, would be an unqualified disaster even by the standards of recent tournaments. That’s a very real possibility heading into this one after Spain controlled the ball as per, but could only find one goal across their two games against Sweden and Poland.
That was scored by Alvaro Morata in their last match against the Poles. He’s somebody who has had to deal with a mountain of criticism already this month but Spain really need other players to step up and ease the burden on their under pressure striker too. This is also make or break for Luis Enrique who surely will not be trusted with the responsibility of guiding La Roja towards the next World Cup if his side are knocked out in the group stage here. He needs to get the team selection right to break down Slovakia who are 2nd in the group heading into this match.
The problem for Spain is that they are becoming an increasingly easy team to set up against. A point will be enough for Slovakia to progress and as such they have no reason to really throw players forwards and open up spaces for Spain’s creative players to exploit. It’s likely to be another game where Spain will have to pass and probe and try to find gaps in the opposition defence.
Slovakia will fancy they can ask the odd question on the break too. Robert Mak has been lively at times on the left flank while Marek Hamsik has the quality to produce a moment of magic which could potentially have very serious consequences for Spain. They are on paper the weakest team in the group but have held their own so far at this tournament, beating Poland 2-1 before a narrow 1-0 loss against the Swedes.
Sergio Busquets is available for Spain having suffered from Covid-19 and is likely to start. There could potentially be other changes too with Thiago and Ferran Torres also hoping to come in.
Slovakia are missing Ivan Schranz to injury whilst Denis Vavro is sidelined through Covid-19.
Spain Predicted XI:
Simon – Alba, Torres, Laporte, Llorente – Pedri, Busquets, Thiago – Olmo, Morata, Ferran (4-3-3)
Slovakia Predicted XI:
Dubravka – Hubocan, Skriniar, Satka, Pekarik – Hrosovsky, Kucka – Mak, Hamsik, Haraslin – Duda (4-2-3-1)
Head to Head
- Last 4 Meetings: 2 Spain Wins, 1 Slovakia Win, 1 Draw.
- The sides last met in Euro 2016 qualifying with both teams winning at home.
- The only previous clashes came in World Cup 2006 qualifying with Spain winning 5-1 in the 1st Leg of a play-off tie thanks to a hat-trick from Luis Garcia. The return leg ended 1-1 in Bratislava.
Spain vs Slovakia Predictions
Score Prediction: Spain 2-1 Slovakia
Slovakia are capable of frustrating Spain as the other teams in this group have done but they aren’t as solid defensively as they have been in previous tournaments with veteran centre-back Martin Škrtel no longer involved. Milan Skriniar is still a colossal figure at the back for his country and has been excellent in the tournament but Spain ought to have enough to find gaps elsewhere and a situation where they simply have to go for it, may be no bad thing.
They ought to get the win they need but as well as their goalscoring woes, there have been a few cracks showing up at the back, so a Slovak goal can’t be ruled out.