Spain European Championship Record
Winners: 1964, 2008, 2012
Quarter-final: 1996, 2000
Group stage: 1980, 1988, 2004
Did not qualify: 1968, 1972, 1976, 1992
Total: W17 D11 L8 50:32
Spain Euro 2016 Qualifying Record
W9 D0 L1 23:3
Spain Euro 2016 Group Fixtures
13th June @15:00 – Spain vs Czech Republic (Stadium Municipal, Toulouse)
17th June @21:00 – Spain vs Turkey (Allianz Riviera, Nice)
21st June @21:00 – Spain vs Croatia (Stade Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux)
Road to Euro 2016
After crashing out in the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, Spain national team needed some time to recover and they did not have the best of starts to the Euro 2016 qualifiers, suffering a 2-1 loss to Slovakia in their second fixture. Following the comfortable wins over Luxembourg and Belarus, La Fura Roja toiled away in the home game vs Ukraine, but eventually recorded a fortunate win and that proved the turning point for Vicente Del Bosque’s side.
Spain national team would go on to win all the remaining games, recording eight successive wins to nil after said loss to Slovakia to prove they should still be regarded one of Europe’s top sides. However, the mere fact that the boss used no fewer than 37 players during the qualifying campaign is enough to suggest he still has plenty of doubts with regards to his preferred starting line-up. The friendly draws vs Romania and Italy in March did little to dispel the doubts, so it is clear there is still plenty of work ahead for Vicente Del Bosque and his coaching staff.
Style of Play
While leading domestic players from Real Madrid and now Atletico Madrid also have an important role to play in the Spain national team, there is no denying that La Furia Roja have drawn inspiration from Barcelona’s famed tiki-taka style of play in recent years. And while the Catalans have switched to a more direct approach under Luis Enrique, Vicente Del Bosque remains faithful to the possession based football that was the main reason behind Spain’s three successive major titles that followed what had been a very difficult period for the national team.
Short passing and patient build-up play remain the key features of La Furia Roja as they are all too aware that their back line is not good enough to withstand constant pressure from opposition attackers, with things much easier when Spain enjoy the lion’s share of possession. This is one of the reasons why they only conceded three goals in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, keeping eight clean sheets, so it goes without saying that Vicente Del Bosque’s side is a perfect fit if you are a fan of the ‘win to nil’ market.
The experienced manager has almost exclusively used the 4-2-3-1 formation of late, but while he used to prefer a false nine to an out-and-out striker, Del Bosque appears to have changed his mind. The problem is that Spain currently do not have an in-form striker apart from the evergreen Aritz Aduriz, who is unlikely to be starting in France. The head coach ultimately decided to leave Diego Costa out of the side, meaning that Alvaro Morata should play as a lone forward, but the problem is that he is not exactly a natural goalscorer even if he does have a lot to offer up front.
Spain will heavily rely on the likes of Andreas Iniesta, David Silva, Koke and Cesc Fabregas to create enough goalscoring opportunities for whoever starts up front, as well as contribute with some important goals themselves, while Sergio Busquets will continue to do the dirty work as usual.
With Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique not exactly in the form of their lives, La Furia Roja could find it hard to contain opposition strikers when facing Europe’s top sides, and there will be even more problems if one of them becomes unavailable for selection. Spain will not have an easy job defending set pieces due to lack of height and that is something that their group opponents will definitely be looking to exploit.
- Extensive experience
- Technical skills
- High-quality midfield department
- Strength in depth
- Extremely confident on the ball
- Tiki-taka football
- Individual quality
- Defending set-pieces
- No plan B
- Numerous changes to starting XI
- No natural goalscorers
Spain Euro 2016 Starting Line-Up
Missing: Diego Costa (overlooked), Juan Mata (overlooked), Santi Cazorla (overlooked)
Spain may have eased off to their qualifying group, but they did not exactly outclass the likes of Slovakia and Ukraine, and this is enough to suggest that they may not be able to match the best sides in Europe in France. Vicente Del Bosque has yet to find his strongest line-up, he has plenty of dilemmas in midfield and attack, and does not seem to have a clear idea how to take full advantage of the team’s attacking potential.
His key men are either struggling for form or are already past their prime and the Euro 2016 does not come in the right time for La Furia Roja. The Diego Costa experiment has not produced the desired results and if Del Bosque also sticks to the out-of-form Iker Casillas in goal, this could prove to be a quite disappointing tournament for Spain. Add to that the far from impressive back line and lack of cover in defence, and you will understand why we seriously doubt Spain can mount a serious title challenge. We instead predict they will go out in the quarter-finals.
IST Tip: Spain to reach quarter-finals
Odds: 1.53 (8/15) @Betfair
*Spain to win Euro 2016 is 6.50 (11/2) @Unibet
*Spain to reach final is 3.75 (11/4) @Betfair
*Diego Costa to be Euro 2016 top goalscorer is 23.00 (22/1) @10bet
*Spain to win Group D is 1.66 (6/9) @Betfair
*Spain to be highest scoring team is 8.00 (7/1) @Unibet
Spain Euro 2016 Squad:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Porto), David De Gea (Manchester United), Sergio Rico (Sevilla);
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Marc Bartra (Barcelona), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Mikel San José (Athletic Bilbao), Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid);
Midfielders: Bruno (Villarreal), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Thiago (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City), Pedro (Chelsea), Cesc Fábregas (Chelsea), Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid);
Forwards: Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Bilbao), Nolito (Celta Vigo), Álvaro Morata (Juventus).
Last updated: 5th June 2016