Euro 2020: Slovakia v Spain Preview: Profligate three-time winners at risk due to draw streak
Spain have drawn with Sweden and Poland so far at Euro 2020 and could follow Portugal in 2016 as the second ever team to be held in all three matches in a European Championship group stage.
Portugal went on to win that tournament, but Spain would not even be assured of third place in their pool and a place in the next round if results went against them elsewhere.
Worryingly for Luis Enrique, whose side missed a host of chances in their first two matches, a point apiece appears the most likely result.
Spain have drawn each of their past four major tournament matches – one shy of a record for European sides.
And a point would suit Slovakia, ensuring they advance for the third time in three major tournament appearances, after the World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2016.
Spain coach Luis Enrique described himself as “preoccupied with us meriting better results but not getting them”.
“We’ve created enough chances to win both games,” he added, yet the under-fire boss recognised he could not complain about scrutiny.
“We coaches fully understand the fact that we live by results, and what not meeting your objectives means,” Luis Enrique said.
“I’m hoping that by the end of Wednesday we’re not only in the knockouts but as group winners. Right now I’ll accept the criticism.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Slovakia – Martin Dubravka
Goalkeeper Dubravka conceded the costly penalty when Slovakia lost their second match to Sweden, having earlier made a stunning save. That was one of just five stops so far at the tournament, though, while he has picked the ball out of his net twice. Spain may be wasteful, but that save rate may need to improve.
Spain – Gerard Moreno
Moreno will certainly hope to keen Dubravka busy – if he gets the opportunity. The forward missed a penalty against Poland (Spain’s fifth miss from their past eight attempts at the Euros) and Luis Enrique hinted at potentially looking for a solution in attack. Moreno has been involved in more goals (nine) for Spain since his debut than any other player.
Get breaking news alerts.
You have already subscribed
We are now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TechiUpdate) and stay updated with the latest Technology headlines.
For all the latest Sports News Click Here