Four teams that all have chances of getting to the knockout stages, this really is one of the hottest groups in Euro 2016. On paper Spain should win with anyone of the other three setting themselves up as runners up, but can Del Bosque’s men recipricate past tournaments when they head to Paris?
A relatively easy path through qualification with only one loss away to Slovakia and very impressively only conceding three goals in all games. History tells us that tight defenses win European Championship’s, and Spain have been very miserly in recent years. The big question is whether they can produce a consistent goal threat, and with Manuel Agudo Duran, or Nolito to his friends, they may have unearthed a goal scoring machine. He scored 4 goals in his last 2 matches and with those performances may well have earned himself a starting place. Along with maestro Andres Iniesta who can supply chance after chance, Spain have a massive chance of winning the Euros once again. And Iniesta can become even more of a legend by winning player of the tournament accolades.
The Czechs qualified from a tough group and also helped prevent the Dutch from joining the party in France. They are a no frills side who rely heavily on shot stopper Petr Cech who will also captain the side. In attack they are lacking firepower and may well turn to Borek Dockal who has had a great season for Sparta Prague and also netted four goals in the qualifying campaign. With hard games every round the Czech’s need a good display to get to the knockout stages.
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An incredibly talented squad of players to turn to, Croatia have big chances if they can perform to their potential. The area that is worrying, especially when they play better teams is in defense, where in the past they have crumbled. It may be a case of having to score more than the opponents everytime. In Luka Modric they have a fabulous midfielder who doesn’t get enough plaudits that he deserves at Madrid. He’ll be playing alongside Ivan Rakitic who loves coming from deep with important goals for both club and country. Spearheading will be Juve’s Mario Mandzukic, who can often run hot or cold in these tournaments but has been in great form in the friendlies. I’d expect Croatia to finish in second place but will have to fight for it every game, and once through to the knock outs they can show their class and progress all the way, taking the Euro 2016 championship by the neck.
Turkey will hope to upset their rivals in the group of death, and certainly have the attacking talent to do so, with talisman Arda Turan pushing them forward. Burak Yilmaz can provide the goals and has always been a consistent performer at the international level, but where Turkey are lacking is keeping clean sheets. They have had a pretty good warm up preperation winning two friendlies and losing to England when at times they looked like the better team. Don’t completely discard Turkey’s chances of getting through, they may surprise a few people.
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