Our match prediction:
Spain will be looking to make amends for an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Georgia when they take on Czech Republic in the opening match of their Euro 2016 campaign. La Roja missed a number of clear-cut chances to score in the loss to Georgia, but it has to be noted that Juventus attacker Alvaro Morata missed the final warm-up game. Vicente Del Bosque’s men are eager to defend their trophy at the tournament in France and considering that they face Czech Republic in their opener, we predict that the title holders will emerge triumphant in their first group game. The Czechs head into the match following a 2-1 loss to South Korea and we do not believe that Tomas Rosicky and Co. are capable of making life difficult for the Spaniards in Monday’s football game. In their last meeting on the international stage Spain recorded a 2-0 win over Czech Republic.
Highligted Player (Koke):
Jorge Resurreccion Merodio “Koke” has enjoyed a meteoric rise after coming through the youth ranks at Atletico Madrid, quickly becoming an important player for both club and country. Possessing impressive technical skills and very mature for his age, the highly rated midfielder is capable of covering just about any position in the middle of the park and he has been used as a central midfielder, left winger and right winger by both Diego Simeone and Vicente Del Bosque. Koke has been a key member of one of the best generations in the history of Atletico Madrid, winning the 2013/2014 La Liga trophy and reaching the Champions League final the same year. Widely regarded as one of Europe’s best midfielders, it is only a matter of time before Koke will join an absolute top club and he is believed to be a primary target for La Liga rivals Barcelona. While playing alongside Xavi Hernandez at the 2014 World Cup, Koke is believed to be a worthy successor of the former Catalans star in the national team now that he has retired, and with 20 Spain caps to his name, his international career is just starting.
Highlighted Team (Czech Republic):
Czech Republic national team is the natural successor of the Czechoslovakia side that dominated world football during the 20th century, winning one European Championship trophy and coming second at 1934 and 1962 World Cups. After the separation of the country in 1992, Czech Republic continued the proud tradition by qualifying for each of the next six European Championship finals, losing to Germany in the final of the 1996 tournament. The Czechs also reached the last eight at the 2012 finals, but their World Cup record of late is pretty disappointing. Since separating from Slovakia, Czech Republic only qualified for one of five World Cup finals. The 1996 generation, featuring players like Pavel Nedved, Karel Poborsky and Patrik Berger, will forever remained etched in the fans’ memory, while the likes of Milan Baros, Jan Koller, Petr Cech and Tomas Rosicky are some of the other notable footballers. Highly rated goalkeeper Petr Cech is the team’s most capped player, whereas towering forward Jan Koller tops the goalscoring charts with 55 strikes in 91 games.