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Spain: The Ultimate Euro 2020 Preview

Three-time champions Spain arrive at Euro 2020 in confident mood, having lost only one match since 2018.

Luis Enrique must contend with an ongoing covid outbreak within his squad that started with Sergio Busquets, but the former Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder will know that his squad is capable of going deep into the knockout stages if everyone is available.

Sensationally containing no players from Real Madrid, with Sergio Ramos among those overlooked, Spain’s 24-man squad (Enrique opted to choose a squad of only 24 despite being able to select 26) will face a different level of scrutiny from their faithful this summer.

Group E: SPAIN, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia

Captain: Sergio Busquets

Head Coach: Luis Enrique

FIFA Ranking: 6

Best Finish: Champions (x3) – 1964, 2008 & 2012

Fixtures:

SPAIN v Sweden – 14 June, 17:00 (BST). La Cartuja, Seville, Spain

SPAIN v Poland – 19 June, 20:00 (BST). La Cartuja, Seville, Spain

Slovakia v SPAIN – 23 June, 17:00 (BST). La Cartuja, Seville, Spain

Qualification

Spain made light work of qualification Group F, winning 26 of a possible 30 points to finish as group winners. They started with six straight wins before draws against Norway and Sweden, though they were enough to seal progression with two games to spare.

Luis Enrique began Spain’s qualification campaign as head coach but resigned midway through for personal reasons. Robert Moreno took over and guided the Squad safely to qualification, but made way when Enrique requested a return.

Squad

Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Unai Simón (Athletic), Robert Sánchez (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Defenders: José Gayà (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Eric García (Manchester City), Diego Llorente (Leeds United), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Thiago Alcántara (Liverpool), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Koke (Atlético), Marcos Llorente (Atlético), Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Rodri (Manchester City), Fabián Ruiz (Napoli), Pablo Sarabia (Paris), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traoré (Wolves)

Forwards: Álvaro Morata (Juventus), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Pedri (Barcelona)

Source: UEFA.com

Danger Man – Ferran Torres

With six goals in 11 appearances for Spain so far, 21-year-old Manchester City forward Ferran Torres is set for a starring role at Euro 2020.

Capable of operating in the centre of attack or on the wing, Torres will be among a cohort of attackers including Alvaro Morata, Gerard Moreno and Mikel Oyarzabal who will aim to fire La Roja to glory.

One to Watch – Pedri

At only 18 years of age, central midfielder Pedri played an astonishing 37 La Liga games for Barcelona in 2020/21.

Though his game time is set to be limited behind a selection of seasoned midfield professionals in Spain’s squad including Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara and Rodri, among others, Pedri looks sure to feature at some point.

Premier League Representation

A 10-strong Premier League contingent received the call up this summer – David De Gea, Cesar Azpilicueta, Diego Llorente, Rodri, Thiago Alcantara, Eric Garcia, Robert Sanchez, Adama Traore, Ferran Torres and Aymeric Laporte.

Route to the Final

  1. If Spain top the group, they will play the team who finish third in Group A, B, C or D.
  2. If Spain finish second, they will face the team who finish second in Group D (England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic)
  3. If they finish as one of the four best third place teams, they will play the winner of either Group B or C.

After the second round, the draw will depend on which third place teams qualified for the knockout stages.

Stats

  • Leeds United and Brighton and Hove Albion (both 1) have more players in Spain’s squad than Real Madrid (0).
  • Spain lost their last two matches at Euro 2016, having not lost any matches previously since their final Group match at Euro 2004.
  • Sergio Busquets (123) will move into the top five in Spain’s all-time list of appearances if he features in three or more matches at Euro 2016.

Sam Hanys

A miserable Ipswich Town fan.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Chelsea 5 4 1 0 13
2 Liverpool 5 4 1 0 13
3 Manchester United 5 4 1 0 13
4 Brighton & Hov… 5 4 0 1 12
5 Manchester City 5 3 1 1 10
6 Everton 5 3 1 1 10
7 Tottenham Hotspur 5 3 0 2 9
8 West Ham United 5 2 2 1 8
9 Brentford 5 2 2 1 8
10 Aston Villa 5 2 1 2 7
11 Watford 5 2 0 3 6
12 Leicester City 5 2 0 3 6
13 Arsenal 5 2 0 3 6
14 Crystal Palace 5 1 2 2 5
15 Southampton 5 0 4 1 4
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 5 1 0 4 3
17 Leeds United 5 0 3 2 3
18 Newcastle United 5 0 2 3 2
19 Burnley 5 0 1 4 1
20 Norwich City 5 0 0 5 0

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