The Euro 2016 Qualifier between Spain and Slovakia will take place at the Štadión pod Dubňom in Žilina, Slovakia on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 11.45am Pacific.
In Group C’s second fixture, the two teams that won their first game will face each other. Both are looking to win some points and stay in the battle. Certainly Spain isn’t the same as the 2008-2012 era, but it’s still a very strong team. In front of them, a Slovakia that will use their “at home” status to complicate things as much as they can. This match will probably define the way things will go in this group.
Without Ramos, Del Bosque’s biggest headache will be deciding the starting defenders. Also a tough choice, but more of a blessing, is picking the striker. Both Costa and Alcácer have shown their worth, and Spain would do fine with any of them in the lineup. The midfield will be no problem, as the players know each other well and the talent is almost limitless. For our in-depth analysis of the possible lineup, check here.
The teams have met before, with great results for La Roja and no losses. As always, they will strive to obtain the ball possession and let the maestros do their work. Busquets will be key in recovering, while Cesc and Koke will need to create spaces for the men up front. These men won’t have an effortless day, since Škrtel will keep Slovakia’s defense in order. If Spain do their usual thing and find the spaces, they won’t fail to win.
Formerly part of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia has been independent since the early 90s. Because of this, their history in continental and international tournaments is poor. Their only two achievements are the Round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup, and qualifying to the 2000 Olympic Games. On top of that, they’ve met with Spain four times, with a 0W-1D-3L record, with only 4 goals scored and 12 against.
While their history isn’t exactly rich, they won’t let Spain play as they please. Team captain Hamšík will possibly miss the game, with confirmation awaiting release. However, they have Škrtel’s experience in the back, which is key to control Costa and company. Another man to watch would be Vladimír Weiss, a winger who failed to make it in a big team. He’s fast, dribbles quite well and has a powerful shot. Overall, it won’t be easy.
Spain vs Slovakia Prediction
Del Bosque will put his best men out there, and so will Ján Kozák. Without Hamšík, Slovakia’s chances of giving a good fight are damaged. The home factor might be the best thing for them, since they will try to make it a hostile space for Spain. La Roja will most likely dominate the ball and generate many chances. While Slovakia isn’t Macedonia, it seems that Spain will take home the three points.
Spain 3 – 1 Slovakia
Spain vs Slovakia TV Schedule
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and its online service Watch ESPN. For your local time, please check here.