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EC Qualification

  • 7 October 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Generali Arena, Praha
  • Referee: P. Tagliavento
  • • Attendance: 17873
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Czech Republic - Spain Preview: Hosts looking to continue play-off push against World Cup holders

Czech Republic - Spain Preview: Hosts looking to continue play-off push against World Cup holders

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Crunch time in Group I as Michal Bilek's side entertain the World Champions and aim to take a step closer to a play-off place


PROBABLE LINEUPS

CZECH REPUBLIC

Cech
Sivok, Hubnik, Rajnoch, Kadlec
Hubschmann
Petrzela, Jiracek, Rosicky, Plasil
Baros
SPAIN

Casillas
Arbeloa, Ramos, Albiol, Alba
Xabi Alonso, Busquets

Silva, Xavi, Mata
Villa

Czech Republic will be welcoming Petr Cech back to the squad after the Chelsea goalkeeper missed the last round of international matches with a knee ligament injury.

Spain have not included Andres Iniesta due to the Barcelona midfielder still recovering from a hamstring tear. Cesc Fabregas had been called up for the qualifiers but has had to withdraw after also suffering a hamstring problem.

Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique have slowly been recovering for Barcelona and were on the bench for the Catalan side at the weekend, with the latter making a substitute appearance. However, both are not fully fit so expect Vicente Del Bosque to use alternatives at the back. The coach has declared that changes to the first team line-up will take place as he experiments with his starting XI.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Czech Republic and Spain have the two tightest defences in Group I.
  • If Scotland fail to win against Liechtenstein, Czech Republic can book their Euro 2012 play-off place with a win against Spain.
  • Michal Kadlec is the top goalscorer in the group for the Czech Republic, with two goals in six matches.
  • Spain have a 100 per cent record in the group so far with six wins out of six.
  • David Villa has scored six goals in six qualifying matches in group I.
  • Spain have scored the majority of their goals in the group between the 46th and 60th minute.
  • In the reverse fixture, Spain emerged as 2-1 winners courtesy of a brace from Villa.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Euro 2012 ‎(EC)‎ 7 Oct 2011 Czech Republic 0 - Spain 2
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Euro 2012 ‎(EC)‎ 25 Mar 2011 Spain 2 - Czech Republic 1
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
2Raúl Albiol Defender
3PiquéDefender
15Sergio RamosDefender
-Arbeloa
8XaviMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
21David SilvaMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
10Juan MataStriker
23Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
-Carles Puyol
-Javi MartínezMidfielder
20Santi CazorlaMidfielder
-Thiago Alcántara
7David VillaStriker
-Fernando Llorente
Players to Watch
Tomas Rosicky
Tomas Rosicky
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 1 0
Effortlessly ran the show against Scotland, but will be awarded not nearly as much time on the ball in this match. Most of the Czech Republic attacking play will go through him, so there is a lot of pressure on the Arsenal man to   create in the centre of the park.
David Villa
David Villa
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Six goals in six group games for the Barcelona striker. He is having fun playing football in Group I and will look to continue his fantastic international form against the Czech's.
Prediction
Czech Republic obviously have much more to play for in the match, with the Spaniards already having qualified for the finals, but Vicente Del Bosque has tremendous strength in depth in his squad. So even with some line-up tinkering, the world champions will prove to be too strong for the Czechs.
Editor's Prediction
Spain 2

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