Euro 2012 Qualifying Preview: Czech Republic v Spain

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



Sivok, Hubnik, Rajnoch, Kadlec
Petrzela, Jiracek, Rosicky, Plasil

Arbeloa, Ramos, Albiol, Alba
Xabi Alonso, Busquets

Silva, Xavi, Mata

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.

  • 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.