Spain v Czech Republic Betting: Defensive discipline to prove decisive for the holders

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Despite question marks about their attacking prospects, our tipster feels Vicente del Bosque can grind out a win against a side who failed to keep a clean sheet in qualifying

Spain begin their quest to be crowned European champions for a record breaking third consecutive time with a distince lack of optimism back home.

The defeat against Georgia in their final preparatory friendly means local press and fans alike are concerned that the lessons from their World Cup debacle two years ago might not have been learned. Certainly the manager Vicente del Bosque has heeded the call for an injection of fresh blood in the squad, and La Roja certainly have the technical ability to overcome almost any side.

The question is, will they score enough goals?

Since David Villa's departure, the side have struggled to replace the most prolific scorer in the country's history, with the high-profile experiment featuring Diego Costa now seemingly abandoned. In the Chelsea striker's place will  start Alvaro Morata, who is more lean, not quite as mean but certainly extremely keen to make an impact on the national side.

The Juventus forward endured a tough season in Turin, but nevertheless seems to be blossoming into a striker capable of leading the forward line of the European champions. Alongside him should start Nolito and David Silva, two players with plenty of skill and intelligence while the options off the bench will intimidate most sides they come up against.

Their opponents in the opening game are the Czech Republic and in qualifying for the tournament no team conceded more goals than Pavel Vrba's side. That should be encouraging news for La Roja and the holders are priced at 1/2 (1.50) to begin with a victory, while their oppponents are priced at 7/1 (8.00) and the draw is offered at 10/3 (4.33).

Indeed a draw would be a huge result for the Czechs with this group looking likely to be extremely tight. Their defensive deficiencies however will be cause for concern, and while they won their qualifying group, they did so without keeping a clean sheet, conceding home and away to both Latvia and Kazahkstan. Bearing that in mind, the price of 8/11 (1.73) for Spain to score over 1.5 goals might be of interest, although the doubts remain about how prolific Del Bosque's men will be. 

At the back, La Roja were solid in qualifying conceding just three goals in 10 matches, although it still is not clear whether or not Iker Casillas or David De Gea will start in goal on Monday afternoon, with the Manchester United goalkeeper denying allegations reagrding an ongoing police investigtation in a press conference on Friday. Despite issues off the field, Spain have become accustomed to stifling opposition forward lines and restricting their opportunities to attack, especially in major competitions.

Nevertheless, whoever plays at the back will have 10 excellent players in front of him and this is a game that the holders should win. The price therefore of 11/10 (2.10) of Spain to win to nil should appeal, a bet which has paid out in their last eight competitive fixtures as well as being the correct selection when these two sides last met in 2011. 

Spain to win to nil at 11/10 (2.10) for a 1pt stake with bet365