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Spain need biggest performance to beat Italy, says Koke

2:24 PM EDT 6/24/16
Koke - cropped
The midfielder says La Roja are carefully studying their last-16 opponents and believes there is not a great deal between the two sides as they prepare for Monday's game

Spain midfielder Koke says there are no favourites between Monday's Euro 2016 last-16 tie between Spain and Italy.

Vicente del Bosque's men suffered a late loss to Croatia in their last group game, setting up a crunch last-16 meeting with the the nation they beat to win this competition four years ago.

"I watched the last final on the television, I enjoyed the great game that we played in," he said.

"We know how Italy play. Bit by bit, we are studying our opponent. 

"It is the decision of the boss to see if we are going to change our line-up.

"We always go out to win, it is the only way that we know how to play. The other day, we were unlucky. We hope to win on Monday.

"There are no favourites when it is between such big national teams. We have to put in our biggest performance in order to win and progress."

Koke has made just one substitute appearance for Spain at this tournament, but he is remaining patient as the competition moves into the knockout rounds.

"The boss thought that not changing anything was best for the team," he added. "Those of us who are playing less, we are still giving it everything."