Spain survived a late scare in the Round of 16 and clinched an Extra Time win against Croatia in an 8-goal thriller at Parken. They are set to lock horns with Switzerland in the quarterfinals who knocked the world champions France out of the competition following an epic comeback. It won’t be a stroll in the park and the Spaniards must prepare themselves for yet another stellar encounter on Friday evening.
These two sides met in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup and the solitary goal from Gelson Fernandes stunned La Roja. They, however, overcame sensationally from the Matchday 1 defeat and went on to conquer the crown defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the thrilling final. Andres Iniesta fired in the biggest ever goal of the nation’s history and the new generation of Spanish talents must exhibit their quality now ahead of next year’s tournament in Qatar.
Predicted 4-3-3 Spain Lineup Vs Switzerland
Despite making a bizarre blunder, Unai Simon reacted astoundingly between the sticks against the Croats. He made some majestic saves, including the one that denied Andrej Kramaric from scoring moments before Alvaro Morata’s stunning strike. David De Gea must be knocking on the door, but the gaffer Luis Enrique should stick to the Basque boy in goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta has injected the much-needed leadership traits in the defensive third. The Chelsea skipper headed home versus Croatia, however, the manager must keep a substitute ready as the right fullback struggled to deal with the attacking threats late in the match. The Man City pair Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia looked solid in the heart of the backline and the decision of taking the latter off to make way for Pau Torres went completely wrong. The coach needs to stick to his preferred central defensive duo for the Switzerland tie. Jose Gaya was handed a surprise start over Jordi Alba, but this time he is likely to be dropped for the Barcelona left-back considering his experience of the highest order.
Pedri, 18, is showing immense composure and maturity at such a tender age. He has cemented his place in the centre of the pitch, whereas the presence of Sergio Busquets deep down midfield has made it easier for the teenager to play his natural free-flowing football. Koke is offering the creative spark from the middle of the park with his physicality, work rate and box to box movements. The likes of Thiago Alcantara, Dani Olmo and Fabian might get introduced at some stage to add versatility in their game.
Ferran Torres and Pablo Sarabia have been productive from the wide. They are not only scoring goals and creating chances but also changing the flanks frequently to keep the opponents on their toes. Alvaro Morata endured a lot of criticism for his wastefulness but has silenced his critics with a stunner that shattered the Blazers in spite of staging an incredible injury-time comeback on Monday night.