The holders started their Euro 2016 campaign with an uninspiring performance against the Czech Republic. Although the Spaniards managed to limp past the Czechs it did take a stoppage time header from centre-back Gerard Pique to see them victorious. Spain were thwarted by a sublime defensive performance for most of the game by the Czech Republic but at times did fail to capitalise on lapses of concentration in the Czech back line. They hardly showed the form of the dominant side of four years previous. The Spaniards will be hoping for a much better showing in their second game against an equally disappointing Turkish side.
Turkey were defeated by Croatia in their opening match of the tournament without too much trouble. Croatia were on the front foot for much of the match and will probably feel aggrieved that they didn’t cement their dominance by scoring more goals. Turkey really failed to impress throughout the game and will be hoping for a much better showing against the might of the holders.
This game then is intriguing as both sides seek to improve on poor performances in their opening games, for Spain that improvement is necessary in order to the stake a claim for retaining their title. In stark contrast, Turkey must win in order to prolong any hopes of qualification from the group.
Spain- De Gea; Juanfran, Piqué, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Thiago, Silva, Nolito, Morata
Turkey- Volkan Babacan; Gökhan Gönül, Mehmet Topal, Hakan Balta, Caner Erkin; Selçuk İnan, Volkan Şen, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Oğuzhan Özyakup, Arda Turan; Burak Yılmaz
Neither side has any major injury concerns meaning that we can expect both Turkey and Spain to field full strength sides in this crucial clash in group D. All Turkish eyes will be on main man Arda Turan who had previously apologised for his teams disappointing showing against the Croatians.
In conclusion, my personal opinion is that this could spell the end of the road for Turkey as I see the Spanish having too much for them. Whether or not they’ll be able to recapture the form of old is still to be found out, however, I do feel this will be the good attacking performance necessary to please the Spanish fans.