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Spain and Poland are seeking their first wins at Euro 2020 in a must-win game for both sides on Saturday night.
The Spanish were held to a frustrating goalless draw by a dogged Sweden defence in their Group E opener, while Poland are up against it after falling 2-1 to Slovakia.
Spain will need to find their shooting boots in Seville this time around - especially Alvaro Morata - but they must also be wary of the world-class threat of Robert Lewandowski.
Poland’s star man didn’t get much service in their opening game, but he will only need one chance to put Spain up against it this weekend.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Spain vs Poland is scheduled for an 8pm BST kick-off on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
The match will be held at Estadio La Cartuja in Seville.
Poland will be without holding midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak after he was sent off against Slovakia, while Spain are hoping to be boosted by the return of captain Sergio Busquets.
Busquets has been isolating back in Barcelona after testing positive for Covid-19 on June 6, but has been asymptomatic and is expected to return to the team’s camp in Madrid by Friday.
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Robert Sanchez, Unai Simon
Defenders: Aymeric Laporte, Jose Gaya, Jordi Alba, Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, Diego Llorente, Cesar Azpilicueta
Midfielders: Marcos Llorente, Sergio Busquets, Rodri, Pedri, Thiago, Koke, Fabian
Forwards: Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Gerard Moreno, Alvaro Morata, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore, Pablo Sarabia
Goalkeepers: Lukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Skorupski
Defenders: Jan Bednarek, Bartosz Bereszynski, Pawel Dawidowicz, Kamil Glik, Michal Helik, Tomasz Kedziora, Kamil Piatkowski, Tymoteusz Puchacz, Maciej Rybus
Midfielders: Przemysław Frankowski, Kamil Jozwiak, Mateusz Klich, Kacper Kozlowski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Karol Linetty, Jakub Moder (Brighton), Przemyslaw Placheta, Piotr Zielinski
Forwards: Dawid Kownacki, Robert Lewandowski, Arkadiusz Milik, Karol Swiderski, Jakub Swierczok
Spain will feel that they had enough chances to beat Sweden in their Group E opener on Monday night, but Enrique's team found opposition goalkeeper Robin Olsen in impressive form.
Alvaro Morata missed a guilt-edged chance in the first half of the contest, meanwhile, and there were certainly encouraging signs from La Roja despite the relatively disappointing nature of the result.
Spain cannot be confirmed in the top two or eliminated after matchday two, but a win over Poland would place them in a strong position heading into their final group game against a talented Slovakia on June 23.
La Roja are bidding to win a fourth European Championship, which would make them the most successful team in the history of the competition; as it stands, they are level on three trophies with Germany, having triumphed in the 1964, 2008 and 2012 editions of the tournament.
Spain's preparations for Euro 2020 were far from ideal due to Sergio Busquets's positive coronavirus test, but the national team have now had time to settle after a turbulent build-up, and they simply cannot be written off at this level despite struggling at the 2014 World Cup, Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup.
Poland would have fancied their chances of opening their Group E challenge with a positive result on Monday evening, but Slovakia recorded a 2-1 victory in Russia to leave Paulo Sousa's side in a tough spot.
As it stands, they are bottom of the section and will be watching closely at what happens between Sweden and Slovakia when the two teams meet in the same group on Friday afternoon.
|Photo: Getty Images|
We say: Spain 1-0 Poland
Poland's result against Slovakia potentially makes them even more dangerous for Spain, who have a lot to prove this summer; we are expecting a tight match between two sides that struggled going forward in their opening group matches but believe that Spain will emerge victorious in Seville.
Both teams have scored in two of the last four meetings between Spain and Poland and going by their performances in the opening round of group games, we're backing both teams to score this weekend. Spain might have played out a goalless draw with Sweden but they created ample opportunities to win the game and conceded two big chances that could have seen them lose, while Poland looked good going forward against Slovakia but their marking at the other end of the pitch left nothing to be admired.
Gerard Moreno to Score
Moreno didn't start against Sweden but when he came on he had a couple of good chances to score and offered far more than the lackluster Morata, who looks low on confidence. Even if Luis Enrique decides to use Moreno from the bench against Poland, the Villarreal man has a great chance of scoring as he has a knack of getting into the right places at the right time and is an excellent close-range finisher.
Over 2.5 Goals
Five of the last seven head-to-heads between these two nations have produced over 2.5 goals. We're expecting Spain to win this game and have already backed both teams to score, so over 2.5 goals is a given in our predictions. Three of Spain's last five matches have featured at least three goals, while five of Poalnd's last six outings have also produced over 2.5 goals.
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