Given all the doom and gloom surrounding the Spanish national side of late – and by ‘doom and gloom’ we just mean they don’t boast one oof the best teams ever to play the game anymore – it’s easy to forget they’ve only been beaten once over the course of 90 minutes in little under five years.
That being said, their Euro 2020 opener against Sweden was hardly the performance of a side you’d fancy to go deep into the tournament, with Alvaro Morata, Gerard Moreno and Pablo Sarabia all guilty of spurning glorious opportunities,
Defeat against Poland on Saturday could prove to be costly for the three-time European Championship winners, so it’s important Luis Enrique gets his team selection spot on.
Here’s 90min’s prediction of how they’ll line up.
Unai Simon (GK) – Earned a clean sheet in the opener but only thanks to Marcos Llorente’s goal line clearance and Marcus Berg’s inability to tap the ball into an open goal.
Marcos Llorente (RB) – One of the best utility men around. Can plug gaps in a number of positions and seems to be Enrique’s first-choice in the right-back role.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) – Given the run-around by Alexander Isak last time out and will be hoping for a quieter game against Poland with just Robert Lewandowksi to deal with – good luck.
Pau Torres (CB) – Probably wouldn’t be in the starting XI had Sergio Ramos been fit in time for Euro 2020, though he’s been asked to step up to the mark and he’ll be key to his side’s chances on Saturday.
Jordi Alba (LB) – The captain’s attacking endeavour is a big part of Spain’s system and they’ll be relying heavily on him to provide width against Poland.
Koke (CM) – Showed plenty of willingness to offer for the ball against Sweden but did very little with it and could be dropped for Thiago if he doesn’t produce a decent performance in Spain’s next game.
Rodri (CM) – Looks very impressive when your team are trying to keep hold of a lead but too cumbersome when chasing a late goal. Was withdrawn against Sweden and will probably be sacrificed late on in the game on Saturday if Spain are struggling to break the deadlock.
Pedri (AM) – One of the few shining lights from Spain’s underwhelming first outing. Constantly looking to get himself on the ball and make things happen and you feel he’ll be crucial if Spain are to advance through to the knockout rounds.
Ferran Torres (RW) – There’s a number of Spain players who could be on their last chance and the front three probably all fall into that category, The Manchester City man was far too passive last time out and Spain need much more from him.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – Slightly surprising that Moreno wasn’t given the nod last Monday but it would shatter Morata’s confidence if he was dropped now so expect Enrique to show faith in him.
Dani Olmo (LW) – The most lively of the frontline against Sweden and was only sacrificed for a striker when Enrique started throwing strikers on late in the game.