AN edgy three points for Spain on Monday. Will their match against Turkey be more straight-forward? We asked Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan)?
Spain v Turkey | Friday 20:00 | ITV1
Back Spain, no pain. That has been the golden rule for punters at the European Championships for the past eight years.
Vicente Del Bosque’s men began their bid for a third success European crown in typically serene style as they cruised to a comfortable 1-0 win against Czech Republic on Monday afternoon.
Pique’s winning goal came late in the day, but that had more to do with the brilliance of Petr Cech than anything else and there is no doubt that Spain will go close to silverware once again this summer.
Turkey will take to the field on Friday given the enviable task of trying to stop the Spanish, but on the strength of their showing against Croatia in Sunday’s Group D curtain-raiser, Fatih Terim’s team have no chance of writing their name into the record books.
The Turks were toothless against Ante Cacic’s men and, on another day, Croatia might have taken four or five off their lacklustre opponents rather than relying on Luka Modric’s brilliant goal to separate the sides.
Spain’s defensive qualities are often overlooked, and that it somewhat unsurprising given the free-flowing tiki-taka that we are used to seeing from them.
Their defensive discipline, though, is extraordinary and that they’ve conceded just one goal in their last 10 matches at the European Championships – and only three in 10 games on the path to Paris – should be shouted from the rooftops.
That solid defensive unit gives the team a platform on which to build – and Turkey may find themselves on the wrong end of a thumping should everything click into place for Del Bosque’s men on Friday night.
Terim’s men looked flaky at the back against Croatia and Spain are poised to take full advantage should Turkey not have their house in order by the first peep of the referee’s whistle in Nice.
Spain might have needed Pique to sneak past Czech Republic, but they won’t be so profligate here and Turkey may just pay the penalty. The odds compilers are offering 5/4 for Spain to win by two or more goals and that is a price that cannot be turned down.
Spain v Turkey – Spain -1 (5/4 Netbet)