World Champions Spain arrive in Poland/Ukraine to defend their European Championship title at short odds favourites of 11/4, as fans once again prepare to be dazzled by the brilliance of Iniesta, Xavi, Alonso and Cesc Fabregas.
This time around, however, they are without talismatic Carlos Puyol at the centre of defence, while striker David Villa is out with injury. Are the Spanish there for the taking?
They are of course the favourites to go on and lift the trophy in Poland and Ukraine, especially as they managed to maintain a 100% record during qualifying, scoring 30 goals. You can back Spain at 5/2 to continue their good form and go on and win the competition.
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It will certainly not be plain sailing for Vicente Del Bosque’s men who find themselves without inspirational captain Carlos Puyol and all time leading scorer David Villa through injury. Although they do have the strength in depth to cope with these losses, as Alvaro Negredo steps up to the squad, it will still be a big blow to the team.
The likes of Fernando Llorente, David Silva and Fernando Torres will now all be desperate to prove themselves on the big stage. Llorente is the man likely to be given the task of leading the line, and should be supported by Chelsea’s Juan Mata, who looks to make a name for himself on the European stage.
Del Bosque will not be underestimating their group matches against Italy, Croatia and Republic of Ireland, but come into the tournament in good form following a 2-0 win over Serbia in a friendly.
Given their recent domination of international football though, this is sure to be a task that they will relish and raise their game from. They are being offered at 8/13 to win group C.
Spain seem to have a winning habit that shows no sign stopping anytime soon. Many people will be looking at the world number one side to continue this run over the summer.
Should they win all of their matches in the group stage then they will be in fantastic form and hard to stop. 11/4 are the odds on them picking up nine points in the group stage.
Del Bosque’s team get their tournament underway with a tough test against Italy.