The last match in Euro 2020 on Saturday sees the second set of fixtures in the tournament draw to a close and it does so in Seville when Spain go in search of their first win in Group E when they host a Poland side reeling from defeat in their opening game.
Both these teams came away from their first match frustrated. Spain had 85% of possession but couldn’t convert that into any goals while Poland were beaten by a poor Slovakia side which has left them up against it from here on in.
Where to watch
We go back to BBC1 for this final match of the day. The build-up to the action will start at 7.30pm and the match kicks off 30 minutes later at 8pm.
There was good and bad in that opening Spain performance. They kept the ball very well throughout the encounter, helped it should be said by the fact that Sweden had absolutely zero intent to come out of their own half, but in terms of out and out chances they created very little in terms of goal efforts. There was a concern over the lack of a striker who will be clinical heading into the tournament and it didn’t take long for those fears to come to roost.
There is a good chance Spain are going to be in a similar sort of match here although it might help them that after their opening defeat, Poland need to get something from this game. There is a good chance that Spain will move through the gears in this tournament given the Covid-19 issues that plagued them in the build-up to the event so it might be that they are more clinical the longer the competition goes on. They leave themselves under a little pressure if they don’t win this game.
There is no disguising the fact that it was a terrible performance from Poland in the opening game. That is becoming a real trend of theirs in international tournaments and is something they really need to eradicate moving forward. They didn’t help themselves defensively against Slovakia, and in truth that was always a concern heading into the tournament with Paulo Sousa undergoing a formation change. He’ll hope that has long-term benefits but Poland need it to have a much quicker impact here.
The other issue that Poland have is Robert Lewandowski just rarely looks the same player in a tournament than he does in club play with Bayern Munich. He isn’t blessed with the sort of talent around him that he has there admittedly but this is a Poland side who need a talisman. You’d think he is undroppable so he needs to stand up and make an impact here to give his side a shot of qualifying in their last match.
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Spain will be buoyed by the return of their captain Sergio Busquets who is now available again after he recorded a negative Covid test. He is expected to come into a side which is also likely to have Gerard Moreno in from the start as Luis Enrique bids to find the best attacking balance.
Poland will be forced into at least one change with their captain Grzegorz Krychowiak suspended after he picked up a red card in the loss to Slovakia. There was a fair but of surprise that Brighton man Jakub Moder wasn’t in from the start in the opening game so he might be the natural replacement.
Spain were frustrated by Sweden in their opening match but I don’t expect them to suffer the same levels of frustration here because I don’t think Poland are good enough to frustrate them in the way Sweden did. Poland are making the transition into a possession based side but you don’t beat Spain in a possession game. They are not going to be structured under Paulo Sousa to park the bus and of course if Spain take the lead in this match, even if Poland were to sit in initially, they would then have to come out and try to find a goal to remain in the competition.
To be fair to Spain although Sweden were never under siege, the Spanish xG for the game was only just under 3 which is pretty high and if they replicate that level of chance creation here then it is hard to see the net not bulging, particularly when you factor in that Slovakia didn’t really create a thing and scored twice. That makes me think that Spain are good things for a comfortable victory here and one which can see them cover a -1 handicap.
Back Spain (-1) to beat Poland for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Bet365