Looking for their consecutive international tournament victory at Euro 2012, (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010), Spain came into this tournament ranked number one in the world and dominant as ever. However, after a draw against Italy, and a close game against Croatia, is Spain mortal?
France comes into this matchup after a humiliating defeat at the feet of Sweden, who had already been eliminated. France looked disinterested in playing for the top seed of Group D. Now, they have to rebound quickly.
Spain’s tiki-taka passing triangles are going to create nightmares for the French back four, who were already struggling with Zlatan Ibrahimović. Who Vincente Del Bosque puts up front will be one of the story lines for the game.
Will he start Fernando Torres, who has plummeted on an international level since his transfer to Chelsea. Maybe Bosque will once again go with a False Nine and have Cesc Fàbregas up front.
Spain’s back four has been vulnerable in the tournament. Karim Benzema, Franck Ribéry, and Oliver Giroud will have to start finding each other, something that has not happened much this tournament.
Spain will also find quite a few open spaces behind the French defense and will keep goalkeeper Hugo Llovis quite busy. He will have to be in top form if France wants to even think of pulling off an upset.
Spain has their eyes set on that third consecutive trophy, and I do not see any reason why France will stop them on that quest. After looking unorganized, complacent, and downright pathetic versus Sweden, how much can one expect in this game?