By Antony Jordan
There are two late games playing at Euro 2016 this Tuesday as Group D comes to a close following the end of Group C and although this group has been split down the middle of quality as Spain and Croatia have looked very good sides and the Czech Republic and Turkey have been on the poorer end of the spectrum there is still opportunity for all of these sides to find themselves in the knockout phase of this tournament.
Who’ll be the sides that progress? We preview the Croatia v Spain and Czech Republic v Turkey matches with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our best Euro 2016 Group D picks.
Croatia and Spain come into this match sitting second and first in Group D with four and six points respectively and both sides will know that a point in this final match will see them automatically qualify for the knockout stages so are we likely to see both sides settle in this clash? Spain have not conceded a goal in this tournament so far and after a late, late winner against the Czechs in game one they breezed past a poor Turkish side to triumph 3-0 as Juventus striker Alvaro Morata scored the first and third goals so they will bring a lot of confidence into this match.
Spain have won their last two matches over the last decade against Croatia by a single goal, including winning 1-0 at Euro 2012, but they are likely to rest players in this match in Bordeaux with Sergio Ramos who will be suspended after one more booking most likely to be rested. Croatia have bigger problems as the team doctor stating that Luka Modrić is unlikely to play in this game following his groin injury and following his 62nd minute exit against the Czech Republic in Saint-Étienne they conceded their first goal of the competition as Milan Skoda netted in the 75th minute.
Following this there was serious crowd trouble from the Croatian fans with flares thrown on the field and fighting amongst the fans, but this did not phase the Czechs as when their chance came in the 89th minute from the penalty spot Tomas Necid netted to secure a point. How the Croatians fare without Modrić following that late collapse will shape this match, and we feel that they may struggle to create in this match. As such, we are backing the Spaniards to be the first side to secure nine points in the group stages.
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These two sides have taken just a single point from their total four matches so far and both will know that they must win this final game if they’re to stand any chance to either overall Croatia in second place (in the case of the Czechs) or have the best possible chance of progressing as one of the best third placed sides in the tournament. However, the Czech Republic have been dealt a massive blow as captain Tomáš Rosický is out of the Euros with a thigh injury and they’ll be short on creativity in the middle of the park without the former Arsenal player.
Turkey showed that they even with their best players in the side they’re short on ideas as they were beaten 3-0 by Spain as they went two matches in France without a goal and without much of a threat towards other sides. However, these two sides are familiar foes after they clashed in the qualification for this tournament with each side netting two goals in the away legs as they secured victory and both will know how to get at each other. Both will be out for each other as they aim to progress to the next stage of the European Championships this summer, but with the Czechs missing Rosický, the Turks short on quality and both sides defending poorly we can see both of these teams able to win the game.
We feel that the value in the match is on the goals market and due to the deficiencies of both siOudes we can see some goals, but not too many, being scored in Lens.