22nd of June 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Spain are keen on defending the title that they have won in 2008 but they will have to face France in the quarter finals, the last team that has knocked them out of a major tournament.
Here are the probable line ups:
Casillas - Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba - Busquets, Alonso - Iniesta, Xavi, Silva - Torres
Lloris - Debuchy, Koscielny, Rami, Clichy - Cabaye, M'Vila - Menez, Nasri, Ribery - Benzema
The 2008 champion comes into the quarterfinals after a disappointing performance in the 1-0 victory over Croatia, although that win helped Vicente del Bosque's side to claim top spot in Group C.
Spain have no suspension or injury worries before this game but they have quite a few players that can't afford getting another yellow card: Alvaro Arbeloa, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Javi Martinez all one booking away from missing a hypothetical semifinal clash with Portugal. The only big question before the game for coach Del Bosque is whether to use Fernando Torres in attack or adopt a "false nine" tactic again, with Cesc Fabregas as the spearhead.
France are coming from a defeat in the last group match against Sweden but their major problem is the absence of defender Philippe Mexes who picked up his second booking of the tournament in that defeat. Laurent Koscielny is the most likely replacement. Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery are in doubt after missing training on Wednesday while Yohan Cabaye won't make the team due to a thigh problem. Jeremy Menez didn't play against Sweden but will probably get back into the team against Spain.
Here are the match odds from Bet365:
Spain - 5/6
Draw - 5/2
France - 15/4
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