Slovakia (4-2-3-1): Dubravka; Pekarik, Satka, Skriniar, Hubocan; Kucka, Hromada; Haraslin, Hamsik, Mak; Duda.
Spain (4-3-3): Simon; Azpilicueta, Garcia, Laporte, Alba; Busquets, Koke, Pedri; Moreno, Morata, Sarabia.
“Spain have one of the best teams in the competition, great quality,” said Slovakia’s manager. “ I expect Busquets will return to the side, to bring higher quality and calmness in the middle of the pitch. It’ll be a challenge for us and is a match every single player wants to play.
“We are trying to keep our fighting spirit going. We have played two good matches so far, even if the end of the game with Sweden was slightly frustrating for us. We need time to forget about that, but we’re ready to give it our all once again. And hoping once more for a positive result.”
“It’s logical that I’m preoccupied with us meriting better results but not getting them,” said Spain’s manager in his pre-match press conference. “I’m focussed on motivating my players. I feel that when we get our first win our level will soar to it’s best version.
“It’s about our finishing. We’ve created enough chances to win both games. But I’m not going to give Slovakia any helpful clues about what we’ll do tomorrow. We coaches fully understand the fact that we live by results. And what not meeting your objectives means. I’m hoping that by the end of Wednesday we’re not only in the knockouts but as group winners. Right now I’ll accept the criticism.”
Slovakia need a point to be certain of going through and will top the group if they win and Sweden do not.
Spain will go through if they beat Slovakia. They will also go through if they draw and Poland do not beat Sweden.
If Slovakia, Sweden and Poland all finish on 4 points … well, let’s wait and see.
Slovakia manager Stefan Tarkovic must plan without Lazio centre-back Denis Vavro, who is in splendid self-isolation after testing positive for Covid. Slavia Prague winger Ivan Schranz remains sidelined with injury.
For Spain, Sergio Busquets is once again available for selection after spending time in quarantine after his positive Covid test. He may come in for Rodri, who is on a yellow card. The word from the Spanish camp is that Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta will make his first appearance of the tournament today.
It’s must-win for Spain and must-not-lose for Slovakia in this critical encounter at the Stadium La Cartuja. The hosts have had a frustrating start to the Euros, with astonishing profligacy in front of goal restricting them to draws against Sweden and Poland.
Anything less than a win here and they’re likely to exit the tournament. Having won their opening match against Poland, Slovakia followed up with defeat at the hands of Sweden. A point today will see them through to the knockout stages. Kick off in Seville is at 5pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.