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Sam Marsden’s Slovakia v Spain preview: midfield changes for crunch clash

| 19.06.2021

Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Spain throughout Euro 2020

Spain face being knocked out of the European Championships in the group stage for the first time since 2004 if they don’t beat Slovakia on Wednesday.

Luis Enrique’s side are third in Group E after draws with Sweden and Poland and only a win in their final game will guarantee their place in the last 16.

If they don’t advance, Luis Enrique will feel the wrath of a nation that was already questioning him when Sergio Ramos was omitted from the squad and no Real Madrid players were called up. But Enrique has always done things his way and he won’t be distracted by the criticism.

Against Slovakia, he’s likely to stick with forwards Alvaro Morata, who briefly silenced the doubters by scoring against Poland only to miss another sitter later in the game, and Gerard Moreno, who missed a penalty in the same match.

There will be changes, though, as Spain look to fix their goal-scoring problems. Dani Olmo could drop out, while Sergio Busquets, who’s recovered from Covid-19, and Thiago Alcantara could come into the side. There are also calls for Marcos Llorente to be freed from the shackles of a right-back role.

Check out the latest Euro 2020 odds.



Sam Marsden

Samuel Marsden is a sports journalist who covers Spanish football for ESPN and the Catalan newspaper Diario SPORT.

He has been based in Barcelona for eight years but regularly travels to Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla and all across Spain to cover La Liga, the Champions League and the Spanish national team.

He primarily focuses on Barca and has interviewed Javier Mascherano, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Luis Suarez and Frenkie de Jong, among others, in recent seasons.

Prior to his current work, he freelanced for the Daily Mirror, Goal, Bleacher Report and the BBC.

Sam is originally from Cornwall, England, but is a Burnley fan, for which he blames his dad.