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Euro 2020: Spain need a draw to enter last-16

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Madrid, June 22 (IANS) Spain need a point in their last group game against Slovakia on Wednesday night to assure their place in the last-16 of European Championship.

Results in other groups mean a draw will be enough to take the Spanish into the knockout stages, after it had seemed they would need a win following their 1-1 draw against Poland on Saturday.

However, more than anything, the Spanish need a good performance and goals after drawing 0-0 against Sweden and 1-1 against the Poles, Xinhua reports.

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Although the Spanish could count themselves slightly unlucky against the Swedes, the performance against Poland raised serious doubts about Luis Enrique’s side, which once again failed to take chances, while allowing the Poles to score from virtually their only chance in the game.

The two performances have frustrated fans, who booed the Spanish side off the pitch in the Estadio de la Cartuja in Seville after the Poland game.

In a bid to restore confidence, Luis Enrique is likely to make several changes to his starting 11.

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Sergio Busquets will go back into central midfield after recovering from Covid-19, while Cesar Azpilicueta will probably start at right back to allow Marcos Llorente to push into midfield, where he can better use his ability to surge forward and score vital goals.

Jose Luis Gaya also has a chance of replacing Jordi Alba at left back, while Thiago Alcantara could partner Busquets in central midfield.

Luis Enrique will have to decide whether to continue with Alvaro Morata in attack. Morata had scored against Poland, but also missed an open goal after Gerard Moreno’s second-half penalty hit the post.

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Mikel Oyarzabal, Ferran Torres and Pablo Sarabia all have chances of partnering Moreno in attack against a rival that already has three points after beating Poland 2-1 and losing 1-0 to Sweden.

–IANS

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