Euro 2016 Day 8: Spain for two wins out of two against Turkey, Italy take on Sweden

Italy look to book their place in the last 16 when they face Sweden, Croatia also aim to earn a place in the knockouts with a win against Czech Republic, while Spain will also make it through if they defeat Turkey.

Italy v Sweden
1400 ~ Stadium Municipal, Toulouse

Italy stunned Belgium 2-0 in their opening game on Monday night but manager Antonio Conte is not getting ahead of himself and must focus ahead of a tough Sweden match.

Italy stunned Belgium in thier opening match image: theguardian.com

Italy stunned Belgium in their opening match
image: theguardian.com

“We have our feet firmly on the ground, preparing for tomorrow’s game and looking for the win,” said the future Chelsea boss.

“We’ve got to attack them as a team. In defence the problem is not only Ibrahimovic, it could also be Forsberg or Guidetti; it could be their set pieces or various things we have to analyse.”

Sweden will need much improvement from a disappointing display against Ireland and head coach Erik Hamren  knows it will be hard to break down a very defence minded Italy.

“Italy perhaps don’t have the big stars they used to, but they are still very strong,” said the 58-year-old.

“They are very good in defence and in attack and they were impressive against Belgium. They are going to be a tough challenge for us. We expect Italy to have more of the possession. We are going to have to run a lot, but we need to use our heads too.”

Team News

Italy striker Gaziano Pelle picked up a slight foot injury after scoring his side’s second goal against Belgium but the Southampton forward should be available in an unchanged line-up.

Sweden will be without defender Mikael Lustig after he went off with a groin injury in their 1-1 draw with Ireland so Erik Johansson could come in at centre-back with Victor Lindelof switching to right-back.

Czech Republic v Croatia
1700 ~ Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne

Czech Republic put up a hard-fought display in their defeat to Spain and while it was a defensive display against the holders, gaffer Pavel Vrba wants to think more about attack against Croatia.

“This time we will think more about forwards, so there will certainly be some changes,” said the 52-year-old.

“Croatia are a little like Spain, because there are players from Real Madrid and Barcelona. Most of the team play abroad, so they will be very strong opponents. I think that our group is probably one of the most difficult in this European Championship.”

Luka Modric's volley gave Croatia a 1-0 win over Turkey image: theguardian.com

Luka Modric’s volley gave Croatia a 1-0 win over Turkey
image: theguardian.com

Luka Modric’s stunning volley gave Croatia an opening victory against Turkey and boss Ante Cacic wants more of the same when his side come face-t-face with Czech Republic.

“Croatia need to go for a victory in every match and it will be the same tomorrow,” said the former Dinamo Zagreb boss.

“The Czech Republic need points against us, but I expect my players to have the same approach they had against Turkey. The Czech Republic are not weaker than Turkey, they played a decent match against Spain and they are coming into this game in good spirits.”

Team News

Czech Republic are expected to make changes from the side that were beaten by Spain with Marek Suchy coming back into the team after suspension, while Borek Dockal will face a late fitness test on an ankle injury.

Croatia defender Vedran Corluka is available despite suffering a head injury against Turkey, while right-back Darijo Srna is also back in the squad after he returned to Croatia earlier this week for his father’s funeral.

Spain v Turkey
2000 ~ Allianz Riviera, Nice

Reigning European champions Spain left it late to bag victory over Czech Republic on Monday afternoon and manager Vicente Del Bosque knows it will be another tough effort to get the win over Turkey.

“I know the Turkish style of play very well, I don’t think they’ll give in easily,” said the former Real Madrid boss.

“We also have to approach this game expecting Turkey to make it really difficult for us. They are a great team who play great football – they have great players and we have to prepare ourselves for the difficulties they will pose us.”

Turkey put in a disappointing display in their defeat to Croatia and gaffer Faith Terim wants to see the real Turkey against Spain but knows it will be difficult to grab something off the three-time European Champions.

Spain's Gerard Pique scored a late winner against Czech Republic image: skysports.com

Spain’s Gerard Pique scored a late winner against Czech Republic
image: skysports.com

“You can’t just go and play Spain without trying to actually play.We will try to play our own game,” said the 62-year-old.

“In the first match we were more like a club side than a national team. It upset us all. There was no reaction after conceding and that isn’t good. We will look more like the Turkish team we really are against Spain. Rest assured, it will be different.”

Team News

Alvaro Morata could be dropped to the bench for Spain after missing several chances against Czech Republic, so Aritz Adruiz could start after he impressed coming off the bench.

Turkey could be without midfielder Mehmet Topal (leg) and defender Gokhan Gonul (stomach) after the duo missed training this week due to their respective injuries.

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