Spain start their preparations for Euro 2016 with a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina in a neutral venue AFG Arena, St. Gallen in Switzerland.
The Spain national football team are on the path of rebuilding and there are plenty of shock in the 25 man provisional squad named by Del Bosque. Two from them will get the axe by end of this month, but the squad is certainly filled with names who had shined well for their respective clubs this season. The La Furia Roja had won 9 of their 10 matches in the qualifying stages and finished top of their group. Since then they had played three friendlies, started off with a 3-0 win against England, but failed to win in their last two, after drawing against Italy and Romania respectively.
Bosnia and Herzegovina missed out of the Euro 2016 after losing to Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. Head-coach Mehmed Bazdarevic had already set his sights on the World Cup qualifying campaign set to start in September, and the friendlies will be his perfect opportunity to fine tune the team tactics. Since the exit from Euro qualification play-offs the Dragons won in each of the two friendlies they played.
Spain Team News
Del Bosque’s 25 man provisional squad includes uncapped players like Sergio Rico (Goalkeeper, Sevilla), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) and Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid). Both Lucas and Saul will miss the chance to impress the head-coach as they are away on club duties for the Champions League final on Saturday.
Spain will also without the Real Madrid players Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Isco; and Atletico Madrid players Juanfran and Koke.
Chelsea forward Diego Costa and Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata are dropped from the squad together with Valencia striker Paco Alcacer.
Spain Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Casillas – Azpilicueta, Bartra, Pique, Alba – Fabregas, Thiago, Busquets – Silva, Morata, Aduriz.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Team News
Mehmed Bazdarevic named 9 uncapped players for the friendlies against Spain and the Kirin Cup match against Denmark on 3rd June. However, the team has plenty of experience at their side with the likes of captained by Edin Dzeko, vice captain and Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begović , Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanić and HSV’s veteran defender Emir Spahić.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Begovic – Kolasinac, Zukanovic, Spahic, Vranjes – Lullic, Besic, Pjanic, Visca – Dzeko, Hodzic.
Spain vs Bosnia and Herzegovina: Head-to-Head
Spain are unbeaten in the 6 matches played against Bosnia and Herzegovina so far, with 4 wins and 2 draws; goal aggregate 14-6.
Spain are unbeaten in their last 9 matches in all competitions, with 7 wins and 2 draws. They had also kept clean sheets in 7 of them.
Bosnia and Herzegovina are unbeaten in their last two and they have lost only once in their last 7 matches.
Spain vs Bosnia and Herzegovina: Prediction
Spain are well and truly entering a new phase and this is a new-look squad set-up. Despite their recent troubles, they managed to stay unbeaten in their last 9 matches, winning 7 of them. They might not be the heavy favourites they used to be before, but they are still a force to reckon at the international stage.
The La Furia Roja are missing a number of key players here, mainly due to the Champions League final on Saturday. This will definitely put Bosnia and Herzegovina on par with Spain and they have every chance of mounting an upset here.
Both teams are defensively strong, so we might well see under 2.5 goals. A draw is the very likely outcome from this friendly and I strongly believe this is going to be a 0-0 stalemate. If anyone is going to win this it will be a 1-0 win.