Belgium vs Spain by Jimeno
Belgium had really great ambitions at Euro 2016, some fans even dreamed about the title, but the things didn't go in their favor from the first game when they suffered 0:2 defeat against Italy. However, they improved further on and managed to take victories over Ireland 3:0 and Sweden 1:0 to secure the second position at the table and progress further.
Hungarians weren't much of a match for them in the last sixteen round and were defeated 4:0, but Wales surprised everyone with their fighting spirit and a 3:1 victory in quarter-finals over Belgium. Earlier it would have been decent result for them, but this time participating only in quarter-finals surely sounded like disappointing results for everyone in the country. Belgium should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Lukaku probably as alone striker, but also with Mirallas, Bruyne and Hazard as offensive midfielders.
Manager Roberto Martinez will be making his debut as a head coach. He should partner up Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in the center of defense. Lukaku should be given advantage at the top of attack, even though Martinez has plenty of other forwards at his disposal. As for the players call-up, almost nothing changed in the team as central defender Vincent Kopmany remains sidelined with injury as he missed to play in France as well. Vertonghen and Lombaerts have both recovered and are in contention for this one.
Even though Spain started the Euro campaign in a good way, with victories over Czech Republic and Turkey, they lost the first position in the group with a defeat to Croatia and had to play a very difficult last sixteen phase match against Italians.
Even though they had more of the ball possession, the team failed to create real goal scoring chances and suffered 2:0 defeat against the Italians that did well on counter attacks. Exiting so early was surely a great disappointment for everyone in Spain, so a new coach had to come at the helm of national team. Spaniards, on the other side, should be playing in 4-3-3 usual formation, with Silva, Nolito and Morata in the center of offense.
This will also be debuting game for the new Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui, who succeeded Vicente Del Bosque. He made some changes, dropping Iker Casillas out of the team. Alvaro Morata should be leading their attack, although Paco Alcacer and Diego Costa are both available. Iniesta, Fabregas, Juanfran and Cazorla are all absent, as well as veteran striker Aduriz. Carvajal has recovered (he missed the Euro too).
Both teams have new coaches and are making a fresh start. Belgium maybe has some slight advantage, but I'll prefer to stick with goals here. After poor Euro, Spaniards can't afford to make another negative appearance, especially not in attack. I expect quite an open game, with both teams showing close to their best in offense.