Spain vs. France – UEFA Euro 2012 Quarterfinal Match Preview
On paper, the clash between Spain and France is the most appealing of the quarterfinal round of this European Championship. With both sides aching to reach the semifinal, these historic giants guarantee an interesting match.
Perhaps the greatest challenge for either coach will be controlling the ball. Both sides like dominating possession, priding themselves on great control of territory. It’ll be interesting to see how Spain’s usual 60% and above will suffer with a French side riddled with players of high caliber.
Sergio Ramos (center) trains with his teammates ahead of their match against France.
La Roja will have to deal with the pressure of their “black beast” – they have failed to beat France once in six preceding competitive matchups. Though the Spanish have matured as a team since the last time they encountered the French, the psychological aspect will possibly do them harm.
As for Les Bleus, they must overcome the issues that have arisen in the dressing room after the loss against Sweden. Before that match, the French hadn’t lost for 22 matches.
Frank Ribery (left) and Samir Nasri (right) will be key men for the French squad.
Spain may start without a striker again, choosing Fabregas in place of Torres. They must retain a backline strong enough to withhold France’s immense forward pressure composed of Nasri, Benzema, and Ribery.
Will history repeat itself for the Iberians, or will they get one step closer to defending their reign of Europe?