No Swiss rollover for Spain
The quarter finals of Euro 2020 kick off late on Friday afternoon, where Switzerland, conquerors of world champions and favourites France via the lottery of penalties, will take on Spain, who eventually overcame Croatia after extra-time in an eight-goal thriller. Captain Granit Xhaka, so influential in their shock victory, will be suspended for the encounter. Whilst on paper that might make La Furia Rioja more confident of booking passage to face either Italy or Belgium in the semis, this tournament has proven that nothing can be taken for granted. Read our preview here:
Haris on form
Both Goalkeeper Unai Símon and youngster Pedri will have been immensely grateful that their combined error in giving Croatia the lead from an own goal that will be replayed for years to come didn't ultimately have a bearing on the outcome of the match, not least because of the wholly despicable and disproportionate abuse teammate Álvaro Morata had already received prior to the last 16 clash because of missing some presentable opportunities. All three redeemed themselves later on, with Símon making crucial saves, Pedri dictating the game like Andrés Iniesta in his pomp, and Morata getting the fourth (and first) in extra time to break Croatian resolve. Head coach Luis Enrique has no-one unavailable for Friday's game at the time of writing, and will hope the presence of Sergio Busquets at the base of the midfield will be sufficient to take a stranglehold on the match.
Koke shares rebounding?
Both sides in different ways had to overcome adversity to set up their meeting in Russia - in Switzerland's case, mentally steeling themselves after the several minutes that elapsed between Ricardo Rodríguez's penalty was saved by Hugo Lloris to two moments of magic by Karim Benzema via Paul Pogba. Almost everyone had written them off when they fell 3-1 behind, and Spain looked under the cosh in the early exchanges in extra-time against Croatia. The bulk of the expectation will be on the Iberian nation to qualify, but they might once again have to work very hard indeed for that dream to be realised. Casumo are offering odds of 3.75 for a draw after 90 minutes.
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