Euro 2016: Spain vs Czech Republic… Live!
Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to the first of another three match day here at Euro 2016. This afternoon, we kick off with one of the most curious games of the group stages, between Spain and the Czech Republic. Spain have, of course, won the last two tournaments, an achievement all the more impressive for the fact that this particular nation had not won a major tournament before since the 1960s while no-one had ever successfully defended the European Championships before. In the summer of 2016, however, it might be argued that Spain are in a period of transition. The players of 2008, 2010, and 2012 are starting to fall away, but can those brought in to replace them match their success?
The Czech Republic, meanwhile, continue to be considered, in the way that lazy hacks always used to when talking about Eastern European nations that they hadn’t bothered to read up on or watch, “dark horses”. But here’s a tenuous reason to believe that the Czechs may be capable of going a long way this summer. In 1976, Czechsolovakia won the European Championships. In 1996, the Czech Republic were beaten only by a golden goal from Germany in the final of the same tournament at Wembley. Another twenty years on, could be lucky for the Czechs when the year ends in six? Probably not, but they’ll fancy their chances against a Spanish team that doesn’t look quite as strong as it has in the past. Kick-off is at 2.00pm. Why not join us for it?
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