Quarterfinal #3 Preview

Spain vs. France in Donetsk

How they got here: Spain won Group C in the waning minutes in their last group match. They started with a 1-1 draw against Italy when they didn’t start a natural striker. They manhandled Ireland 4-0 and scored very late to beat Croatia 1-0. France started well with a 1-1 draw against England and 2-0 win over Ukraine. France had a bit off a setback with a 2-0 defeat to Sweden to drop them to second place in Group D.

Spain player to watch: David Silva- The winger will be playing against club teammates Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy. When Silva is on form Spain plays better as a team. If he’s ineffective then the pressure is on Andreas Iniesta and Xavi to setup an inconsistent striker like Fernando Torres.

France player to watch: Yann M’Villa; The young central midfielder was healthy enough to start against Sweden. If he starts again, he has a chance to increase his transfer value and make a statement against Spain’s midfield. Arsenal is one of the teams that would love the services of the 21 year-old.

Spain strategy: Spain is always lauded for playing attractive soccer, but they were very sloppy against Croatia. Even in past major tournaments, they have played many 1-0 games and that’s when David Villa was in the lineup. Spain needs to give Torres some chances to make them a more dangerous threat against a shaky France defense.

France strategy: France is due for a bounce back game after a flat performance against Sweden. A good start might be important and scoring first would be vital. If France can force Spain to come from behind it will be hard to Spain to equalize.

Prediction: France 2, Spain 1

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