There are clearly two outstanding teams in this group. The holders Spain were at their vintage best in a 3-0 victory over a Turkey side that had their spirit crushed with two quickfire first half goals. At points it felt like an exhibition match it was so easy for the Spaniards, who have now qualified for the knockout stage. Croatia should also have 6 points (they have 4), but their collapse after being in total control of their match against the Czech Republic is a worry, especially as it happened after Luka Modric went off with a knock, though the crowd trouble in the Croatia end (flares were thrown onto the pitch) clearly effected the players when the match restarted. To be fair some credit has to be given to the Czech Republic for somehow getting a draw in a match that they barely competed in. That’s how football can work sometimes and that first point gained by the Czechs could be crucial. Turkey are bottom with no points, no goals and seemingly no spirit, their fans were even booing captain Arda Turan through parts of the second half.
Croatia and Spain will meet in the final round of matches, a point is enough for Croatia to qualify as runners up and will also leave Spain as group winners. I for one will not be surprised if that match is a stalemate. Turkey can still finish third, but their goal difference is poor, so they are unlikely to qualify as one of the best third place teams. However after two sub standard performances they will want to give their fans something to cheer, which does mean it wont be plain sailing for the Czech Republic who would need to win to stand any chance of getting out of the group, albeit as a likely third place team. I fancy a humdinger here. Predictions below.
Czech Republic 3 Turkey 2
Croatia 1 Spain 1
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