There is cause for alarm coming into Spain and Sweden’s opening match in Group E. Spain’s captain Sergio Busquets tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and is now being held in quarantine, while Sweden reportedly has two players of their own that tested positive for COVID. This match may be rescheduled or shuffled as a result of those tests, but both countries are hoping to have limited a potential outbreak.
Don't miss a second of EURO 2020. This match will be held at Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville, Spain at 3 p.m. ET. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPN.
UEFA EURO 2020 Odds at BookMaker.eu
Over/Under 2 and 2.5
La Roja may be ready to challenge for international glory again nearly a decade after their golden generation won two European Championships and a World Cup. The youth has had a chance to develop following Spain’s struggles since 2012, and Spain has earned a result in 12 of its last 13 games.
The absence of Busquets will hurt a back line that doesn’t have a lot of experience after Sergio Ramos was left off the team. Jordi Alba is leader of this unit, but the next most capped player in defense is Cesar Azpilicueta with 25 appearances. Koke or Thiago are likely to fill Busquets’ role while he is out.
There is talent on the attack, but there isn’t a true No. 9 that can put the ball in the back of the net without much help. Alvaro Morata has 19 goals in 40 appearances with Spain, and he is currently the only player on the roster with more than eight goals for La Roja. Ferran Torres is seen as a future star though, and this tournament might be his launching pad.
Sweden was hoping to have Zlatan Ibrahimovic back after he came out of retirement, but he will miss EURO 2020 after sustaining an injury with AC Milan. His absence is huge as even though he is almost 40 years old, he is the greatest goal scoring threat the country has ever seen in the blue and yellow.
The Swedes will make do with Marcus Berg and Alexander Isak up top. Berg was the team’s primary scoring option at the 2018 World Cup and has 24 goals for the national team. Isak is the team’s top young forward, and he already has six goals at the age of 21.
This team is not without its share of top talents despite the dearth of goal scorers. Sebastian Larsson is the leader of the midfield, and Emil Forsberg is very talented. Viktor Claesson has looked sharp with Krasnodar too.
Victor Lindelof and Andreas Granqvist will be counted on in defense. They made a pretty formidable duo in leading Sweden to a quarterfinals appearance during the 2018 World Cup, as the Swedes surrendered just four goals in five matches. Robin Olsen is strong in net too.
Matchup to Watch
We might not see much action here since this is an opening game. Spain knows it will be tough to break through Sweden’s back line, and this team will make the Spanish work for every inch. In previous years, Spain had talented midfielders that could use the tiki-taka to circumvent stifling defensive pressure, but there’s nothing that suggests these midfielders are of the same caliber.
Free EURO 2020 Betting Pick
The under is a great play in this match. There won’t be a lot of great scoring opportunities, and neither team will be too adventurous with the two other teams in this group in mind.
EURO 2020 Odds: Spain 1, Sweden 0
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