Spain vs Georgia: Team News, Analysis and Predictions
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Spain vs Georgia: Team News, Analysis and Predictions

29/06/24 16:56

SPAIN VS GEORGIA PREVIEW

In form Spain take on surprise knockout inclusion Georgia in what is set to be a thrilling clash in the round of 16 of EURO 2024 in Cologne.

As one of the favourites for the entire competition, it is no doubt that Luis de la Fuente’s side will dominate this game, controlling possession and creating chances to exploit the Georgian backline. Their performances so far in this tournament have shown that they are tactically equipped to get past very high levels of opposition, as shown in their 1-0 win against Italy. This is the first time since 2008 that La Roja have won all three of their EUROs group stage matches, something that no other side has managed in the tournament this summer.

In the last EUROs, Spain made it all the way to the semi-finals, just to lose to Italy on penalties and miss out on the final. However, in the last two world cups, the side have been knocked out in the round of 16, by hosts Russia in 2018 and Morocco in 2022, so getting through this game will be overcoming a huge hurdle for them.

Spain are yet to concede a goal in this tournament, and with all the talk being about their attacking promise, there should definitely be more of a focus on how successful their backline has been thus far. One standout player for La Roja has been Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella, who has stepped up and showed his defensive prowess in the group stage. He will be one to look out for in this clash against Georgia.

Spain’s fantastic frontline are set to have a difficult task on Sunday, coming up against the goalkeeper of the tournament so far in Valencia’s Giorgi Mamardashvili. The incredible shot-stopper has saved 16 out of the last 17 strikes that he has faced, and has managed to keep a clean sheet against a star-studded Portugal side. Despite this, Georgia have struggled with conceding chances, and they are the side in the tournament that has faced the most shots (71) so far.

After such a convincing 2-0 win against Portugal on Wednesday, Willy Sagnol’s men will go into this match with confidence and will try to push forward as much as possible, which will probably open the pitch up and allow for Spain to play through them. As much as they did perform well against Portugal, Portugal were already qualified so they weren’t giving 100% like Spain will be now that we have reached the knockout stages.

The man to look out for from Georgia is Metz forward Georges Mikautadze, who after scoring his penalty against Portugal, is the surprise top scorer at the tournament so far. While he clearly has a lot of attacking talent, it is hard to see him being able to grab a goal against a defence that hasn’t conceded a single goal so far in this competition.

SPAIN TEAM NEWS

De La Fuente put out a much changed side against Albania on Monday, and they still won. However, you would expect him to revert to the starting 11 he has used for the other fixtures, bringing back in the likes of Lamine Yamal, Nico Williams and Alvaro Morata. Rodri will also return to the side after serving his one-match ban against Albania.

We are yet to find out the status of injuries to Nacho and Ayoze Perez, but there is potential that both could feature in some way in this fixture.

GEORGIA TEAM NEWS

Sagnol faces the issue of a suspension, with Anzor Mekvabishvili receiving his second yellow of the tournament against Portugal. Other than that, there are no fresh injury concerns for Georgia and you would expect them to come with the same lineup as they put out on Wednesday.

SPAIN VS GEORGIA HEAD-TO-HEAD RESULTS

The two sides have faced each other seven times in all competitions, with Spain winning on six occasions, and Georgia winning one international friendly 1-0. The most recent clash being a EUROs qualifying match back in November 2023, in which Spain came out on top after goals from Robin Le Normand, Ferran Torres and an own goal by Luka Lochoschvili cancelled out Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s early goal to end the match 3-1 to La Roja.

SPAIN VS GEORGIA PREDICTION

Spain 2-0 Georgia

Despite the fact that Georgia will go into this match with such confidence off the back of their shock win in Gelsenkirchen, it is hard to see how they will be able to compete with the sheer talent and quality that Spain will put out. With star goalkeeper Mamardashvili in net, you wouldn’t expect Georgia to be completely thrashed, but I would say that this game will be a comfortable win for La Roja.

Their attacking talent with a front three of Williams, Yamal and Morata, is of quality that Georgia haven’t really come up against so far, and I think it will be too much for them and unfortunately they will be outclassed. However, the Georgian fans will be sure to bring the best atmosphere possible, so it should be a great game to watch.

Whoever wins this fixture will go on to face the winner of Germany vs Denmark in the Quarter-Finals in Stuttgart next Friday.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Lily Perrill

Writer

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