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Preview: Spain v Czech Republic

Vicente del Bosque feels Spain are in good shape to start their title defence against the Czech Republic as Pavel Vrba promises a free role for Tomáš Rosický and hints at a defensive reshuffle.

Vicente del Bosque speaks in Toulouse
Vicente del Bosque speaks in Toulouse ©Panoramic
  • Spain begin bid for unprecedented third straight European title against Czech Republic
  • Pavel Vrba, without suspended Marek Suchý, promises free role for Tomáš Rosický
  • Vicente del Bosque's side are on eight-game competitive winning streak
  • David Silva could win 100th cap for Spain
  • Follow our team reporters for the inside track: @BumperGraham and @UEFAcomOndrejZ
  • Also in Group D: Turkey 0-1 Croatia (played Sunday)

Possible line-ups
Spain: Casillas; Juanfran, Piqué, Ramos Alba; Busquets; Silva, Fàbregas, Iniesta, Nolito; Morata.
Out: none

Czech Republic: Čech; Kadeřábek, Sivok, Kadlec, Gebre Selassie; Darida, Plašil; Dočkal, Rosický, Krejčí; Necid.
Out: Marek Suchý (suspended)

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Coach quotes
Vicente del Bosque, Spain coach

[The opening game] is very special and one with a lot of responsibility, increasing from day to day, but we will see if we are at the level we deserve. We shall we. They [Czech Republic] are a well-organised team with good players and they are good from set pieces which is always dangerous.

I think we have managed to get into good shape despite the hard season. The players joined the squad in various stages. They are OK and they get along. Let's see if we can show that tomorrow.

Pavel Vrba, Czech Republic coach
To succeed we will have to do everything right as we are going to face one of the biggest favourites for the tournament. They have world-class players in every position; we have a very difficult test in front of us. But I still think there are things that could surprise them. 

We do not want to limit Tomáš Rosický's freedom on the field – he likes to create and be attacking. But we will see if some of the others play in unusual defensive roles. Apart from Marek Suchý, who is suspended, all the players are fit and available.

Czech Republic guide

UEFA.com team reporters
Graham Hunter, Spain (@BumperGraham)
Spain will probably take the field as many observers' favourites to win this match and, undoubtedly, they've prepared well. However, the emphasis placed on ensuring a good start to both the group and La Roja's title defence could cause some nerves. This is not just because of the two defeats and a draw in the Spaniards' last three opening games at tournaments (since 2008), but because the tests get no easier with Turkey and Croatia to come. The growing feeling around the camp is that the 'Marquis' del Bosque will deploy Nolito on the left.

Ondřej Zlámal, Czech Republic (@UEFAcomOndrejZ)
Captain Rosický is back fit and firing and could be the man to inspire his team-mates against Spain, but the Czechs know they will need to be at their absolute best in defence – and Petr Čech may have to pull off a few of his abracadabra saves if the holders are to be defied. If Spain do not score early, Vrba's counterattacking wingers may come more into play. The Czechs will certainly have to be ruthless with any half-chances they get.

Form guide (all games, most recent first)
Czech Republic: LWWDLLWWLW

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Did you know?
Čech could face former Chelsea team-mates Cesc Fàbregas and César Azpilicueta, himself once an Osasuna colleague of Jaroslav Plašil. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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