Spain and Russia meet at the start Under-21 European Championships in Israel.
The Spaniards are considered favourites to win this clash, but the Russians could prove to be a difficult task for La Roja.
The reigning champions Spain face Russia in the opening match at Under-21 European Championships. The Spaniards are eager to defend the title clinched two years ago in Denmark, but that is easier said than done. Spain will take on three very strong sides in Group B, Russia, Netherlands and Germany meaning they will have a mountain to climb before they reach the semi-finals of the tournament. In the play-offs Spain outclassed Denmark 8:1 on aggregate and if La Roja repeat a similar performance against Russia, they should not have problems to win the opener. With the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Isco, David De Gea and Sergio Canales in the squad, the Spaniards are certainly hot favourites to clinch the title in Israel, but they will need to prove it on the field. Taking everything into account, I believe that Spain are superior than Russia, therfore, I will put my money on La Roja.
Russia, on the other hand, reached the Under-21s’ European Championships by beating Czech Republic in the play-offs. With the likes of Real Madridˈs Denis Cheryshev and CSKAˈs Alan Dzagoev in the squad Russia will surely have their chances to reach the semi-finals of the tournament, even though they will have to face Spain, Netherlands and Germany in Group B. Russia and Spain met in a friendly in March and the Spaniards won that clash 3:1. Muniain, Rodrigo and Alcantara scored for la Roja, whereas Yakovlev netted the goal for Russia. Zbornaja komanda will surely try to pick up at least a point from the opener against Spain in Israel by adopting a defense-minded approach, but I am not sure whether they are capable of avoiding defeat against the reigning champions. Russia should not be trashed by the Spaniards, but I believe that they will lose this game.