#360fans: Spain vs Czech Republic - UAE supporters preview

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Who will win between Spain and Czech Republic?

Ahead of their Group D clash on Monday, Spain and Czech Republic UAE-based fans give their verdict on the game.

To gain an insight into the mindset of the fans we asked UAE fans to share with us their predictions, likely line-ups and players to watch.

Do you agree or have they missed the mark? You can share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

CZECH REPUBLICOndřej Piškula (Football Coach, Dubai)

Since 1996, the Czech Republic have played four matches against Spain. We lost three and drew one. It is time to do something about it and show Europe that Czech football is still among the very best. There is no better opportunity to do so than in the match against the reigning champions.

The past few weeks have seen preparation for Euro 2016 go well for our team as we beat Malta and Russia in friendlies. Unfortunately we lost against South Korea but the performance was still good, with the team discovering areas of development that I’m sure would have been addressed.

Everything looks ready for the big opening as we don´t have any injuries and all the players can´t wait to get started. Let’s forget the near misses, forget the past and make the history now. Come on Czech!

PREDICTION: Czech Republic 2-1 Spain

LIKELY CZECH REPULIC XI: Cech, Kaderabek, Sivok, Suchy, Gebre, Selassie, Sural, Dockal, Rosicky, Darida, Krejci, Lafata

CZECH REPUBLIC PLAYER TO WATCH: Tomas Necid (above) has shown very good form as he assisted the first and scored the second goal in friendly match against Russia. He may not start but if he does, it will be exciting to watch.

SPAIN PLAYER TO WATCH: Andres Iniesta. For me he is the best player in the Spanish team, a key cog in La Roja’s machine. In fact, he is the engine, transmision, and steering all at once. A great football player who is always worth watching.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Barasti Beach Bar

SPAIN – Borja Burguillos (Global Strategy Manager, Dubai)

Spain is living a change of generation which is always complicated – the era of post-Xavi as many fans call it!  Vicente del Bosque has decided to make a soft change by keeping some of the more experienced players and mixing in new ones. Only time will tell if it is the right decision to experiment in this way at Euro 2016.

We certainly have a very good defence and midfielders but there is an acute lack of top-level strikers. Oh how we’d like to have a Raul, David Villa, or the Fernando Torres of old. Still, it is an opportunity for Nolito and Alvaro Morata to show at the Euros whether they really are top players.

Obviously we are defending champions so expectation is still high, even after the disappointment of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I still have confidence in Spain. The game with the Czech Republic will be hotly contested but Spain will win.

PREDICTION: Spain 2 – 1 Czech Republic

LIKELY SPAIN XI: De Gea; Juanfran, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Thiago, Iniesta, Fabregas, Lucas Vazquez; Nolito

CZECH REPUBLIC PLAYER TO WATCH: Petr Cech – The Arsenal goalkeeper (above) has vast experience and will be a key player for the team. He could keep the score at nil on his own such is his quality – our players will need to finish well to beat him.

SPAIN PLAYER TO WATCH: Lucas Vasquez – While Andres Iniesta is the reference in midfield, Lucas Vasquez has burst into the national team and is hungry to make an impact. He has pace and already experience of playing under pressure.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Lock Stock & Barrel in Tecom. Amazing pure football environment

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Denis Irwin: Ireland can reach Euro 2016 knockout stages

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Can Ireland qualify from their group?

Whatever the Republic of Ireland do, you know they’ll fight. They’re in a tough group but they’ll play together as a team. That’s the one thing we can be assured will happen. At the last European Championships they were hugely disappointing and, as a result, I think Ireland will go to France not expecting a lot, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they got through to the last 16, because they’ve got a togetherness. But they’ll need everybody fit to have any chance of getting through.

I think this is only the fifth tournament Ireland have been to in all so they’ll be really looking forward to it and Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will be well prepared. We might not have the best squad but they’ll make it a battle for every team. We’re not going there to make the numbers up, not at all. Belgium are ranked very high and have a fabulous team on paper, but haven’t lived up to their potential yet. They’ll be under pressure because a lot’s expected of them. Sweden are like us, they’ve obviously got Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front but not a lot else.

Italy will always be hard to play. They’re maybe not the best team but they’ll be organized and tough to beat, they always are. They always do well at big tournaments. The first game against Sweden is huge.

The Irish have always enjoyed playing on the big stage and you know we’ll have tremendous support. Facing Italy in the final group match is sure to bring back memories of World Cup 1994 and our famous 1-0 victory…although hopefully not the first memory I have of the game.

Ireland's group matches

  • June 13 - Sweden (20:00 GST)
  • June 18 - Belgium (17:00 GST)
  • June 22 - Italy (23:00 GST)

We were drawn as the away team so we’re in white, playing Italy, who obviously play in blue. We go out into the tunnel, they come out, (Franco) Baresi, (Paolo) Maldini, looking really smart. We’re a scruffy bunch of Irish lads, and they’re wearing white as well. The biggest game of our lives and we’re wearing the same colours!

Because we’re an amateur association, our kit man’s got it wrong. We’ve got to hop back into the changing room and change everything. If you look at the official team photograph there’s only 10 players on the field. Terry Phelan’s missing, still in the changing rooms trying to find his shirt. It was always a great honour playing for your country and we always had a bit of fun in the days under Jack Charlton.

We had some great players and I think we could have done better if we’d had a football manager. Jack was a bit of a dinosaur and his training methods were really old, but he qualified us for the 1988 Euros and 1990 and 1994 World Cups. However, look at the players we had; Roy Keane, Andy Townsend, Steve Staunton, Ray Houghton, Paul McGrath, Terry Phelan, John Sheridan… all top players at top clubs in England. I think if we’d have played a footballing style we’d have done an awful lot better.

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Mustafi & Bastian score to secure Germany win

Sport360 staff 13/06/2016

Valencia defender Mustafi powered home the opener from Toni Kroos’s free-kick after just 19 minutes of Sunday’s game.

And Schweinsteiger wrapped up the win in injury time, moments after coming off the bench.

However, Germany were also thankful to captain for the night Neuer as he made stops from Yevhen Konoplyanka and Yevhen Khacheridi, while Jerome Boateng made a spectacular clearance off his own line.

Next up for Germany is a heated battle for top spot in Group C with neighbours Poland on Thursday in Paris after the Poles overcame Northern Ireland 1-0 thanks to Arkadiusz Milik’s strike earlier on Sunday.

World Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew had to name a makeshift back line due to a series of defensive injuries, and that instability was exposed as Neuer kept Ukraine at bay in an entertaining opening 45 minutes.

The giant Bayern Munich goalkeeper flew to his right to turn Sevilla winger Konoplyanka’s curling effort behind after a slip from Mustafi after just five minutes.

However, the absence of the injured Mats Hummels and Antonio Ruediger played into German hands for the opening goal as Mustafi made the most of his chance to start in their absence with a bullet header from Kroos’s free-kick.

Neuer came to Germany’s rescue again with brilliant reflex save to tip over Khacheridi’s header, but Loew’s men could just as easily have been 2-0 up moments later when Sami Khedira shot too close to Andriy Pyatov.

Ukraine ended the half on the front foot as only a remarkable acrobatic clearance from Boateng prevented the dangerous Konoplyanka from levelling, with English referee Martin Atkinson helped to make the right call by goal-line technology.

Even when Ukraine did finally beat Neuer they were denied by the offside flag when Andriy Yarmolenko tapped home seven minutes before the break.

Germany enjoyed more control after the interval with Ukraine’s twin threats of Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko kept in check.

However, they were restricted to efforts from long range as Khedira was again denied by Pyatov with a fierce drive from 25 yards.

Pyatov got down well to save from Mario Goetze and Thomas Mueller as spaces began to open up with Ukraine pushing more bodies forward in search of an equaliser.

They finally put the result beyond doubt in injury time when Mesut Ozil’s inch-perfect cross from the left was fired home by substitute Schweinsteiger.

The goal was his first for his country in five years and made sure of a perfect start for Germany in their quest for a fourth European crown to match their four World Cup triumphs.

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