Spain v Turkey
Saturday June 18, 5:00am
Spain could easily have been vulnerable in their opener after several squad members joined up late as a result of the Champions League final but they still put in an impressive performance and look far more like the side that won the past two Euros than the team that turned up in Brazil two years ago.
Their 1-0 victory means they’ve now won their last nine competitive matches, all without conceding a single goal. Since 2012 Spain are unbeaten in their 21 matches against teams placed 11th-40th, with 16 wins, and 13/21 have had fewer than three goals. Moreover, that includes a W10-D2-L0 record in competitive matches while conceding just three times and with nine of 12 settling as Under 2.5 Goals.
Turkey’s young side were no match for Croatia and with Arda Turan struggling to find his best form after a season on the sidelines at Barcelona their attack looks short of quality. For a side that lacks leaders and experience in the attacking third that is a major problem. Since 2008 they’ve lost 12 of their 15 matches against teams in the top 10 of our rankings and that includes four of six since the start of the 2012/13 season.
Since 1990, at Euros, World Cups and Copa Americas, teams ranked in our top 10 that had won their opener and were playing a side ranked 11th-50th that had lost their first game have gone W13-D2-L2. We expect Spain to improve with each match and, while Turkey should not be underestimated, they should be able to control and dictate the game through their midfield.
However, due to their nature of winning matches 1-0, the handicap doesn’t appeal as a way of backing Spain and we instead prefer them to continue their incredible defensive record. The Win to Nil is available at odds-against and that is almost a mandatory bet when Spain are playing. Under 2.5 Goals at about 1.83 is also tempting given the number of 1-0 and 2-0s they record.
BACK – Spain to Win to Nil at 2.20