Cyprus will look to end their losing streak when they host Spain in a Group A fixture of the UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers.
Spain will look to maintain their dominant run in the Euro 2024 Qualifiers when they hit the road to square up against Cyprus. The home team have not been able to register a point yet, and they will be looking to cause an upset against a star-studded Spain team.
Cyprus have had the worst possible campaign so far. They have lost each of their seven qualifying fixtures and have only scored two goals so far. Their last outing against Spain was a 6-0 defeat away from home. And, they will be hoping to put up a better fight this time out.
Their last outing was a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Georgia. While the scoreline suggests that they were hammered, the home team did create quite a few chances. But, they failed to find the back of the net. Playing at home, Cyprus will hope they can register the first points of their qualification round.
Spain have been a dominant side in the UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers, winning five out of their six games. They are currently on a four-match winning streak and will look to make it five in a row when they face Cyprus. They are sitting atop Group A and have already qualified for the finals.
Their only defeat in the qualification stage came at the hands of Scotland way back in March. Post that, La Roja have been on a six-match winning streak. They won the UEFA Nations League this year and are now heading into the Euro 2024 as one of the favourites.
Spain have won their last four qualifying fixtures, and they will look to make it five in a row. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the two teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.
✈️ ¡¡Así ha sido nuestro viaje hasta Chipre!!
El equipo ya descansa en Limasol para mañana estar a tope en el entrenamiento oficial prepartido.
— Selección Española Masculina de Fútbol (@SEFutbol) November 14, 2023
Team News & Tactics
The home team will be without the services of star striker Pieros Sotiriou and even veteran attacker Demetris Christofi. Apart from the duo, there are no major absentees.
Temur Ketsbaia will go ahead with the 3-5-2 formation, where Constantinos Panagi will be in goal. The back three will be made up of Andreas Karo, Hector Kyprianou and Alex Gogic. The trio will look to ensure they do not end up getting hammered again.
Nicholas Ioannou and Stelios Andreou will feature as the wing-backs. While the duo will look to join the attack, they will be spending the majority of the time helping out their central defenders. Ioannis Kousoulos will feature alongside Charalambos Kyriakou and Charalampos Charalampous in the centre of the park.
The trio will try to ensure that Spanish midfielders do not dominate the proceedings throughout. Finally, Loizos Loizou will pair up with Grigoris Kastanos. The duo will look to cause problems for the star-studded Spanish defence.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Panagi; Karo, Kyprianou, Gogic; Andreou, Kyriakou, Charalampous, Kousoulos, Ioannou; Loizou, Kastanos
Luis de la Fuente does not have any fresh injury concerns. But there are quite a few major absentees from his squad because of tactical and fitness concerns. With Spain already qualified for the Euro 2024, the manager has called up four uncapped payers for this round of fixtures.
Alejandro Grimaldo, Alex Remiro, Rodrigo Riquelme and Aleix Garcia will all have their first taste of the national team. And a few of them are expected to make their debut for Spain against Cyprus.
☀️ ¡¡Buenos días desde Chipre!!
— Selección Española Masculina de Fútbol (@SEFutbol) November 15, 2023
Spain will go ahead with the 4-3-3 formation, where Unai Simon will be in goal. Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal will feature as the right-back, and he will be supported by the in-form Grimaldo, who will most likely make his debut. Pau Torres and Robin Le Normand will be the centre-back pairing.
Rodri will feature as the defensive midfielder. He will have the support of Gavi and Mikel Merino in the centre of the park. The trio will look to dictate the pace of this game. Lamine Yamal and Mikel Oyarzabal will feature out wide on the flanks. They will provide the width to their attack. Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata will be leading the line for Spain.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Simon; Carvajal, Torres, Le Normand, Grimaldo; Merino, Rodri, Gavi; Yamal, Morata, Oyarzabal
- This will be the tenth meeting between Cyprus and Spain. The home team have only won once while the visitors have eight wins to their name.
- In the last two meetings between the two teams, Spain have won by an aggregate scoreline of 14-0.
- Cyprus have lost each of their seven games in the UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers.
- The home team have not kept a clean sheet in their last 11 games in all competitions.
- The hosts have the worst defensive record (25 goals conceded), while the visitors are the most prolific team (19 goals scored) in the group.
Player to Watch
Morata has been in the form of his life since the start of the new season. The 31-year-old has featured in a total of 15 matches for Atletico Madrid, contributing with 12 goals and three assists. His red-hot form suggests the Spain captain will be a very big concern for Cyprus. Morata will look to add more goals to his tally, having already 34 goals for the national team in his 68 outings.
Cyprus 0-3 Spain
Cyprus have been struggling throughout the UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers. They have lost all seven of their matches and will surely look to register a point with a decent result against Spain. But, that looks unlikely given the recent form of the visitors.
Spain have been on a winning streak. They have been scoring goals for fun, and they have some quality players in their ranks. As a result, it won’t be easy for the home team to stop them in their tracks. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-0 win for the visitors.