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      Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]

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      JD
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      Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Jun 12, 2016 10:24:00 am
      * All dates and times in UK time (BST)

      12th June
      Turkey v Croatia Group D: kick-off 2pm ITV

      13th June
      Spain v Czech Republic Group D: kick-off 2pm ITV

      17th June
      Czech Republic v Croatia Group D: 5pm BBC1
      Spain v Turkey Group D: 8pm ITV

      21st June
      Croatia v Spain Group D: 8pm ITV
      Czech Republic v Turkey Group D: 8pm ITV4

      Being drawn in the group featuring a side who have won the last two European Championships would normally be a smack in the face for any nation. Yet the Croatians, Czechs and Turks can take heart from Spain's insecurities.

      Nevertheless, Vicente del Bosque's squad feature enough talent to win not just the group, but Euro 2016 itself. If they play to their strengths, the other three sides in group D will have to battle for second place.

      Spain: Odds 5-1
      Over the last eight years, the Spanish have won two European championships and a World Cup – so why is there such a sense of uncertainty over their prospects?

      Spain's dreadful attempt to defend their World Cup in 2014 – complete with a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Dutch – sent them into a period of navel-gazing from which they have struggled to emerge.

      "They are surrounded by doubt, especially in midfield and up front," says The Guardian.

      But they should not be written off. Former England star turned football pundit Chris Waddle tells the BBC they are his pick to win the tournament.

      Croatia: Odds 25 - 1
      Key playmakers Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric are the midfield heartbeats of Barcelona and Real Madrid, making the Croatians a creatively potent and attractive team on their day.

      However, the duo's efforts may be in vain as first-choice striker Mario Mandzukic managed only one of Croatia's 20 goals in the qualifiers.

      Nevertheless, ESPN says: "If Croatia come together as a team, then there is no reason why they can't match their achievements in 1996 and 2008 and reach the last eight."

      Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has also talked up their chances of doing well.

      Czech Republic: Odds 100-1
      Pavel Vrba is in charge of a plucky outfit that can make life uncomfortable for bigger sides by sitting deep and soaking up the pressure. They lost just once during the qualifying campaign and land in France off the back of a 6-0 warm-up win against Malta.

      Although over-reliant on the form of Petr Cech and Tomas Rosicky, Czech Republic's 4-2-3-1 formation sees them attack at speed on the flanks. "Getting beyond the group stage is certainly not out of reach," says the Guardian.

      Turkey: Odds 66-1
      Three games into their qualifying campaign, Fatih Terim's team were level on points with Kazakhstan at the bottom of their group. But they then beat Holland, the Czech Republic and Iceland to roar into the finals.

      That momentum could see them punch above their weight in France. They have plenty of creativity in midfield thanks to Arda Turan, Hakan Calhanoglu, Oguzhan Ozyakup and Yunus Malli. But their weakness at the back could be their undoing.

      The key players
      Spain's Álvaro Morata will leap out of the pack, says the Guardian, describing him "a clever player, with remarkable dribbling skills". However, the Daily Telegraph prefers the chances of team-mate Andres Iniesta  in what is likely to be his swansong, praising the "wonderful control, balance and technique" of the "world's finest midfielder".

      More than other groups, this is one in which the goalkeepers could stand out. Cech, who has been Czech footballer of the year seven times in the past ten years, will be vital in a national side that likes to attack. Spain's David de Gea could also be one to watch, should he secure the starting berth.

      Meanwhile, Rakitic has an almost musical ability with passes, box-to-box stamina and a bright reading of the game. The Barca playmaker could be a joy to behold.
      JD
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #1: Jun 12, 2016 02:11:31 pm
      This first game in group D decides who goes through with Spain I reckon.  Turkey starting the better here.
      what-a-hit-son
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      • @MrPrice1979
      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #2: Jun 12, 2016 02:29:28 pm
      Everytime I watch Turkey it reminds me of that time my girlfriend asked me if turkeys are chickens that were born in Turkey.

      Enjoying this game so far. The first game in this competition that I actually want a team to win (Croatia).
      JD
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #3: Jun 12, 2016 02:41:52 pm
      Who else? Modric.
      RedLFCBlood
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #4: Jun 12, 2016 02:42:42 pm
      Good finish that mind.
      chats
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #5: Jun 12, 2016 02:43:12 pm
      Quality goal that
      reddebs
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #6: Jun 12, 2016 02:44:05 pm
      Oof what a goal from Modric.
      JD
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #7: Jun 12, 2016 02:45:18 pm
      reddebs
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #8: Jun 12, 2016 02:46:58 pm
      Everytime I watch Turkey it reminds me of that time my girlfriend asked me if turkeys are chickens that were born in Turkey.

      Enjoying this game so far. The first game in this competition that I actually want a team to win (Croatia).

      Love the anecdotes of your missus mate  ;D
      what-a-hit-son
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      • @MrPrice1979
      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #9: Jun 12, 2016 02:56:49 pm
      Love the anecdotes of your missus mate  ;D

      I just call it 'thick' Deb.

      Great goal. A real volley.
      RedPuppy
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #10: Jun 12, 2016 03:00:45 pm
      Everytime I watch Turkey it reminds me of that time my girlfriend asked me if turkeys are chickens that were born in Turkey.

      Enjoying this game so far. The first game in this competition that I actually want a team to win (Croatia).

      Are you married to Jessica Simpson?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2h72aXVP8o
      reddebs
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #11: Jun 12, 2016 03:04:58 pm
      I just call it 'thick' Deb.

      Great goal. A real volley.

      That's a bit harsh mate, childlike innocence is kinder  ;)
      what-a-hit-son
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      • @MrPrice1979
      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #12: Jun 12, 2016 03:06:24 pm

      Got to choose wisley mate.

      "Honestly babe, they're all four inches."
      JD
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #13: Jun 12, 2016 03:12:09 pm
      WTF was that shot?

      Jordan Henderson or what!
      what-a-hit-son
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      • @MrPrice1979
      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #14: Jun 12, 2016 03:12:26 pm
      Should be 2. Bad miss that.
      what-a-hit-son
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      • @MrPrice1979
      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #15: Jun 12, 2016 03:31:10 pm
      Croatia doing their best England impression here.

      Got 1-1 soon written all over it.
      crouchinho
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #16: Jun 12, 2016 03:37:12 pm
      Croatia doing their best England impression here.

      Got 1-1 soon written all over it.

      Hoping Turkey go one further and get two.

      Not much quality in their side. Plenty of determination, though.
      what-a-hit-son
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      • @MrPrice1979
      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #17: Jun 12, 2016 03:53:37 pm
      Told you...
      PurpleMonkey
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #18: Jun 12, 2016 03:54:58 pm
      Not a particular good game tbh. Hopefully the next one will be better :)
      JD
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #19: Jun 12, 2016 03:56:09 pm
      Deserved win for Croatia.  Started very slowly for the first 20 minutes but had way more quality.  Turkey's best hope is a good 3rd place.
      what-a-hit-son
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      • @MrPrice1979
      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #20: Jun 12, 2016 03:58:17 pm
      Looking forward to the half time analysis of ITV. Well, I'm living in hope that Slaven Bilic will throw the head on Glenn Hoddle and just end him.
      crouchinho
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #21: Jun 12, 2016 03:59:23 pm
      JD
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #22: Jun 13, 2016 02:02:44 pm
      David Silva's 100th cap.  He's only 30.  Outfield player record for Spain is Xavi with 133 caps.
      crouchinho
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #23: Jun 13, 2016 02:44:11 pm
      I could watch Iniesta all day. Makes everything looks so damn easy.

      Only thing this Spanish side lacks is pace. Plenty of trickery and creativity, though.
      crouchinho
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      Re: Group D - Euro 2016 [Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic]
      Reply #24: Jun 13, 2016 03:08:16 pm
      Crying out for Pedro to come on. Nolito has been poor.

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