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Euro 2016 profile: Spain in contention to reign again


As give their Euro 2016 profile on Spain, Diego Costa odds in the tournament top scorer market represent real value if you're betting on La Roja

We’re profiling all 24 teams that will be competing in France, so punters will have an expert view as Europe’s finest compete this summer.

This time we focus on Spain, a country that has dominated international and domestic football for the last decade, but have seen their supremacy rocked in recent years, with a group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup.

Drawn in Group D with the Czech Republic, Croatia and Turkey at the Euro 2016 finals, La Roja are among the market principals this summer.

History at the Euros: First winning the competition in 1964, Spain then went 44 years without winning a major trophy.

In 2008, La Roja won every single one of their European Championship games – conceding just two goals. Luis Aragones’ men eased their way into the final slotting three past Russia. The dyed-blonde Fernando Torres scored the only goal against fellow finalists Germany, sealing his nation the trophy.

Spain became the first team to retain the Euros in 2012, embarrassing Italy 4-0 in the final. Betfred have La Roja at best odds of 11/2 to win their third successive continental trophy.

Head coach: Vicente del Bosque has overseen the most bountiful period in the nation’s history, but faces a tough task rebuilding the team.

Spain’s success was built upon a spine of David Villa, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Iker Casillas in his prime. Now the manager faces the challenge of blooding in the superb David de Gea, Isco and deadly Diego Costa.

Key player: Chelsea striker Costa has hit a fine run of scoring under Guus Hiddink, rediscovering his touch in front of goal since Jose Mourinho’s sacking.

Costa will be a key player for La Roja come the France finals. The Brazilian-born ffrontman will add an edge to the side’s tiki-taka reputation and can hold the ball up, linking superbly with players around him.

At a top-price of 16/1 with Coral to be Euro 2016 top scorer, Costa looks well worth taking in that market.

Rising star: Spain seem to have an endless production line of fine players, so picking just one is tough.

Thiago Alcantara, Isco and Koke are expected to shine this summer, but a name that may have flown under the radar is Paco Alcacer.

Paco, 22, led the way in qualifying, eclipsing Costa with five goals. The 5ft 9in marksman is a cool finisher and is set to break his season best goal-tally for current club Valencia.

Wildcard: He may be 35 but like a fine wine, evergreen Aritz Aduriz is getting better with age.

Basue Country native Aduriz, who scored on his full international debut, has increased his scoring record year after year since his third spells with Athletic Bilbao began in 2012.

Aduriz, has scored 30 in 43 appearances this season and Del Bosque will be under immense pressure to select the Basque forward.

Confirmed Spain Euro 2016 fixtures:
All kick-offs are British Summer time (BST)
Monday, June 13th: Spain v Czech Republic (14:00); Stadium Toulouse, Toulouse, BBC
Friday, June 17th: Spain v Turkey (20:00); Allianz Riviera, Nice, ITV
Tuesday, June 21st: Croatia v Spain (20:00); Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, ITV

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