EURO 2024 Round of 16 | Spain vs Georgia

Spain Vs Georgia (Cologne, 21:00)

This Spanish side were supposedly in the group of death. However, someone should have informed them of this since they won all three games and conceded no goals.

Not too long ago, Spain won three major tournaments on the bounce. This means the sides that have followed have been compared unfavourably and unfairly. However, it now looks like they have a team capable of winning major tournaments again.

Georgia's chances of qualifying were regarded as slim. They were placed in the final group with Portugal, Turkey, and the Czech Republic. Georgia finished third in Group F, but they were one of the better-performing teams in third place among all the groups, and this meant they took one of the four spots reserved for the best third-place teams to advance.




Performance in the Group Stage

Spain was the best-performing side in the group stages, winning all three of their matches. Their performances were convincing and they have yet to concede a goal in the tournament. The fact that they did all this in the group stages makes their advancement even better, as they had to face Croatia, Italy, and Albania in arguably the most challenging group of the tournament.

Georgia started their campaign with a 3-1 loss against Turkey in their opening game, which many people believed would make them unlikely to go far in the competition.

However, despite their early setback, they bounced back with a hard-fought draw against the Czech Republic. In their final match, they defeated the 2016 winners of this championship convincingly, which saw them finish third in the group behind Turkey. Weaker results from other third-placed teams in the Euros meant that Georgia went through to the round of 16.

Match Analysis

Spain used to be a dominant force in world football, but its golden generation is long gone. New faces are stepping in, trying to fill the shoes of the legends who saw them win the Euros twice in a row.

Spain have not made significant progress in the Euros since their win in 2012, but with strong performances from the side leading up to the qualifiers, it looks like they have a shot at it this year. Spain’s squad might not be the best on paper to compete against the likes of Germany, France and Portugal, but they have been a joy to watch so far.

Luis de la Fuente has proven himself to be a master tactician, adapting his style of play according to the game's needs. Spain has relied on its conventional passing approach for more than a decade. This side still takes that approach with a few tweaks to make it more suited to the modern game. La Fuente has also made use of his team's star power, with players like Rodri giving his team a strong pivot to control the game as he would like to.

Georgia are acutely aware that they are often the underdogs in most situations. Their strategy relies on playing with focus, minimising mistakes and adopting a more defensive approach.

By sitting back, they aim to frustrate their opponents into making a mistake and wait for opportunities to capitalise on any errors made. Many would say luck has played a big role in Georgia’s qualification on multiple occasions, but their gameplay has been a testament to their strength and understanding of their capabilities.

Players to watch

- Lamine Yamal: What were you doing at 16? Well, this man is focused on taking his nation to glory. He looks like an exceptional talent. In time, we believe he will become the best player in the world. He is already playing like he is in this tournament!

- Rodri: There isn't a midfielder you would have in world football above this man. Having played for Manchester City for several years, he knows that only winning will do, and it's clear that his presence results in a very confident Spanish side. His performances will be crucial to Spain's campaign, providing stability and creativity in the midfield.

- Giorgi Mamardashvili: The Georgian goalkeeper has made a name for himself in this tournament with standout performances in the group stages. Valencia’s shot-stopper made some crucial saves in recent matches, helping his team gain valuable points that made their progression to the next stage possible. As Georgia prepares to face Spain, Mamardashvili’s skills will be crucial in leading his team to any potential success.

Match Prediction

While Georgia’s run has been impressive this tournament, it is likely to end in the round of 16 as they face the best-performing team from the group stages. It is unlikely that Georgia will overcome the resilient Spanish side, but it will undoubtedly give their fans something to be proud of.