Slovakia vs Spain – Match preview and team news

The two sides who began their Group C campaigns with victory meet on match day two of Euro 2016 qualifying, as Slovakia host Spain in Zilina.

Vicente Del Bosque fielded a mixture of new faces and figures from past glories as the defending European champions hammered Macedonia 5-1 in September. Seeing five different players score will also have been positive for the manager, who is now able to select striker Diego Costa after injury kept him out of that game in Levante.

This trip represents something of a banana skin for the Spanish, and they will have to make do without defender Sergio Ramos. Barcelona star Gerard Pique should prove an able replacement, while the experienced Andres Iniesta also returns to the fold.

Slovakia are an in-form side, and having won in Ukraine in their opening fixture thanks to a goal from Robert Mak, they will believe that they have a very strong chance of reaching the European Championships for the first time since becoming an independent nation.

That superb result in Kiev was their fifth victory in six matches, so they will be confident of taking points of the seeded team in the group, particularly with a partisan crowd behind them. Marek Hamsik is still the player they look to for creativity, but for goals, the pressure will be on strike duo Adam Nemec and Viktor Pekovsky.

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