Spain (+120) at Ukraine (+210), Draw (+230)
The defending European Champions, Spain, have already qualified for France 2016, but their next opponent, Ukraine, likely needs a win to book their spot. The Group C teams will meet in the tenth and final qualifying fixture this Monday (Oct. 12) at Olympic Stadium in Kiev (2:45 PM Eastern).
Spain lead Group C with 24 points (8-0-1). They punched their ticket to the main draw with a 4-0 win over Luxembourg last time out. The high-scoring squad has averaged nearly three goals per game over their first nine matches while conceding only three.
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla notched a brace in the win over Luxembourg, and was relieved to see his side finally clinch its berth in the tournament.
“We’ve managed to qualify at last. We knew we couldn’t be complacent, we played very well and managed to get the win,” Cazorla said to Television Espanola. “The coach showed his faith in me and it went well with the two goals.”
Ukraine, on the other hand, probably need the full three points from Monday’s game – and some help – in order to secure a spot in Euro 2016. Only the top two teams in each group qualify automatically. (The eight-best third-place teams face one another in a four separate two-leg playoffs for the final four spots.) The Ukrainians are currently tied with Slovakia on 19 points for the second spot in Group C, but the Slovaks hold the tiebreaker and face a weak Luxembourg side (away) in their final outing.
The Ukrainians are coming off a 2-0 win over Macedonia on Friday, but have never beaten Spain in a competitive match (0-1-3). That includes a 1-0 win for Spain during the current round of qualifying in which Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata potted the lone goal. Since their 2-1 loss in Slovakia a year ago, Spain have won their last three away fixtures without conceding a goal. Though Ukraine will be desperate, Spain are rounding into form and should be able to keep that streak going.
Pick: Spain +120.
(Photo credit: Football.ua [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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