SPAIN VS MACEDONIA

Spain will open their 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship campaign against Macedonia on Saturday in Gdynia, Poland.

Finishing second in Group B may not be enough to secure a place in the knockout stage, so getting off to a winning start is imperative for manager Albert Celades’ side.

Standing in their way is a Macedonia team that impressed in qualifying, so the match may not be quite as straightforward as it might seem.

Read on for a preview of the game, but first here are the viewing details you need:

Date: Saturday, June 17

Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET

TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK), ESPN3 (USA)

Live Stream: Sky Go (UK), WatchESPN (USA)%1hd football wallpapers (2)

As with their senior squad, Spain’s under-21 side is filled to the brim with quality and depth.

Football writer Seb Stafford-Bloor ran through some of the impressive names selected for the tournament:

The quality doesn’t stop there, with the likes of Gerard Deulofeu, Inaki Williams and Borja Mayoral also in their lineup.

Per Scouted Football, Spain have named their strongest possible squad, including players who—at this stage in their careers—would probably feel more at home with the senior side given the top-level experience they have:

La Rojita had to come through a play-off to qualify for the finals after finishing behind defending European champions Sweden in their group.

Despite coming second, Spain showed off their attacking prowess as they plundered 31 goals in 10 matches.

By contrast, Macedonia look to be outclassed in terms of the personnel they have available, per Macedonian Football:

They are real underdogs here but showed some surprising ability in qualifying.

Whereas Spain racked up plenty of wins and goals against the likes of Estonia, Georgia and San Marino, Macedonia finished top of a group that also included France, Iceland, Ukraine, Scotland and Northern Ireland, losing just once in the process.

Spain’s sheer quality will likely give them enough to see the match out, but if Macedonia can carry their qualification form into the tournament, they could surprise their more illustrious opponents.

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