Spain Eyes Consecutive Wins in Euro 2024 Qualification, Cyprus Next Up

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Spain is poised to secure consecutive victories in Group A as they progress in their Euro 2024 qualification quest. Their next hurdle is a home game against the struggling Cyprus team on Tuesday evening.

Friday saw the Spaniards triumph in a monumental 7-1 victory against Georgia, propelling them into second place in the section. Contrastingly, Cyprus, yet to make their mark on the scoreboard, suffered a 3-0 defeat by Scotland the same evening.

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The anticipation was palpable leading up to Spain’s showdown with Georgia, a consequence of a previous 2-0 loss to Scotland in their last Euro 2024 qualifier. However, bolstered by their UEFA Nations League triumph in June, the troupe put up a stellar performance against Georgia, with Alvaro Morata netting a hat-trick and young talent Lamine Yamal scoring a significant late goal.

Yamal made history as Spain’s youngest player and goalscorer, anchoring Luis de la Fuente’s team with six points in the section, securing a two-point lead over the third-placed Norway. La Roja still trails nine points behind group leaders Scotland, though they have two games in hand against the top team and an additional match against third-placed Norway.

Spain’s illustrious history includes winning the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, though their journey was curtailed at the last-16 stage in the 2016 competition. They made it as far as the semi-finals in Euro 2020 before being shown the exit by the eventual winners, Italy, via a penalty shootout.

Cyprus, on the other hand, is standing on shaky ground, entering this match right after a 3-0 home defeat against Scotland, their scoreboard still stagnated at zero points from four matches. In a harrowing qualifying expedition, they have managed to secure only two goals while surrendering 11. As they face their last four games, it seems to be an uphill battle for them to accumulate enough points for a shot at the top two.

Cyprus remains without a ticket to a major tournament finale, and their current run is a severe dip compared to their seven wins in the last two European Championship qualifiers. Positioned to face Norway and Georgia in the following month, they will conclude their campaign in mid-November with a home face-off against Spain.

Despite their seven losses to Spain in previous eight encounters, Cyprus has a glint of hope recalling their 3-2 win during Euro 2000 qualifiers.

Looking ahead to the team composition, Spain forwards Marco Asensio and Dani Olmo are benched due to injuries, paving the way for Ferran Torres and Yeremy Pino. With this change-up, it’s highly likely that Yamal and Nico Williams will be introduced into the starting lineup.

Young Yamal left an indelible print with his goal against Georgia, and the 16-year-old may be slated for his first international start. Alejandro Balde is also potentially replacing Jose Gaya as left-back, though Fabian Ruiz is anticipated to retain his position as central midfielder.

Cyprus, without any recent injury issues after their loss to Scotland, envisages at least a couple of tweaks in their lineup. Promising performances by Ioannis Pittas and Michalis Ioannou could earn them a starting position in Tuesday’s match. St Mirren’s Alex Gogic also stands a chance to start, with stalwarts Charalambos Kyriakou and Charalambos Charalambous continuing in their critical roles.