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Euro 2016 team preview: Spain aim for back-to-back-to-back titles

Group D: Spain | Czech Republic | Turkey | Croatia

The reigning champions will be expected to return home with the Henri Delaunay trophy. Spain's side have evolved since 2012, but they retain a superb chance of winning a third consecutive title.

How they qualified:  First in Group C

The European champions won the group by five point from Slovakia, the only team against whom they lost. Spain's form was measured rather than spectacular, but they conceded only one goal in their nine victories and were never in danger of slipping from the top spot.

How they'll proceed:

Assuming Spain win Group D, their path to the semifinals, in which they could face England or Portugal, seems fairly straightforward. Neither of those opponents should stop them reaching the final again, with a rerun of their Euro 2008 win over Germany not out of the question.

TBD by Editor
Spain have not lost a game at the European Championship finals since 2004.

Predicted lineup:

(4-3-3); GK:  David De Gea; DF: Juanfran, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; MF: Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; FW: David Silva, Pedro, Alvaro Morata

Key player: David Silva

The influence of the Manchester City schemer, who drifts inside from a right-sided starting position, will need to be strong if Spain are to win a third straight European title. He scored five goals in qualifying and could record his 100th cap during the finals.

Manager:  Vicente del Bosque

The 65-year-old coach guided Spain to their 2010 World Cup triumph and Euro 2012 victory and has a third major title firmly in his sights before he steps down at the end of this tournament. He'll also want to make up for a disappointing 2014 World Cup.

Schedule:

June 13 vs. Czech Republic (9 a.m. ET/1 p.m. GMT; Stade de Toulouse, Toulouse)
-- LIVE on ESPN

June 17 vs. Turkey (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stade de Nice, Nice)
-- LIVE on ESPN

June 21 vs. Croatia (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux)
-- LIVE on ESPN

Games are also LIVE on ESPN Deportes, ESPN FC, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

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