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Live: Spain 0-0 Czech Republic

Spain make their first change of the game. Morata makes way for Bilbao's Aritz Aduriz, who gets a big cheer as he sprints onto the field.

An hour gone in Toulouse and the Czechs are in the midst of their best spell since the opening few minutes. Having said that, they're still on the back foot.

Iniesta lets fire with a rare effort from distance, now, but Cech gets all of his weight behind the ball. The wait for our first goal of the day goes on - and time is ebbing away.

David Limbersky has gone into the book, by the way. The first card of the afternoon for either side, that.

David de Gea watches on
David de Gea watches on Getty Images

The Czechs offer the mildest hint of a threat, now. A cross is swung over from the right side and Roman Hubník meets it first time. But his effort is well held by De Gea in the Spain goal. A gentle reminder for the pre-match favourites.

There doesn't appear to be any sign of the Spaniards getting frustrated. I've been saying a goal feels inevitable since about ten minutes in - but it's still 0-0.

A goal does feel inevitable, though.

Cech saves from Ramos
Cech saves from Ramos Getty Images

The Czechs have a little period of possession, which is pretty remarkable in the context of this game. Pique and Ramos could have negotiated the opening 50 minutes with their eyes closed, to be honest.

Ah, Spain almost pinch the lead after less than a minute of the half. A Czech defender accidentally directs a cross towards his own goal. But Cech pushes it round the post.

From the resulting corner, the ball nearly falls to Sergio Ramos but, again, the Czechs manage to hack it clear.

Petr Cech has been kept busy
Petr Cech has been kept busy Getty Images

Right, the players are back out on the pitch and we're ready to do. Spain have 45 minutes to find a goal.

Half-time: Spain 0-0 Czech Republic

Plenty of huff and puff from the Spaniards, but they couldn't find the opening in the first half. It only feels like a matter of time, mind you.

Andres Iniesta was excellent in Toulouse
Andres Iniesta was excellent in Toulouse Getty Images

It's one-way traffic in Toulouse but the game still stands at 0-0. No idea how, to be honest. But the Czechs will be counting down the seconds until the interval, because they need to go back to the drawing board.

David de Gea was a virtual spectator
David de Gea was a virtual spectator Getty Images

Now, Jordi Alba has a powerful left-footed effort saved by Petr Cech and none of the Spaniards can latch onto the rebound. The Czechs are hanging on by their fingertips.

Iniesta takes an audacious effort from distance that has Petr Cech worried for a moment. The keeper was off his line and the Barcelona man went for glory, but couldn't quite put it under the bar.

Iniesta dominated the first half
Iniesta dominated the first half Getty Images

Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass... it's all Spain but there's still something missing in the final third.

The Czechs, though, must have a rethink at the break. At the moment, they're just chasing shadows. Remember, they didn't keep a clean sheet in any of their qualifying games, which makes the current scenario all the more bizarre.

Petr Cech in net for the Czechs
Petr Cech in net for the Czechs Getty Images

We've just gone past the half-hour mark in Toulouse and it's basically become a game of attack - Spain - versus defence - Czech Republic. A goal for the Spanish feels inevitable.

Another chance falls to Morata - they're racking up! This time, the in-demand striker's left-footed effort is pushed round the post by Cech. In truth, the angle was always against him.

But Spain are knocking on the door all the time.

Morata rues a missed chance
Morata rues a missed chance Getty Images

The Spanish spurn another decent opening. On this occasion, Iniesta sends over a pinpoint cross, but Juanfran - up from the back - can't control it first time and the Czechs can clear.

Vicente del Bosque barks instructions
Vicente del Bosque barks instructions Getty Images

The Czechs are doing well defensively, but they need to find a way to control the ball better when they get it. They are losing it all too easily at the moment.

David de Gea has barely had a touch, after a nervous start from the Spanish.

Morata wins the ball in the air
Morata wins the ball in the air Getty Images

To underline Spain's dominance: the favourites played 118 passes in the first 17 minutes; Czech Republic managed 44.

The Spanish are impressively patient and are probing away at the Czech backline. No joy so far, though.

Spain are now well and truly on top, passing the ball from side-to-side with ease. It's beautiful to watch and they appear to be in total command, but they also lack a little bit of cutting-edge at the top end of the pitch, it must be said.

It feels like Iniesta and Cesc are wanting to pass the Czechs into submission.

Iniesta was central to Spain's best moves
Iniesta was central to Spain's best moves Getty Images

Out of nowhere, Spain create a glorious chance. Silva makes a smart run up the right channel and cuts it back to Morata, but the sought-after centre-forward hits his effort straight at Petr Cech. Spain should be 1-0 up.

Cech saves from Morata
Cech saves from Morata Getty Images

Spain have a freekick from the left side. Iniesta swerves it over from the left side, but Ramos can only head it wide. Never really threatened the goal, that.

Busquets on the ball
Busquets on the ball Getty Images

The Czech's tactics are obvious: they are going to sit deep, look to soak up the pressure and then take their chances on the break. They are now forming a solid-looking defensive wall when Spanish have the ball, which is surprising given how leaky their defence was during qualifying.

Morata tackles the linesman
Morata tackles the linesman Getty Images

The most notable action so far: Morata loses his footing and completely takes out the linesman. The surface is wet in Toulouse and some of the players are struggling to stay on their feet.

Finally, though, Spain have settle into some kind of passing rhythm, with Cesc and Iniesta at the centre of everything.

Cesc on the ball for Spain
Cesc on the ball for Spain Getty Images

Still, Spain are looking a little disjointed. The Czechs have certainly been the better side so far, even if they have failed to trouble David de Gea.

Spain appear to be a little anxious for the moment.

David Silva wins his 100th cap today
David Silva wins his 100th cap today Getty Images

The Czechs have started the game brightly, winning back-to-back corner kicks. Nothing to show for their efforts, but there's a really positive intent about the underdogs.

Spain, for their part, have yet to string any passes together.

Spain pose for a pre-match picture
Spain pose for a pre-match picture Getty Images

Spain are wearing their red kit, while the Czechs are in their all-white strip.

The crowd, meanwhile, is a sea of red and there's a cracking atmosphere as we get under way in Toulouse.

The pre-match scene
The pre-match scene Getty Images

Right, then. The anthems have come and the anthems have gone. Now it's time for the real action.

Here we go!

Czech fans sing their anthem
Czech fans sing their anthem Getty Images

There is a sense that Spain have a point to prove in France this summer. They were dreadful during the World Cup in Brazil, but still boast some of the most talented players in European football.

Time has come for them to step forwards and reassert themselves on the international stage. Anyway, they're emerging from the tunnel now, meaning kick-off is almost upon us...

The Spanish team have a pre-match huddle
The Spanish team have a pre-match huddle Getty Images

Right, the fans are packed into this ground in Toulouse. We're about ten minutes away from kick-off in these two teams' opening game of the tournament.

A win for either side will go a long way towards securing qualification for the next round, so there's plenty of motivation.

The Spanish fans in Toulouse.
The Spanish fans in Toulouse. Getty Images

At the opposite end of the field to David de Gea will be another familiar face to Premier League fans.

Petr Cech is an old hand, of course, but he'll undoubtedly be excited to be playing in another major tournament. And if the Czechs are to get anything this afternoon, then they'll probably need the Arsenal man to be on top form.

The players are out on the pitch going through their last-minute preparations. Among them is David de Gea, who has been the centre of attention in the last few days.

Prior to the tournament, it wasn't clear if the Manchester United man or Iker Cassilas would be preferred in goal. But he has been given the nod this afternoon.

Kick-off is less than 30 minutes away.

David de Gea warms up
David de Gea warms up Getty Images

What about the Czechs?

Naturally, as the defending champions, most of the focus this afternoon will be on Spain. But what of their opponents...?

Pavel Vrba's side knocked out Netherlands in an impressive qualifying campaign but having been drawn in a very tough group - which also includes Croatia and Turkey - their hopes of replicating that success in the French tournament looks slim.

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech and Tomas Rosicky are the main reasons to believe in them. But, in truth, should they manage to get through the last 16, it could be considered a creditable performance.

As we wait for kick-off in Toulouse, now might be a good time to familiarise yourself with the Spanish squad.

They are the defending champions, remember, but appear to have slipped under the radar following their calamitous World Cup campaign in 2014.

The question is: can they rediscover their magic, or are the Spanish a fading force? Today might give us some clues.

A lot of eyes will be fixed on Alvaro Morata this afternoon, with the young centre-forward rumoured to be attracting interest from a host European clubs this summer.

He is a man under pressure, too, as the Spanish opted to omit Chelsea's Diego Costa from their squad, which represents a massive show of faith in Morata.

Can he deliver under pressure? We're about to find out...

A young Spanish fan in the stands
A young Spanish fan in the stands Getty Images

There's just under an hour until kick-off in this Group D game. But away from the on-field action, there have been some unfortunate developments in France since the start of the tournament.

England fans have been involved in violent scenes in Marseilles and following their 1-1 draw against Russia at the weekend, coach Roy Hodgson and captain Wayne Rooney have both called for calm.

Their plea came after Uefa warned England and Russia that they both be disqualified from the Euro 2016 tournament if there is further violence by the countries' fans.

So, David Silva will earn his 100th cap for Spain today - which is a significant achievement for the Manchester City man.

As I mentioned earlier, the Spanish will be looking to lay down a marker and prove that they remain the team to beat in this tournament.

For the Czechs, meanwhile, Tomas Rosicky starts after leaving Arsenal and despite playing just 19 minutes of football last season.

The Spanish players before kick-off
The Spanish players before kick-off Getty Images

Breaking team news:

The Spain team is in and David de Gea has been named in the starting line-up. As too, has Morata.

Spain: De Gea, Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets; Cesc Fabregas, Iniesta, Nolito; Silva, Morata

Czech Republic:


Defending champions Spain will kick start their Euro 2016 campaign when they take on Czech Republic in a Group D clash.

The La Roja have won the tournament twice and start this edition of the European championship as one of the favourites.

However, the Czech will be intent on causing an upset and despite their leaky defence, they might fancy their chances of taking advantage of some of the pre-match troubles Spain have encountered.

A Spanish fan before kick-off
A Spanish fan before kick-off Getty Images

Good afternoon and welcome to IBTimesUK's coverage of this Group D clash between Spain and the Czech Republic in Toulouse.

The defending champions seem to have slipped under the radar somewhat in the build-up to the tournament, but they'll be looking to make themselves heard this afternoon.

Stay tuned for all of the pre-match build-up, as well as the all-important team news...