Euro 2012: Can Spain End France's Pain?

The Midfield

The Spanish midfield boasts no fewer than four Barcelona players (Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas and Sergio Busquets). It is these aforementioned players who were responsible for utilizing the famous "passing carousel" that has so tormented Barcelona's rivals down the years. If they can keep the ball away from France, as Barcelona are so expertise at, then it is only a matter of time before they find the back of the net. If you look at the stat averages per group game, you will see that Spain have had more overall possession in each of their three group games than France (64.9% to 56.3%). You will also notice that Spain have a higher percentage of forward passes (37.9% to 37.5%). Spain have proven that goals can come from their midfield. Fabregas, Navas and David Silva have all been on target so far, whilst only Cabaye and Nasri have struck for France. Spain have never won a European Championship quarter-final in regulation time, and to do so here, they will need their star-studded midfield to continue in this rich vein of form. Is Spain's midfield better than France's? I believe so. Frank Ribery has yet to register this campaign, whilst the verdict is still out on Samri Nasri in spite of his terrific strike against England. With Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas and Busquets pulling the strings, Spain are just far too potent in midfield and will have too much for France, whose midfield was badly overrun in their last outing - a 2-0 defeat to Sweden. Verdict: Yes Click "next" below to read part 3...

Joseph is an accredited football journalist and has interviewed nearly all of the current 20 Barclay's Premier League managers. He is also a correspondent for Bleacher Report and has written for Caught Offside and Give Me Football.