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Gerard Pique was key to beating the Czech Republic..

Gerard Pique could be key to Spain winning Euro 2016

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Gerard Pique's winner against the Czech Republic should serve as a timely reminder of his importance in the Spain team.

Andres Iniesta may have won many of the plaudits for his outstanding performance in the 1-0 victory, but Pique's goal yet again summed up his position as one of Vincente del Bosque's side's understated heroes.

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If nothing else, that makes the Barcelona defender the perfect pick for the latest round of DraftKings.

A key man for Barcelona & Spain

Spain have only played one game, but Pique was quickly able to reproduce the kind of form that has made him one of Barca's key men in the last few seasons.

Scoring against the Czechs earned the former Manchester United man +10 fantasy points and while he isn't typically a goalscorer, he did find the back of the net 3 times over the course of the most recent campaign.

More crucially, though, his defensive ability means he is always a safe pick. As a defender, if he helps Spain to another clean sheet as he did in their opening games, he will be rewarded with +3 points, while his sturdy tackles are worth +1 point each.

Of course, it has to be accepted that he's likely to lose a few points on account of his discipline. He was booked 12 times last season, with each yellow costing him -1.5 points.

However, the 29-year-old more than makes up for it elsewhere. Unlike Spain more generally, there can be no question whether he is still at his best.

Pique

Pique under pressure

The reigning champions are under more pressure than ever, but Pique is one of the few experienced players in the side who is undoubtedly still in his prime. His well-timed interceptions are a key element of his game, earning him +0.5 points a time and ensuring Spain are rarely shaken at the back.

The Turkey game will present a very different challenge. The Czech Republic didn't create an awful lot and couldn't rattle Spain, but Turkey should have more ammunition.

The likes of Arda Turan and Yunas Malli will be hoping to challenge Pique and co. in a way he perhaps wasn't in the first game. On balance, Spain deserved the win, but they were far from sensational.

FBL-EURO-2016-MATCH8-ESP-CZE

Dark horses

Then again, maybe it's in Pique and Spain's favour that they're being underestimated this time around. France and Germany are being touted as favourites, while Spain slip under the radar.

Pique, the ever reserved, unflamboyant rock at the heart of their defence is emblematic of that.

He will happily let Iniesta take the limelight, but he can rest safe in the knowledge that he's an excellent pick for DraftKings' fantasy football line-up.

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Topics:
Barcelona
Spain Football
Euro 2016
Gerard Pique
Football
Andres Iniesta

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