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Prediction: England vs Spain

Daniel Orme in Free Soccer Predictions 7 Sep 2018

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Prediction: Both teams to score

Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

England get their UEFA Nations League underway on Saturday evening as they welcome Spain to Wembley Stadium.

Gareth Southgate’s men begin in Group 4 alongside Luis Enrique’s troops, as well as beaten World Cup finalists Croatia.

England

The match at Wembley will be the Three Lions’ first game on home soil since their brilliant campaign in Russia. Southgate’s troops managed to reach the semi-finals of the competition; their joint-best finish in the World Cup on foreign soil. Their run was ended by Croatia before they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Belgium in the third-place playoff. One aspect that the Three Lions will have to improve on is their defensive record. Within their last ten games, they have only claimed two clean sheets against Costa Rica and Sweden. Their set pieces could come in particularly handy in the upcoming Nations League though. England scored four goals from set pieces in the 2018 World Cup, more than any other side.

As Spain travel to London however, they have a huge task to beat the Three Lions on home soil. England are undefeated in their last 14 home matches in all competitions. Their last loss came in the form of a 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands at Wembley Stadium. Jamie Vardy had put the hosts in the lead before goals from Victor Janssen and Luciano Narsingh earned victory for the Dutch.

Team News

Southgate is already without forward Jamie Vardy for their upcoming friendlies after he all-but retired from international football. Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana will also be missing due to a back and groin problem respectively. Fulham stopper Marcus Bettinelli has been called up to bolster the goalkeeping options. The Three Lions possess the top goalscorer at the World Cup; Harry Kane.

Spain

It is fair to say that Spain had a disastrous campaign in Russia. With Julen Lopetegui being relieved of his duties just before the start of the tournament, he was replaced by former defender Fernando Hierro. The alteration clearly affected the team as they only just squeezed out of their group with one victory and two draws. Their fortunes only got worse as they were eliminated in the first knockout round by the hosts on penalties.

Despite that, the team are in positive form away from home outside of competition football. They are undefeated in their last 16 games on foreign soil in friendlies, European Championship qualifiers and World Cup qualifiers. Similarly to England, their last defeat came against the Netherlands back in 2015. Since then, Spain have only failed to score in three matches. The first came in a 0-0 draw with Romania in March 2016 with the next being a humiliating 1-0 defeat to European minnows Georgia. The most recent was a 2-0 defeat to Italy in June 2016. Therefore, it is clear to see that Southgate’s men have quite the task to silence Enrique’s troops.

Team News

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa has already been ruled out of Spain’s upcoming games due to personal reasons. Iago Aspas was called into the squad into his place. Barcelona defender Jordi Alba was surprisingly left out of the recent squad so could be replaced by either Marcos Alonso or Jose Gaya.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Spain have the better all-time record between the two sides (W13, D3, L9)
  • England have only won one out of their last six games against Spain
  • The last clash between the two ended 2-2 at Wembley Stadium, with the visitors coming from two goals behind
  • There has been an average of 2.76 goals scored per game between the two teams
  • Spain have only kept one clean sheet against England in friendlies away from home

Conclusion

It’s certainly a mouth-watering clash in prospect at Wembley Stadium. Both sides boast extremely talented squads, which should produce plenty of goals. Both teams should have enough to find the net at Wembley considering the record between the two sides. Therefore, the UEFA Nations League should start off in excellent fashion.

Prediction: Both teams to score

Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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