Saturday, December 14, 2019

Prediction: Romania vs Spain

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

The international break is upon us, and the UEFA region switches its focus entirely. Now every single European nation will concentrate on the 2020 UEFA European Championship Qualifiers . With that in mind, Spain will play against Romania at Arena Nationala in Bucharest. Both sides are vying for qualification in Group F. Kick-off for this match is slated at 19:45 BST. Deniz Aytekin will be the referee.

Romania

Romania have kicked off their qualifying campaign on a strong note after losing just one of their first four matches (W2, D1, L1). So far, the Romanian side has scored 11 goals in its first four matches and average 2.75 per contest, which would rank among the top in the qualification rounds. But Cosmin Contra’s men shouldn’t see this good run of form as an anomaly. Romania have lost just once in their last 14 international matches (W9, D4, L1) while also keeping a clean sheet in five of their last six home encounters. Facing Spain represents a bigger challenge, but these are the kind of games Romania must win if they want to take the next step on their quest towards reaching the upper echelon of the UEFA pinnacle once again. Plus, a win here would potentially push Romania to second place, or at the very least, it could create separation between them and Norway, who are fourth with five points.

Team News

There are no injuries for Romania ahead of this match.

Spain

Romania might be riding a solid run of form, but Spain could easily be considered as the best side in the European Qualifiers thus far. La Furia Roja have won their first four group stage matches, and own a +9 goal differential over that span. To make things even better, Spain own a W8, L2 mark over their last 10 games – including friendlies – while showing impressive accuracy on both ends of the ball over that span. Spain have scored multiple goals in nine of those outings, while conceding more than once just twice – both defeats – over that same period. It remains to be seen how Spain will perform following the departure of Luis Enrique, but there is no question Spain should be considered as one of the teams that could clinch a spot in the 2020 EUROS sooner than later.

Team News

Marco Asensio (knee) and Isco (muscle) were not called up due to injuries. The rest of the squad should be fit enough for this encounter.

Key Factors to Consider

  • One player to watch in this tie should be Romania’s Claudiu Keşerü. He has five goals in four qualifying matches so far.
  • Romania have a surprisingly competitive record against Spain in recent meetings. The H2H in their last five matches shows two wins for each side and one draw.
  • Romania are unbeaten on home soil against Spain in six matches (W3, D3).
  • Spain have scored at least two goals in each of their five post World Cup games away from home in all competitions.
  • Also, Spain have won their last five away European Qualifying matches on the road. They kept a clean sheet in four of those games.

Conclusion

Romania have looked surprisingly good so far, and they own a solid recent record against Spain both at home and overall. However, Spain are a threat to any opposing defence. They can score at will regardless of which team they have against them.

This game could end up being quite open. Therefore, I believe both teams will end up scoring in this one.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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