England face tough Spanish challenge in must win UEFA League match

Last updated: October 15, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Monday, 19:45
Venue: Estadio Benito Villamarin
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: DLWWW
Away Form: LLLWD
Last Meeting: England 1 – 2 Spain
Competition: UEFA Nations League

The UEFA Nations League serves up a tasty fixture with England facing Spain in the knowledge that defeat in Seville will end any hopes of England topping the group. This could create a nervy encounter with Croatia, with the loser of that match facing relegation.

The League A Group 4 match sees World Cup semi-finalists England travel to Spain to face a team that made it to the Round of sixteen. The match is a must win for The Three Lions and a great chance for the 1966 World Cup winners to gain revenge for their 2–1 loss at home the last time the pair met.

Spain has had a successful post World Cup since their disastrous campaign in Russia and are keen to prove they are one of the elites in national football. The early signs are that they are on the right track so far. Their new manager, former Barcelona man Luis Enrique, has three wins out of three games and looks to be going strong with a dream first start win at Wembley stadium. England scored first through Marcus Rashford in the 11th minute before Saul Niguez answered back two minutes later to level the score line. Rodrigo gave the Spanish the lead in the 32nd minute and they held on to win the match 2–1. The highlight of their Nations League campaign so far was the 6 – 0 demolition of World Cup finalists Croatia. In a match that had six different scorers, Croatia looked a shadow of the team that did so well in the World Cup and were humiliated by the Spanish. They later faced Ryan Giggs’ Wales in a friendly who were without their talisman Gareth Bale. The Spanish also dominated that game and ran out easy 4–1 winners. A win or draw against England will be enough to cement their place at the top of the Group 4 standings.

England, as part of Croatia’s punishment for displaying a swastika at their ground, were forced to play Friday’s match against Croatia behind closed doors and the match ended in a goalless boring draw. Rashford, who has scored the only goal in England’s UEFA Nations League campaign so far, was wasteful with two clear-cut chances in front of goal and Kane and Dier both hit the post twice. After they lost against Spain at home the draw against Croatia was not a good result for the World Cup semi-finalists as they are on the brink of losing out on the top spot of their group and the threat of being relegated from the group is a real one. Gareth Southgate’s team have just one win in their last five matches and are yet to push on from the World Cup. Injuries have seen the manager select a squad that doesn’t contain many capped players. They are currently in second place with just one point, five adrift of the leaders Spain.

Team News

Marco Asensio leads the Nations Leagues assist board with 4 assists.

Luis Enrique has a 100% record, seven different scorers, twelve goals scored, and just two goals conceded in their last three matches.

Southgate’s selection has been criticised with seven uncapped players and a handful of players with just a couple of caps for the Three Lions.

Harry Kane hasn’t scored for six consecutive national team matches since his penalty against Colombia in the round of sixteen of the World Cup.

Expected Line-Ups:

Spain (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Azpilicueta, S.Ramos, Nacho, M.Alonso, Busquets, Saul, Thiago, Rodrigo, Asensio, Morata
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Albiol, Roberto, Bartra, Aspas, Suso, Llorente, Martinez, Gaya, Ceballos, Gaya
Injured: Carvajal, Isco
Doubtful: Pedro
Not available:
England (3-5-2): Pickford, Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Henderson, Barkley, Sterling, Kane, Rashford
Subs: Bettinelli, Butland, Tarkowski, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Rose, Delph, Dier, Loftus-Cheek, Welbeck, Lingard
Injured: Lallana, Alli
Not available:

So Far This Campaign

. . .
Spain This Season England This Season
1st League Position 2nd
1 (1) Wins (away) 0 (0)
6 – 0 v Croatia Biggest Win
0 (0) Draws (away) 0 (1)
Biggest Defeat 1 – 2 v Spain
Saul (2) Rodrigo (2) Top Goal Scorer Rashford (1)
Y1, R0 Discipline Y7, R0
0 Failures to Score 0
50% Clean Sheets 50%
50% Both Teams to Score Games 50%
100% Over 2.5 Goals 50%
0% Under 2.5 Goals 50%
  • Rodrigo and Saul have both scored in each of the two matches played in the UEFA Nations League.
  • England just have one goal scored by Marcus Rashford.
  • There have been 26 encounters between the teams, England have won thirteen against Spain’s ten wins with just three draws.
  • A win or a draw for Spain puts them out of reach at the top of the standings while it’s a must win match for England to reduce the point deficit from the top to just two.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
08/09/2018 UEFA Nations League England 1 – 2 Spain Marcus Rashford 11’
15/11/2016 International Friendly England 2 – 2 Spain Adam Lallana 9’
13/11/2015 International Friendly Spain 2 – 0 England Mario Perez 72’
12/11/2011 International Friendly England 1 – 0 Spain Frank Lampard 49’
11/02/2009 International Friendly Spain 2 – 0 England David Villa 36’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

England have had a dismal campaign so far with just one goal in the UEFA Nations League. They will be hoping and really need World Cup golden boots winner Harry Kane to find his goal scoring form in this match. Gareth Southgate has bemoaned the lack of mental freshness within the team.

Spain are looking worryingly good and are scoring goals for fun with the Spaniard’s duo of Rodrigo and Saul looking particularly impressive. With this in mind, we see a few goals in this one. Over 2.5 seems a great shout and you can get the best odds at 888sport.