Preview - England vs Spain 09 September 18

Started by Harry85, Sep 08, 2018, 03:53 AM

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Uefa Nations League A Group 4
England vs Spain
Sunday, September 9th, 2018
03:45am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium:  Wembley Stadium

Last five matches form: L W W L L
Average goals per match (last ten games) : 1.80
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 1.00
Top Scorer: Harry Kane (19)

Last five matches form: W D W D L
Average goals per match (last ten games): 2.40
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 1.20
Top Scorer: Sergio Ramos and Álvaro Morata (13)

Two of the real big guns of the international game do battle at Wembley Stadium in the opening round of fixtures in the Uefa Nations League as Gareth Southgate's England side play host to Luis Enrique's Spain.

This will be each sides first game since the World Cup Finals which ultimately saw silverware prove elusive for both teams.

England's run to the semi finals of the competition has been widely lauded as a success, and that is probably a fair assessment. Detractors would point to the fact that they didn't really beat any sides of note on their run to the last four though.

There's no doubt that a Round of 16 defeat to Russia on penalties was a big disappointment for Spain though as they had entered the tournament as one of the favourites to win it all.

Spain have been excellent overall of late, and are now unbeaten - in 90 minutes - in an impressive 24 games. Will Luis Enrique be able to keep this record going in his first match in the hot seat?

Both sides have been hit by withdrawals ahead of this game. Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana pulling out for England and Diego Costa doing likewise for Spain.

England hold the edge in this fixture overall with 13 wins to nine for Spain.

This is a time of change for Spain following the international retirement of key men Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and David Silva, whilst Jordi Alba has been left out of the squad.

A tough one to call but we see goals around in this one, with an entertaining score draw looking one of the more likely outcomes.

Prediction: England 2 - 2 Spain


Half time: 1 - 2
Full time: 1 - 2
Shots:  9 - 8
Shots on target: 7 - 4
Corner Kicks: 4 - 1
Possession: 48% - 52%
Jordan Henderson, Luke Shaw, John Stones and Danny Rose were all booked for the home side in this one. Daniel Carvajal being the only Spanish player to have his name taken by referee Danny Makkelie.

A new era for Spain as Luis Enrique took charge for the first time, and if this is anything to go by we are in for a marked change in style. The tiki-taki so associated with the majestic Spanish sides of recent years was nowhere in evidence here as they favoured a more direct/less possession based approach. For us this wasn't anything like as easy on the eye, but the result was still the same as they came from behind to pick up all three points.

It was however England who took the lead in the 11th minute. Excellent work from Luke Shaw, bursting out of defence and into the Spanish half before playing a perfectly timed low ball into the path of Marcus Rashford around seven yards out. First time finish back across de Gea from the Manchester United man.

The lead lasted all of two minutes. Smart Spanish move down the right-hand side seeing Rodrigo breaking into the right of the area before cutting the ball back to Saul Niguez around eight yards out to the right of the six yard box. Jordan Pickford got a hand to his powerful low finish, but couldn't keep it out.

The visitors took the lead in the 32nd minute. Woeful defending from England from a free kick wide on the left. Thiago Alcantara playing the ball into the near post where no one picked up Rodrigo, allowing the front man to tap the ball home. 1-2 at the break.

The first 30 minutes of the second half were a little more like the Spanish side of recent years, as England struggled to gain a foothold in the game. In the final 15 minutes though the home side began to put the pressure on again. Marcus Rashford spurning the best chance when having only the keeper to beat from just inside the area.

Still time for late drama deep into stoppage time - which came about due to an unfortunate injury to Luke Shaw. De Gea looking to spill the ball when coming down on top of Danny Welbeck and Welbeck sweeping into the empty net. Having initially looked to give the goal however the referee then called it back for a foul on the keeper. 1-2 final score.

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