UEFA Nations League: Time for Young Lions to Bite!

Spain vs England

It’s now or never for England as they prepare to take on the might of Spain, at the Benito Villamarin in Seville, in the next clash of the UEFA Nations League.

Spain have taken a healthy lead after two rounds in Group A4 with two wins, while Croatia and England each have a single point. And a defeat for the Three Lions on Monday night will mean they can wave goodbye to any hope of catching the leaders.

All you us Nations League fans will know I’m asking a lot here, but fortune favours the brave; these young Lions have bravery in spades.

Talking points

Gareth Southgate’s England are a work in progress and a promising one at that. But promise needs to turn into results in the not-too-distant future. Take a look at France. Les Bleus have exciting young talent such as Kylian Mbappe, but they are already World Champions and will only get better.

It’s dog eat dog out there and, while a Semi-Final appearance at Russia 2108 restored the pride in English football, it will all be for nothing if this team doesn’t take the next step.

England earned their first Nations League point on Friday in Croatia but they could so easily have won. Marcus Rashford missed a couple of good chances, one a sitter. And having scored in the last two international games, he’ll hope the loss of his killer touch is only temporary.

BVB wonder kid Jadon Sancho made his debut for England in that game, and though he only had ten minutes or so to show what he can do, he gave enough evidence with two good runs and dangerous crosses to get England fans excited.

Winning in Spain would be a massive achievement, particularly without the experience of Jordan Henderson and John Stones, both booked against Croatia. I wouldn’t be surprised if Southgate would take a draw if offered right now.

He won’t say that, though.

Luis Enrique’s Spain are by no means the finished product but, my, he’s made an impressive start as head coach. He is blessed with strength in depth. Even without the injured Isco, his team is scoring for fun. Spain had an impressive 1-4 victory in Wales last Thursday, with Paco Alcacer scoring twice.

Spain could afford to leave talent such as Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio on the bench in Cardiff, and he’s likely to make an appearance on Monday night. In midfield, the energetic Saul Niguez is getting better and better. And if England are to break through the Spanish defence, they need to outwit world-class talent including Sergio Ramos, Cesar Azpilicueta, the best wing-back in the Premier League, and then David de Gea!

History

Spain are determined to dominate England when they host them in Seville for a UEFA Nations League match

Spain manager Luis Enrique watch his squad as they play Wales in an international friendly

Since their conflicting fortunes in the World Cup, it’s little surprise that Luis Enrique has got his Spain firing without delay, winning all three of his games in charge. Meanwhile, since returning from Russia, England have won one, drawn one and lost one, to Spain.

Enrique’s side came from behind to win their opening Nations League fixture against England, and that is very much a case of ‘what might have been’ for the Three Lions. Can they put that right and see out a win at the Benito Villamarin?

History says it’s highly unlikely. The last two Spain vs England results at this venue have both resulted in a 2-0 win for Spain, but head-to-heads are closer, with the hosts on six, England on five and two draws.

Betting Tip

??
Spain vs England 2-3 goals @ 1.82
October 16, (02:45 GMT+8)

Spain vs England odds point to a home win. Spain is a strong favourite at 1.73 with the draw at 3.35 and the size of England’s task perfectly illustrated by their odds of 4.90.

A draw is the most likely 45-minute outcome, and if Southgate’s young Lions can make it that far, then who knows? I can’t see a goal fest in this game: England will be determined not to go the way of Croatia and Wales, but their defence may miss the protection of the absent Henderson.

Harry Kane was quiet on Friday, having only one effort of note which hit the bar, and he must take a chance if it comes his way. It isn’t a one-sided game by any means, and Enrique will know that the young Lions carry a threat.

If you think the visitors can avoid leaving Seville empty-handed, then the double chance on England and Draw is available at 2.00.

But then if you like to back the favourite, another 2-0 for Spain at the Benito Villamarin is up there at 7.20.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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