Spain vs England : England visit Spain on Monday night knowing only a win will do in order to keep alive their faint hopes of progressing to the next stage. England are back in Nations League action this evening as they take on Spain in Seville. Gareth Southgate’s side will be out for revenge against Luis Enrique’s Spain as the Three Lions bid to keep their Nations League hopes alive.
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Gareth Southgate will be sticking with the 4-3-3 formation that he used against Croatia, but there will be a few changes in personnel. Jadon Sancho will again be introduced from the bench while, in defence, Joe Gomez will replaces the suspended John Stones.
Elsewhere, Jordan Henderson is suspended and that means a chance to impress for Tottenham’s Harry Winks, whose club teammate Kieran Trippier is expected to start at right-back in place of Kyle Walker.
The Spain lineup will feature a few familiar Premier League faces – David de Gea will play in goal, behind Chelsea full-backs Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso – but Alvaro Morata could be dropped in favour of former Liverpool man Iago Aspas.
England’s draw against Croatia in front of an empty stadium in Rijeka last Friday gave them their first point in Group 4, but Spain are heading into this game with two wins from two, having beaten Southgate’s men at Wembley and thrashed Croatia 6-0.
Spain are in a commanding position to finish top of the three-team group and proceed to the Uefa Nations League finals next June, while England will be hoping to consign Croatia to relegation to League B.
“It’s another opportunity to look at a couple of younger players. We’re slowly building a squad who are comfortable at this level…. The only way for these guys to learn and improve is to play matches like this.”
“Part of my thinking is what’s the mid to long-term as well as the next few games? There are obvious issues we had to resolve immediately in terms of how we defended and how we pressed. But also with half an eye in my mind other players who could come in and play that way. We’ve seen through our junior teams playing through another system.
“I think if you look at a lot of our junior teams they play a four with two midfielders, two sitters and a 10 or as a 4-3-3 so the idea with the system would be that they learn to play that way. We’ve seen with our senior team that you have to get your best possible players on the field with the best possible formation so that’s what we did in the summer.”
Football offers revenge when you least expect it.Spain were in misery at the beginning of July and there was talk of depression, the end of a cycle, an exhausted model, players in decline…The elimination against Russia and how it came about left behind a feeling of total impotence.A hasty goodbye affected a national team that on Monday has the opportunity to win three points and qualify for the final phase of UEFA’s Nations League.As you can see, three and a half months later, everything is rosy again.The author of the miraculous transformation is none other than Luis Enrique, who came to the office surrounded by noise but with the support of Luis Rubiales. First he imposed some rules, then he won at Wembley, before thrashing Croatia in Elche and defeating Wales at the Principality Stadium.What has changed between what happened in Moscow and the last three games played, resulting in 12 goals in favour and two against? First, the selector, his selection of different players and, finally, his way of understanding football; much more direct.The message was clear and strong from the first day, by a coach who has seen the shortcomings of the recent past.He injected the right dose of energy and enthusias