Probable Lineups

3-5-2
4-3-3
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Probable Lineups Statistical Comparison

(6) 4 Goals 7 (11)
(4) 4 Assists 7 (9)
(6.6) 6.8 Average Ratings 7 (6.8)
29.9 Average Age 32.6
184 Average Height (cm) 182.9
(1.1) 1.5 Shots pg 1.8 (1.8)
(58%) 62% Aerial Duel Success 49% (50%)
(1) 1.1 Dribbles pg 1 (0.9)
(0.8) 1 Tackles pg 1.3 (1)
* Values in brackets (x) are overall player statistics in UEFA Nations League A Grp. 4.

Missing Players

England
Spain
Player Reason Status Rating
Raheem Sterling Out 6.98
Adam Lallana Out N/A
Player Reason Status Rating
Diego Costa Out N/A

Team News

England
Spain
  • Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana have both pulled out of the England squad with respective back and groin problems.
  • Gareth Southgate is expected to stick with his best XI from the 2018 World Cup, although there is now a space free in attack following injury to Sterling. He may opt for a like-for-like replacement or add an extra midfielder.
  • Ashley Young was England's starting left wing-back in the summer but has been excluded from the squad this time around. Luke Shaw could cap his return to the England squad with a start at Wembley.
  • Joe Gomez has been immense for Liverpool so far this season and will surely be considered for Southgate on Saturday.
  • Diego Costa has withdrawn from the Spain squad due to personal reasons.
  • Jorda Alba was controversially left out of Luis Enrique's first squad as Spain head coach. Marcos Alonso should start at left-back instead.
  • David De Gea was poor at the 2018 World Cup and has generally struggled for Spain. Kepa's move to Chelsea in the summer will only increase the pressure on him.
  • Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and David Silva retired after the 2018 World Cup and this will be the start of a new era.
  • Enrique may opt for Isco and Marco Asensio further forward, flanking the lone striker, to star Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul.

Prediction

  • England finished fourth at the 2018 World Cup and will hope to carry their momentum from the summer into the UEFA Nations League.
  • Spain were one of the big nations to underperform in Russia, crashing out to the hosts in the first round of knockout games.
  • England are unbeaten in their last two home matches against Spain but really struggled against good opposition in Russia.
  • Can Luis Enrique start his tenure as Spain head coach with a win?
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User Predictions

Comments (47)

 
  • Where can a fan of this beautiful game (living in the United States) acquire unbiased and unadulterated knowledge? This is a fact: The national squad for England and the Premier League are talented and skilled professionals. However, they are not as great as the writers, commentators, and pundits in the United States make them out to be. Are they being fed this narrative by their arrogant counterparts in Europe and simply regurgitating, or are they attempting to boost the ratings of the TV networks that pay their salary?

  • @gumland1 The truth lies in the middle as always. The PL is quite strong, the English national team isn't ...

  • @gumland1 ESPN FC, Fox soccer, and NBC soccer are trash, I normally check out SB nation blogs. I get most things Bayern or Germany related from bavarianfootballworks . c o m it's part of SB nation too. SB nation has blogs for other clubs, I just don't care about them. The ridiculous prem and English bias is annoying, but that is partly because most of our pundits are English or Scottish lol. The link to SB nation is bellow: w w w .sbnation. com / blogs

  • A draw would have been the correct result. We are at the point where contact with the GK is forbidden- even if they initiate it, and if jelly-legged Ramos goes over he gets a free-kick. One would think there is a pro-Spain bias among officials or something. Anyways. Possession is the most misleading stat in football (especially the possessions-based format, which is used for it's convenience rather than its accuracy). This was a fairly even game though Spain had one spell in the 2nd half which probably tipped them over 50% mark. I liked the game-plan from Southgate, too many teams sit back and invite pressure from Spain which rarely works if you wish to win the game (though when a draw is needed or you are leading by a couple of goals, it can be a valid tactic), but I feel we defended with too high a defensive line. It's a risky move and we were almost caught out in the 2nd half but Stones put in a good tackle (Which was actually given as a foul, unbelievably)...

  • Shaw was excellent, his rating doesn't do him justice, and I hope he is ok because he has been superb for a crappy Utd team and a layoff could end his run of form. Maguire had really good and really poor moments but was still the best CB on the pitch. We badly need an upgrade to Henderson if we are to persevere with the 3-1-4-2, though where that player is in the premier league, I do not know. We need Busquets! Dele Alli was, yet again, very poor. Loftus-Cheek choosing to stay at Chelsea to fight for his place is commendable but will almost certainly harm his England chances based on Southgate's previous comments about players not playing for their clubs. Dele is good as a #10 and presses well but he has minimal dribbling or expansive passing skills. Lingard can at least run with the ball which can ease pressure in tight situations. All in all, the incorrect result but we did ok against a superior passing team and both sides played the match like a meaningful one. Phew.

  • @ Alik_Mir thank u

  • pls who was the Man of the match

  • @Davidabraham448 Saul Niguez

  • @Davidabraham448 Saul Niguez

  • pls who was the man of the match

  • Wondering if Luise Enrique changed Martinez for Alonso just to show Alba that he has other players for this position.

  • it was 2-2 , error by referee, de gea made mistake, nobody touch him

  • @stefanm Totally agree

  • as martin tyler alluded to, international friendlies are nothing but corporate: a sporting event with not much to play for other than meeting contract obligations and ££££-gains. friendlies, imo, will never find the true desire and will to win, true competition, true fight, effort and motivation. i thought both sides played good football (what an opening goal and assist from luke "the brave" shaw) although i feel the english system is too easy to dictate and an alternative strategy would maybe benefit. ramos quelled kane. a good start to the euro league; a nice change from the ordeal of recent international breaks. however i was disappointed in the lack of VAR as there was clear confusion around the disallowing of welbecks equaliser.

  • Shaw's injury didn't look good, he didn't see Carvajal at all and collision was hard. Hopefully he didn't hurt his neck badly. But they didn't show replay of that situation which could mean it was bad. With his history of injuries, Shaw is one of the last players one would hope to see anything like this to happen.

  • Lmfao

  • Rashford and Kane don't really go too well with each other...they are both classic "9", not really putting pressure on the opposition defense. England needs to replace one of them with a more mobile player that would come from the middle and put more pressure on Spain DM and defense.

  • @moo13 I would like to see the system changed to 4-2-3-1: Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Henderson, Dier; Sterling, Alli, Lingard; Kane This provides us with more steel in midfield and wide players. No brainer.

  • @moo13 They are completely different types of players ... Kane are physically strong forward with a good shot and headed attempts, whereas Rashford is very agile, super fast, mobile and good in dribbling. Perfect duo

  • @neumi17 They are similar in style. You are describing physical attributes as differences. Moo13 is right they both want to play like 9's. I don't like them much as a pair in 3-5-2.

  • Why are we not building the system around our best player, Kane? 3-5-2 doesn't suit him. He thrives on delivery from wide areas, but the wing backs are too deep to whip it in a dangerous area. Also, why has he not been given the no. 10 shirt? I know it's trivial to moan about a shirt number, but he's our talisman and should wear the same number for club and country.

  • @ConstantineTheGreat- It is perilous to build an international team around a single player, regardless of his ability. At least Spurs are able to buy a player with similar attributes to Kane so that, in event of injury, he can be replaced without the team tactics needing to be drastically changed. You get a drop in quality, yes, but you can still swap a genuine #9 who can hold the ball up, is good in the air and makes typical 'striker' runs with a clone. If Kane is injured for England with the team having been designed around him, then who do we bring in? This is why having multiple formations or a formation with multiple suitable personnel is key at the international level.

  • Isco man of the match

  • Spain will win this march

  • This game have 0-0 written all of over.

  • @benger_alert hmm

  • @BarcaPlsLetMeDown I was talking about second half result hahaha

  • Isco to dominate the match

  • @stefanm Isco to turn the match into a disco?

  • 2:1

  • @19185 no bro cuz england is overrated team

  • @stefanm yes cuz spain is also overrated

  • 3-0 Spain. Morata,Isco and Ramos(penalty :D) to score.

  • @Champion I see you are very good with analyzing games, especially England's. Can you kindly help me with this..prediction WILL THERE BE A GOAL BEFORE 30 mins in this �� game?

  • Southgate should learn that 3-5-2 is unnecessary. It's harder to defend and harder to attack with that 4-5-1 or 4-3-3. 3-5-2 (if on the back foot) results in the back 3 becoming a back 5. Then it results in the midfield becoming a 3, the wide central midfielders have to run tirelessly all game (but can't get near the ball as they are isolated). The central of the 3 can't sit deep and protect as the defence has become a 5 and the midfield a 3. The forwards become isolated and frustrated. England should really be thinking about playing a back 4, and if they don't then a 3-4-3/5-4-1 system is more appropriate for attack and defence against stronger opponents. You cannot play 3-5-2 against opponents superior than you. Even teams on your level will work it out and dominate you second half.

  • On a different note, does anybody think the Nations League anthem is ghastly? To me, it sounds like a Latin James Last's bastardisation of a Jerry Goldsmith piece composed while he were in the middle of having an acid trip and is something I'd expect Angela Merkel to walk out to before addressing the Bundestag if she had her own way. I kind of like the trophy though.

  • @SteveHyland You are the type of person that probably complained all friendlies are pointless. People have been whining about friendlies for years, so they have done something about it.

  • @Champion- Sure, but the timing seems cynical to me rather than a genuine attempt at making something meaningful. These players get paid far too much to be risked for unimportant international games. I've lost count the number of times a top player came back from an international break injured. If these matches prove to be important then, sure, but it looks to me like FIFA/UEFA just like money-spinning ideas and this is the latest. I will happily be proved wrong- after all, playing for your country should be an honour.

  • @SteveHyland I suppose International games haven't been the same after Pele/Maradona era. World Cup and continent based tournaments are meaningful of course, but qualifiers (in Europe at least) aren't usually that serious as big teams rarely have problems to qualify. I think we need something new for Internationals and afterwards we'll see how Nations League works. I like the idea of playing against teams of your own level more often. Friendlies are matches to give fringe players playing time and try some new ideas and also provide rest for first team players. It would be really risky to play same players twice for 90 minutes in this short international breaks. That makes me wonder how UEFA have planned have next qualifiers in so short period, starting next autumn if I remember correctly.

  • I'm sceptical as to whether this competition will provide something more meaningful than the friendly internationals we had before, but UEFA are trying at least. 3 instead of 6 subs should help maintain the flow of the game late on. What Southgate is going to try is anybody's guess, but I would like to see a 4-3-3 with Stones as the DM at some point during the pre-Euro fixtures. The greater the number of formations/personnel permutations you can use, the better imo. As long as the onus is on developing a team which can create chances in a multitude of ways then I will be happy, even if results don't go our way at the beginning, because we were 1D at the World Cup. I am also looking forward to seeing what Luis Enrique will do with a talented but currently underachieving Spain squad. He used a 4-3-3 in 101 of 114 league games while Barcelona manager so I expect him to use the same here. Diego Costa has pulled out which leaves them thin in the #9 position. Easy England win then....

  • @SteveHyland Stones as DM? Why? There's no need. Dier and Henderson are better there than Stones.If we play a back 3 against we have to play 3-4-3 in attack, 3-5-2 doesn't suit us. We only have one world class centre forward and we get overrun in midfield by the better sides. In a back four in my view Walker, Maguire, Stones, Shaw is the strongest four. I would set up in a 4-5-1 vs Spain. Southgate is too yes man and nicey nicey to move on from the failed 3-5-2. Southgate's performance tactically and selection wise in the WC shows he's tactically inept to be honest. May as well get straight to the point. England would have beaten Colombia (without pens) and Croatia with a good tactically (non yes man selection wise. Picking Sterling over and over was criminal) manager.

  • @Champion I do not understand your 4-5-1 choice against Spain. Weak teams use a 4-5-1 against Spain to keep their goals conceded down. Spain dominates possession severely against lesser technical skill players. A second forward can look likely to get too little play to use. England should see more of the ball. England should use a lineup that helps with goal scoring to try to score with Kane on its team.

  • @Champion "Failed 3-5-2" that equaled our best ever World cup performance outside of England? Surely he would only be a "yes man" if he bowed to outside pressure and changed the way he plays. Back to front Croatia's XI had more talent, how many of our players can't get in their club teams, I'd say we overperformed in the WC, we weren't the 4th strongest squad in there. Southgate saw that we had an awful Central Midfield and a less than convincing array of Centre Backs, he recognised that if you're lacking quality in an area the only way to possibly win that battle is to add numbers. A formation doesn't win a match, coaching players to play that formation and of course individual quality win a match.

  • @foogle94 England lost to Belgium twice. Got dominated by Colombia after half time. Croatia were all over England after half time too. Southgate has showed he is tactically inept. Sounds like you have a crush on the dude for beating Tunisia with two set pieces including a winner in the 91st minute, a freebie against Panama, getting lucky against Colombia, beating a desperately poor (and tired) Sweden and then getting dominated second half by Croatia. England have very little to write home about assessing their opponents and own performances. 3-5-2 is a failed experiment and stopped them getting further in the competition. You must be a see ball watch ball fan. Don't comment about tactics if you don't understand them.

  • @foogle94 England beat poor sides. In the knockout stages England got dominated as they failed to adapt from their rigid 3-5-2 shape and remove Sterling.

  • @Champion- Having a CB playing DM gives the option to drop into a back 3 without change of personnel and Stones is no ordinary CB, even for modern times. I'm not saying it will work, but the only thing going for non-qualifier internationals is that you can try things. I would be shocked if Pep hasn't mooted the idea himself being how John is excellent in distribution.