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Big Match Breakdown: Spain v England

Richard Marsh | 15 October 2018

Odds and preview for Nations League clash

After a 0-0 draw in Croatia, England head to Seville to take on an in-form Spain.

Gareth Southgate’s men have one point from their two games in the Nations League group A4. Spain are top with two wins.

Victory for Luis Enrique’s men could confirm them as group winners, and they would bag a spot in next June’s Nations League Finals.

Defeat for England tonight would leave them at risk of relegation to League B, ahead of a potential showdown with Croatia in November.

The Sky Sports cameras will again be in place for this evening’s 7.45 kick-off, and we’re ready to go with the Big Match Breakdown…

Head-to-Head

This will be the 27th meeting between the two teams. England have won 12 times, while Spain have claimed 10 wins.

The Spaniards have dominated lately, however.  They’ve won five of the last seven meetings (including last month’s 2-1 success at Wembley), and each of the last four on home soil without conceding a goal.

Spain are also unbeaten in their last 38 competitive home matches, since they lost to Greece in 2003. England have won three of their last eight away games, but go into tonight’s game with one win in five.

Likely XIs

Southgate will again go 4-3-3, having switched from 3-5-2 for Friday’s draw in Rijeka. Joe Gomez will come in for the suspended John Stones.

Harry Winks is expected to come in for Jordan Henderson, while Kyle Walker has a slight knock which may see Kieran Trippier come in at right back.

Things are expected to remain the same up front, with Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling either side of Harry Kane. Jadon Sancho is likely to get a second-half run out once again.

For the hosts, Paco Alcacer should keep his place up front. The Borussia Dortmund forward scored twice in their 4-1 win over Wales on Friday, taking his tally to nine goals in five games for club and country.

Sergio Busquets and Marcos Alonso were rested for that friendly win in Cardiff, but both should resume starting positions tonight.

Key Battles

England more than held their own against Croatia on Friday, and arguably produced the better chances.

But they’re unlikely to see as much of the ball this evening. They will have to be patient. Spain claimed 69% possession in beating the Welsh last week.

In Sterling and Rashford, however, they have players to frighten the Spanish defence. It will be up to Winks to pick them out.

Ben Chilwell and Trippier will need to win the battle on the flanks. Their pace, energy and crossing ability could prove key.

Match Odds

Given Spain’s current prowess on home soil, they’re 4/6 favourites to win tonight and book their spot in next June’s Finals.

England are 19/4 outsiders, with a draw available at 14/5.

Spain have kept just two clean sheets in their 11 games in 2018, however. Rashford had two good chances to score on Friday, and is 10/1 first goalscorer and 10/3 anytime.

Kane is 5/1 to score first and 15/8 anytime, although the Tottenham Hotspur man has gone six games without a goal for his country.

For Spain, Alvaro Morata, Alcacer and Rodrigo Moreno share 4/1 favouritism in the first goalscorer market.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing