International friendly: Stronger Spain shall burst England bubble
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 12, 2015
Spain v England
- International football friendly
- Friday, November 13th
- Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
- Estadio Jose Rico Perez, Alicante, Spain
- Live on ITV
Strength in depth for Spain
On England’s last three trips to Spain, they have lost without scoring. As Wayne Rooney will not be starting and in-form Jamie Vardy is doubtful, this trend could thus continue.
Punters can enhance hosts La Roja’s odds-on 4/5 price in the match betting to a more appealing 6/4 for them to win to nil in Alicante.
The Three Lions are a depleted force for this end of year prestige friendly, and that explains why they are 15/4 outsiders to upset the reigning European champions. Even a draw for Roy Hodgson at 12/5 isn’t looking too likely.
Acid test for England
Flawless as England’s qualification for Euro 2016 was, the real hard work and preparation for next summer’s tournament finals begins now. While opponents Spain cannot be said to have the strength of their 2007-2012 vintage, they remain formidable opposition on home soil.
If the Three Lions have an exciting 22-year-old striking prospect in Harry Kane, then so do La Roja in Valencia forward Paco Alcacer, who is 7/4 to net anytime. Late-bloomer and 2/1 scorer chance Vardy, meanwhile, is little different from Celta Vigo counterpart Nolito (6/4 in the same market).
Vicente del Bosque’s biggest absentee is centurion Sergio Ramos, but centre back partner Gerard Pique is well-versed in handling Premier League opponents.
Premier League players aplenty on both sides
Spain’s attacking roster is rich and deep; Diego Costa, Juan Mata and Pedro Rodriguez (11/4 anytime) are all current English top-flight players. Add in Juventus forward Alvaro Morata, and that’s already more than England have to offer.
Hodgson will be pinning his hopes on Kane, 13/2 to grab the opener, with 10/3 anytime chance Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley (11/2) in support. For all their potential, these Three Lions prospects are simply not the established stars with international trophies behind them like their Spanish counterparts.
Expect Premier League playmakers Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas – whoever La Roja boss Del Bosque picks – to control things in midfield, and it’s how England cope with being out of possession that is the tactical nuance around which this game centres.
It might be one of those matches where the odd goal is decisive, so the total being under 1.5 could thus be worthy of investment at 7/4. The Three Lions are missing Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from their attack, so this is a serious shout.
Check out our England archives.
Coral’s top tip: Spain are a sweet 6/4 to win to nil against England.