Three big questions ahead of England’s upcoming clashes
Dave Burin | 3 September 2018
Three Lions face Spain and Switzerland
International football is back on the calendar this week, and England head into action for the first time since reaching the World Cup semi-finals in Russia.
The stakes aren’t quite as high this time around. But there’s still a UEFA Nations League clash with Spain – and a potentially morale-boosting friendly against Switzerland – to contend with.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash against Luis Enrique’s Spain, the Coral News Team look at the big talking points around England.
Could Shaw force his way into the side?
Despite Manchester United’s distinctly mediocre start to the season, Luke Shaw has emerged from the opening month of the season with plenty of credit.
The left-back has been the Red Devils’ best performer of late, and pulled off another superb display in Sunday’s 2-0 triumph at Burnley. So, is there space for him in England’s starting XI?
The successful World Cup trio of John Stones, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker make the England backline tough to break into.
However, Shaw’s recent marauding displays – which yielded a first career goal against Leicester City – could see him usurp United teammate Ashley Young further forward.
Will England end Spain hoodoo?
Admittedly, La Furia Roja have been one of world football’s big powers over the last decade or so – winning two European Championships and a World Cup since the start of 2008.
But England’s record against Spain is still concerning. The Three Lions have lost four of the last six meetings, winning just once.
However, Southgate’s current crop have shown they can handle the challenge of the big occasion. And they face a Spain side on the wane. They scraped through a straightforward World Cup group before a round of 16 exit to Russia.
This one could be very tight, and that’s reflected in the odds – with each side 8/5 for victory at Wembley, whilst it’s 19/10 for the Draw.
Can supporting cast boost Kane contribution?
Jamie Vardy has essentially retired from international duty following the World Cup. But few England fans will worry too much about that, with Harry Kane in fine form.
Despite often being a slow starter in domestic campaigns, he’s netted in two of the last three games for Tottenham Hotspur.
And the 25-year-old is also showing improvement in his all-round game, with a neat assist for Lucas Moura’s second goal at Old Trafford.
However, the Spurs ace can’t be expected to do all the leg-work. And England’s other striking options are harder to rely on right now.
Danny Welbeck has been given just 21 minutes by Arsenal boss Unai Emery in the opening weeks. Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford has picked up more red cards than goals since the season began. They’ll need to start stepping up – and fast.
Click here for the latest Nations League Odds from Coral.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing