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What to expect from Enrique’s new-look Spain ahead of England clash

Dave Burin | 5 September 2018

Pair meet at Wembley on Thursday night

England are looking to continue their rise under Gareth Southgate as they return to action tomorrow night. But it’s a different story for Spain, who are starting a new era under Luis Enrique.

The sides face off in their first UEFA Nations League clash at Wembley. It’s La Furia Roja who have the better record in this fixture, winning four of the last six clashes.

Ahead of kick-off, the Coral News Team look at what to expect from the first game of the Enrique dynasty…

New boss to keep Lopetegui’s system

Spain rarely shifted from a 4-3-3 system under former boss Julen Lopetegui. That included the summer’s World Cup, where they set up identically for three of the four games.

That’s likely to stay the same under Enrique tomorrow night. As Barcelona boss from 2014-17, he almost never wavered from using a 4-3-3.

As with Lopetegui’s national side, Enrique tended towards a narrow trio in central midfield, with considerably more width in attack.

No doubt there’ll be some different aspects to Spain under the new boss – not least in terms of personnel. But the visitors’ style and formation is likely to be familiar to an England side who faced them at the end of 2016.

How will Morata handle national team return?

One of Enrique’s first acts has been returning Alvaro Morata to the fold. The 48-year-old has put his faith in the Chelsea striker, whose last competitive Spain outing came exactly a year ago against Liechtenstein.

Following a difficult time for the 25-year-old at Stamford Bridge, it’s something of a risky move ahead of a high-profile clash. But if Enrique can revitalise Morata, then it could be huge for Spain.

They looked far from the lethal outfit of their 2008-2012 heyday at this summer’s World Cup – so it seems worth a try in the long run. After all, it’s easy to forget that the man who’s struggled in West London hit 20 goals for Real back in 2016-17.

Match Odds

Ahead of Saturday’s clash, the pair are hard to split in the odds. Spain are 8/5 for victory, with 31/20 for England and 15/8 on the Draw.

The most recent meeting ended 2-2 after a breathless 90 minutes. It’s 14/1 for another 2-2 Draw, whilst a simple Both Teams to Score is 10/11.

Click here for the latest England v Spain odds.

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