England is visiting Spain to play their away game of UEFA Nations League against the home side on Monday night. Literally, it’s a clash between the top two from the Group 4 of League A, but La Rojas are quite ahead of the Three Lions right now.
Spain is now topping the group table by full 6 points in there first two matches. They started their Nations League campaign by beating the Three Lions 2-1 at Wembley last month. Later on, they just crashed the World Cup runner-up Croatia by a massive 6-0 scoreline.
Perhaps, It seems like Luis Enrique’s appointment worked as a tonic for La Rojas. He has won all three games as Spain’s coach till now.
Actually, his winning percentage is not all that describe his influence on the Spanish national side. La Rojas has found their rhythm under this former Barca manager.
“He is a coach who is in control of all the tactical aspects and has won many titles,” Marc Bartra, one of Spain’s recent addition, told a media conference on Saturday.
‘The fact he was at such a demanding club means you have to be 100 per cent focused. The national team now has another rhythm, it is calmer.
‘We can see the ambition and hunger that the coach has.
But his manager Luis Enrique is a lot more cautious in his speech about the opponent. In the meantime, he is pretty diplomatic as well. He said “We will try to overcome a very difficult opponent who is doing things very well.
“I like Southgate as a coach.
“They always try to play the ball. He’s adapted to his players, something we all have to do. I followed him and I like the way he plays football.”
Enrique’s reply was also pretty strategical about his starting XI. He doesn’t want to give any clues to the media about his main eleven.
“Yes, those who haven’t played (in the friendly against Wales) can give some clues,” Luis Enrique told a news conference.
“But as you are very bad you are not going to guess more than four or five.
“You have to take into account that we have an official game in three days.”
It indicates that Sergio Busquets, Marcos Alonso and Marco Asensio are among the players likely to return in the starting XI after a convincing 4-1 friendly win over Wales on Thursday.
Meanwhile, England is struggling to find their World Cup rhythm. After losing their first game of Nations League against the inform Spanish side, they had a goalless draw against Croatia on Friday. So, it’s become a must-win game for them to avoid some complicated in their final group match against Croatia.
However, England coach Gareth Southgate must have to bring some change in his starting XI. Because John Stones and Jordan Henderson are suspended after picking up yellow cards.
This could bring Liverpool defender Joe Gomez in the starting XI also a possible debut for Leicester midfielder James Maddison on his first call-up to the senior squad. After coming on as a substitute in the second half against Croatia, Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho could feature again in this match.
Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate said “We’re going to be playing in front of 60,000 people and we want to be as competitive as we can.
“We have to pick a team to represent the country as well as we can.
“We don’t want to overburden players. Around friendly matches, we can be more sensible but it’s difficult around these games.”
Spain possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Azpilicueta, Macho, Ramos, Alonso; Koke, Busquets, Thiago; Asensio, Rodrigo, Alcacer
England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Walker, Gomez, Maguire, Chilwell; Maddison, Dier, Barkley; Sterling, Kane, Rashford