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UEFA Nations League: England faces a real challenge against Luis Enrique's Spain

ANALYST
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638   //    08 Sep 2018, 00:09 IST

Colombia v England: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Can England take down Spain in the UEFA Nations League?

England, after its heartbreaking loss against Croatia in the World Cup semi-final, will be back on actions on the UEFA Nations League against Spain on Wembley stadium. The youthful Three Lions look dynamic and quite ready to star the action of UEFA Nations League group 4 against Spain. Croatia is the other member of the group.

Meanwhile, Spain's head coach Luis Enrique will make his debut as the new Spanish boss, ahead of the game said, "we are against one of the best team, and we will try to keep up our style, our touches and get back to the top."

Spain Training Session and Press Conference
Controversial Luis Enrique starts his chapter as Spain's boss. Will he succeed?

MATCH OVERVIEW: ENGLAND VS SPAIN

Spain had a disastrous World Cup as they were brought down by over-achieving Russian squad in the round of sixteen. "La Roja" will be looking to regain its strength against the youthful English team. The team captain, Sergio Ramos; will be leading the team from the defense along with Marco Asensio, Álvaro Morata, and Isco Alarcón on the front line.

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England, however, developed an exciting team spirit during the World Cup in Russia won't want to give any chances to the Spaniard giant and will depend most likely on Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, and Jesse Lingard.

STATISTICAL LOOK

The last matches between the two teams were friendly. On 2016 the score ended in a 2-2 draw with goals from Jamie Vardy and Adam Lallana for England and Isco and Iago Aspas for Spain.

Both teams won one World Cup. Spain reigned supreme in South Africa 2010 and England won on home soil back in 1966.

Spain has won three Euros, including two of the last three, and grabbed a painful silver medal in 1984. England has never won a UEFA European Championship. Their best performance is a third place, reached in 1968.

In the 1996 Euro cup, England beat Spain in a penalty shootout to reach the semifinal, but they could not advance to the deciding match.

England leads Spain in the head-to-head record as they have won 13 and lost nine times out of the 25.

TEAMS NEWS

England will be without Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill after their retirement from international duty, their absence opens more chances to younger players like Marcus Rashford, who had limited participation in Russia.

With the retirement of Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué, Spain won't count with another important piece from Barcelona since left back Jordi Alba was not called by the coach. In the current Spanish squad, Real Madrid has the most participation with six players. Chelsea FC has four players in the squad while Barcelona, Valencia, and Atlético Madrid have two players each.

FORM GUIDE

England's participation in the World Cup started well, but out of its last five games has only two wins (against Sweden and Colombia) and lost three times, one against Croatia in the semis and twice versus Belgium (Group Stage and match for the Bronze medal).

Belgium v England: 3rd Place Playoff - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
2018 FIFA World Cup

In its last five matches (four of those were competitive) Spain has two wins against Iran and Tunisia (friendly) a couple of draws against Portugal and Morocco, and the heartbreaking loss against Russia in the penalty shootouts.

PREDICTED LINEUP:

England(4-3-3): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Henderson, Shaw; Alli, Lingard; Rashford, Kane.

Coach: Gareth Southgate

SPAIN(4-3-2-1): De Gea; Carvajal, Ramos, Albiol, Alonso; Thiago, Busquets, Saúl; Asensio, Morata, Isco.

Coach: Luis Enrique

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