Defending European Champions Spain welcome a resurgent England to the Estadio Jose Rico Perez on Friday night and one can expect to see a fascinating encounter between the two sides.
Spain endured a terrible defence to their World Cup title in Brazil last year but La Roja have since managed to make a stunning recovery by sealing their place in the 2016 European Championship with 27 points from an available 30 in their qualification group.
Given the plethora of talent at their disposal as well as the recent turn around in fortunes, one should consider Spain contenders to defend their European crown next year.
However, there is still a long way to go and La Roja will now be hopeful of further restoring their reputation with a victory against visiting England in a friendly clash on Friday.
Much like Spain, even England endured a woeful campaign in the World Cup last summer but the Three Lions have managed to return to form in emphatic fashion by breezing through their qualification group with a 100% record.
Despite the fine achievement though, many feel that England were handed a very kind group in the qualifiers and not many are yet convinced regarding Roy Hodgson’s men’s credentials to lift the European Championship in France.
In order to change their perception as a mediocre team, England will now need to prove their worth against the bigger sides and a clash against Spain away from home on Friday gives the Three Lions a great opportunity to do just that.
James Milner has been ruled out of the clash while Wayne Rooney will be handed a rest. Now the only injury concern ahead of the game for Roy Hodgson will be in form striker Jamie Vardy. Tom Heaton, Dele Alli and Eric Dier are the relative newcomers to the squad.
Jack Butland has been in sensational form at club level for Stoke City but it is very likely that Joe Hart will be starting in goal for England while the backline for the Three Lions should consist of Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Ryan Bertrand and Nathaniel Clyne. The likes of Kyle Walker, Phil Jones and John Stones will be pushing for starts as well.
In the midfield area, Fabian Delph and Michael Carrick look likely to be starting while Ross Barkley should be used in an advanced midfield position. Dele Alli and Eric Dier have formed quite a midfield combination for Tottenham and the duo should feature in some capacity during the game.
In the wide areas, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana are the likely starters while Harry Kane will most probably be leading the line for England due to the potential absence of Rooney and Vardy.
Spain (Probable XI): De Gea; Mario, Pique, Nacho, Alba; Thiago, Cazorla, Koke; Isco, Morata, Nolito
England (Probable XI): Hart; Clyne, Cahill, Smalling, Bertrand; Delph, Carrick, Barkley; Sterling, Lallana, Kane
12/11/2011 England 1 – 0 Spain
11/02/2009 Spain 2 – 0 England
07/02/2007 England 0 – 1 Spain
Both teams are in a very good run of form heading into the clash and while Spain may be favourites in many people’s eyes, England look likely to be giving La Roja a run for their money.
Given that the match is a friendly, both teams are likely to be adopting new systems as well as new players and as a result, it makes the outcome of the clash very difficult to predict.
Spain do possess the better side overall and should be able to claim the victory but one can expect a close encounter on the day.
Spain 2 – 1 EnglandMedia Credits: Wikimedia Commons Back to Top