England v Spain Nations League betting preview
Gareth Southgate joked that it was unusual for the FA not to be carrying out a root and branch review of the national team following a highly successful World Cup campaign in Russia.
Southgate didn’t have the best tools in his kit when it came to player availability although he managed to get the players at his disposal to buy into a formation and style of play that saw them get to the last four of the competition.
It wasn’t a huge surprise to see the Three Lions manager select a familiar squad for their upcoming matches against Spain and Switzerland, with the players likely to get a huge Wembley welcome when they clash with La Roja in their first ever UEFA Nations League game.
Ashley Young is the notable omission from the squad, although Luke Shaw is the obvious replacement and comes from the same club, while the dilemma is whether Kyle Walker remains as a centre-back or instead operates as a wing-back where he feels more comfortable.
Joe Gomez certainly looks like starting XI material and bet365 have 17/10 that England claim a victory over a Spanish side who are feeling the effects of several squad members retiring after the World Cup.
It was supposed to be a successful swansong for the likes of Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Gerard Pique, although Luis Enrique will now try to implement a new playing style which is a departure to the pedestrian tempo that was in operation under Julen Lopetegui.
We might see Chelsea full-backs Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso slot into the national team and there has also been a recall for club team-mate Alvaro Morata who could find a place in the team alongside the physical Diego Costa.
With no Silva or Iniesta in the midfield, it might be that Spain look more ordinary and less possession-based in their play, although 17/10 with bet365 about them winning would have seemed a big price before the tournament.
Then again, England are a difficult prospect on home soil and we’re only seeing improvement from several players, including Harry Maguire and Jesse Lingard.
The draw price is trading at 21/10 and this was the outcome when the teams last met, with both sides likely to be content enough to avoid defeat in this inaugural game.