England head to Alicante for the first of their friendlies in preparation for Euro 2016 and we’ve got a full match preview for you below.
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The current European champions head into this friendly with England in the sort of nick we’ve all been accustomed to over the last seven years or so; they qualified handily for next summer’s tournament, losing just one game along the way and conceding only three times in the entire process to finish five points clear of second-placed Slovakia.
That said, the Spanish aren’t without their problems. The current squad named by manager Vicente del Bosque is notable by its lack of real goalscorers at international level, and with David Silva currently injured the most prolific player in the 23 is Chelsea’s Pedro, who is enduring a difficult start to his career in the Premier League.
In addition to the Silva injury, Real Madrid’s Isco will also miss this game after withdrawing from the squad due to a muscle injury, as will Sergio Ramos.
This is the first of several ‘hard’ friendlies lined up by Roy Hodgson to try and prepare England for playing more impressive teams in a tournament proper. For years now, the same problem has reared its head – England qualify easily for a tournament having played no-one of note only to struggle in the tournament itself when faced with a talented side that will take the game to them.
Hodgson is clearly hoping his side learn how to play on the back foot from these upcoming games, and as first tests go it doesn’t come too much tougher than Spain away from home. The Three Lions qualified handsomely for next summer’s football soiree though, complete with an injury list as long as your arm, and will come into this game in ebullient mood knowing that their record under the current manager is a good one – no defeats in their last eight friendlies makes for soothing reading.
And if Spain have problems in the goalscoring department, then enter England. The English have no-one in the squad other than Wayne Rooney with more than three goals to their name at international level and Hodgson will be hoping that the in-form Jamie Vardy can make a further step up, with a view to making a serious impression at Euro 2016.
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England v Spain, Friday 13th November
- England to win and both teams to score (BTTS)
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