England, Spain open UEFA Nations League campaign


England and Spain will open their 2018/19 UEFA Nations League campaign when they meet in a League A, Group 4 clash at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, September 8, kick-off at 20h45 CAT.

The continental competition, which will be held from this month to June next year and includes both a league and finals phase, will serve as a seeding system for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers and will award berths in the playoffs which will decide four of the 24 final tournament slots.

England comes into the clash on the back of a highly successful 2018 World Cup campaign which saw them end fourth in Russia. The Three Lions advanced through their group stage before overcoming Colombia and Sweden.

In the semifinals, they were outclassed by Croatia, while the third-place playoff ended in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Belgium on July 14 – their most recent outing.

Manager Gareth Southgate continues to err on the side of youth and pace in his squad selection, with the surprise inclusion of Liverpool’s Adam Lallana being the only member of their current selection who is 30 or older.

Spain, meanwhile, had a poor campaign at Russia 2018 and exited in the round of 16 at the hands of the hosts – La Furia Roja’s penalty defeat was one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.

Spain come into the game entering a new era under coach Luis Enrqiue, but they continue to look to the likes of David de Gea, captain Sergio Ramos and bullish striker Diego Costa to be their leaders out on the field.

In head-to-head stats, England and Spain have met in 25 matches, according to FIFA’s statistics database. The Three Lions have claimed 12 wins compared to nine for La Furia Roja, while four games have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meeting was a friendly at Wembley in November 2016 which ended 2-2. Lallana and Jamie Vardy (who has effectively retired from international football) scored the goals for England, while Spain levelled up thanks to late strikes from Iago Aspas and Isco.

England v Spain – Head-to-Head

Matches played 25
England wins 12
Spain wins 9
Draws 4

England L L W D L
Spain D D W D W