The last time these teams met Spain were the World and European Champions but Frank Lampard gave England a 1-0 win in front of a Wembley crowd four years ago. The assist for Lampard’s goal came from Darren Bent in what was to be his final England appearance and while the result was impressive it’s hard to ignore that they had less than 30% of possession and were comprehensively outplayed by a far superior side.
This time around Spain are not the force they once were and have actually lost three of their last four home games. However, they did win their final eight qualifiers for next summer’s Euro Championships without conceding a goal and while being ahead at half-time on each occasion. Furthermore, a look at their squad highlights the amount of quality they can still call upon, with the midfield looking particularly strong.
Germany won a friendly in Spain last November but they’ve otherwise won 10 of their last 11 home matches and since 2008 they’ve won 13 of 14 home matches against teams in the top 25 of our rankings. 10 of those games had fewer than three goals with eight having fewer than two as Spain recorded seven 1-0 wins, including five such scores in the 11 friendlies in that sample.
England are unbeaten in their last 15 matches but the quality faced in most of those matches doesn’t compare to this game. Their unbeaten record on the road is also up to 11 games, which ties their longest unbeaten away streak since 1990, but they’ve lost their last three matches (at all venues) against teams in the top 10 of our rankings. Aside from Wayne Rooney no other player in the England squad has scored more than three international goals and it is a squad that lacks experience (and quality).
Neither Vicente Del Bosque nor Roy Hodgson are managers who like to over-commit and we may well see a similar pattern as in that last meeting four years ago where Spain dominate but we see a game of few chances. Under 2.5 Goals is short price at 4/6 but Under 1.5 should offer good value at 2/1. However, we expect Spain to shade the match and while their price of 3/4 to win doesn’t look fantastic we’re happy to go with the 1-0 Correct Score.
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