Off the back of their fantastic World Cup exploits in Russia during the summer, England begin their UEFA Nations League campaign with a home tie against Spain on Wembley Stadium tomorrow.
Gareth Southgate’s side surprised many on their way to the semi-finals before bowing out to Croatia, and he will be keen for the Three Lions to build on that in this new competition, while Spain will be eager to banish any memories of their miserable World Cup campaign.
Our football betting expert gives you his best bets ahead of the Wembley encounter.
Three Lions roar back into action
All eyes will be on England to see how they fare in their opening game since their semi-final exit at the World Cup.
Gareth Southgate has by and large stuck with the team that got them to the last four in Russia, though there are chances to impress for Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw after their solid starts to the Premier League season.
England are 7/4 to start the UEFA Nations League with a win.
Spain looking to bounce back
It’s fair to say Spain’s World Cup will not live long in the memory after Julien Lopetegui’s departure on the eve of the tournament to Real Madrid.
Fernando Hierro was in temporary charge in Russia but couldn’t inspire the side, and following their early exit, Luis Enrique is the man now charged with reviving their fortunes.
Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata has been recalled despite an average start to the Premier League campaign and he is likely to lead the line in Diego Costa’s absence after his withdrawal from the squad for personal reasons.
The Spaniards are 13/8 favourites to come out on top at Wembley.
Goals expected at Wembley
This is a tough opening Nations League encounter for both sides and there are usually goals when these two teams met – the last goalless draw being all the way back at Euro ’96.
Spain are not the force that they once were and they are minus the retired David Silva, and with Costa not travelling as well the game is certainly there for England’s taking, and the bet I like the look of is an England win and both teams to score, which is available at an attractive 5/1.
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