Football | Nations League action England, Republic of Ireland and Wales | Preview and Odds

England’s next Nations League assignment is one of the trickiest possible in the tournament – an away trip to Spain.

Gareth Southgate’s men picked up their first point of the new tournament in a 0-0 draw with Croatia on Friday, but they need to win here to keep any faint qualification prospects alive.

With Ireland taking on Wales on Tuesday too, our football betting expert has taken a look at the best bets.

England need to improve against red-hot Spain

The World Cup seems a long time ago for Gareth Southgate and England – the tepid draw in Croatia means it’s now four competitive games for the Three Lions without victory.

While those games came against Croatia, Belgium, Spain, and Croatia again will provide some explanation, England’s run goes a long way to confirm what most of us thought about that World Cup run – Southgate’s side are good enough to beat plenty, but still a long way away from the top table of international football.

They travel to Seville on Monday night to face a team they haven’t beaten since 2011, and who beat them 2-1 at Wembley last month.

England are 5/1 with to win this one.

While Spain endured a below-par World Cup, being eliminated by Russia in the last-16, they have rediscovered their mojo under new boss Luis Enrique.

La Furia Roja have three wins from three under the former Barcelona manager, and scored 10 times in wins over Croatia and Wales.

They may not find quite as much space amongst England’s better drilled defence, but they have a forward line the Three Lions can only dream of.

Expect the Spanish to have plenty of the ball and create a lot of chances – and I think it should be a fairly routine win for Enrique’s men.

England looked toothless against Croatia, and they may struggle to break down a defence superbly marshalled by Sergio Ramos.

Back Spain to win to nil at 2/1.

Gloom to continue for Martin O’Neill and Ireland

Tuesday evening sees another meeting between the Republic of Ireland and Wales – their fourth clash in a little over 18 months, across World Cup qualifying and the Nations League.

Almost exactly a year ago, it was Irish eyes smiling as James McClean sealed a 1-0 win in Cardiff, pushing Martin O’Neill’s men into the World Cup play-offs.

Since then, O’Neill has had a miserable time of it – humiliated 5-1 by Denmark in the play-offs, and with just one win in the eight matches since.

Reports of fallouts between the players and assistant boss Roy Keane haven’t helped, and Ireland need a result to avoid being relegated from League B with a game to spare.

Ireland are 11/10 to win here.

Wales comfortably beat Ireland 4-1 in the opening game of the Nations League, though have fallen to defeats to Denmark and Spain since.

On their last visit to Dublin, the match finished 0-0, and with a point likely good enough for Wales to avoid Nations League demotion, I think we’ll see another stalemate.

I suggest backing a draw at 2/1, though with Wales the most likely side to win for me, a Wales/Draw no bet also tempts at 11/8.




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