Spain v England – Estadio Jose Rico Perez, Alicate at 20:00 live on ITV
Spain host England this evening in Alicante as they start to make their preparations for next summers European Championships. With qualification secured with ease by both teams, now is the chance for the players to make their case to be part of the squad next summer.
The Euro 2012 champions won their last 8 matches in their qualifying group having suffered a shock defeat in their second match to Slovakia. With 9 wins and 1 loss, they finished 5 points clear of Slovakia in 2nd place conceding just 3 goals along the way.
At the other end of the pitch they had no problems finding the back of the net either, scoring an average of 2.3 goals per game in qualifying and look in good shape coming into this friendly.
La Roja do have some selections issues however with David Silva, Isco and Sergio Ramos all withdrawing through injury. Diego Costa is expected to start but has just 1 international goal in 9 for Spain. Juan Mata could get a rare chance to impress.
England have a run of ‘difficult’ friendlies leading in to the finals next year after a very simple qualification campaign which saw them win all 10 of their matches. They finished 9 points clear of Switzerland in 2nd scoring 3.1 goals per game conceding just 3 times. Apart from Switzerland, who didn’t cause England any trouble, it was an easy group but winning all 10 games is still an achievement.
Roy Hodgson will be hoping that friendlies against Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands will provide tougher tests for his players, preparing them for next summer.
An area that may cause concern for the England boss is in attack. Wayne Rooney, who will not play this evening, is the only member of the squad with more than 3 goals to his name for England….enter Jamie Vardy. The Leicester City striker has 9 goals in his last 9 Premier League matches and can stake a claim to a place in next years squad with a solid performance.
Spain are 1.76 favourties to win in Alicante which is too short for a side that has lost 3 of their last 4 friendlies and are known to only really play their best football when it counts. England look far better value at a big 5.56 despite being away from home and without a number of players. I don’t expect Spain to take this that seriously so I’d be wary of backing the hosts.
England are defensively strong, not conceding in their last 4 outings but have failed to score in Spain in their last 3 meetings. These stats point to Under 2.5 goals and even at 1.65 it represents some value.
On the Asian Handicap betting market, due to Spain’s short price, England are a good bet +0.75 or +0.5 at 1.90 and 2.21 respectively.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: England +0.75 at 1.90
Prices correct at time of writing.
Join Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker, where winners are welcomed!