Spain vs England

Pre-Match Analysis

England vs Spain. Two countries, not only considered a strong force in Europe, but as two of the greatest footballing nations in the world. With both sides having faced problems in the World Cup, they will surely be out to prove themselves to the world. The clash between England and Spain will be one that cannot be missed. Spain and England both are incredible sides, but this game will truly show which side is the greater force.

Spain, the 2010 world cup winners and 2012 European Championship winners, were considered to be the most formidable side in world football and until recently, were ranked 1st in the FIFA rankings. However, after a surprising World Cup, the world’s greatest national team, plummeted into 6th place in the FIFA rankings and are out to yet again, prove their dominance in football. Spain have, without a doubt, one of the most balanced, talented and experienced selection of players. Manchester United superstar David De Gea has undeniably proved himself as one of the most reliable keepers in modern day football and also with veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Spain have a strong choice of keepers to choose from. With world class defenders like Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, Spain certainly has experience and skill in the back line. The Spanish midfield is incredibly strong with players like Andres Iniesta, Juan Mata, Sergio Busquets and Isco as players that add a controlling touch to the game. Spain is known for its vast range of world class midfielders and with players of such a high calibre, they will almost certainly cause problems against England’s side. Spain also has a side with strong attackers. Diego Costa is still yet to prove his capabilities of being the main goal scorer for his side, but with talents like Morata and Muniain, Spain still has outstanding attackers.

England have remained undefeated since they failed to qualify from their group in the 2014 world cup and have proved that they are capable of playing an attacking and solid style of football. Young players have started to shine for England in recent years with the likings of Raheem Sterling, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley being just a few, England has some of the best young talents. With England and Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney confirmed not be starting and with Jamie Vardy also being an unlikely choice to start, Spurs striker Harry Kane seems like a likely option to lead England’s attack against Spain. England has a well-balanced side, with defenders like Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill, any attackers will have problems dealing with the English defence. With a midfield consisting of players like Jonjo Shelvey, Carrick and Barkley, England can easily put together a series of passes to lead up to a dangerous attack. England has proved that they can have an exciting attack. With players like Walcott, Sterling and Kane, England are defiantly a side capable of scoring goals.

Line-Up Analysis:

Spain: Casillas, Perez Martinez, Pique, Bartra, Alba, Busquets, Thiago, Iniesta, Fabregas, Costa, Alacer Garcia

England: Hart, Walker, Smalling, Jones, Bertrand, Delph, Carrick, Lallana, Barkley, Sterling, Kane

We're excited to see Barkley start since he can make a real difference to the squad and it's a chance for him to shine before the Euro's against a quality side. Kane will be spearheading England's attack which is probably a good thing given Rooney's current form - or lack thereof. We're excited to see how Sterling and Lallana will link up since this will probably be a partnership for the future. Smalling has been in excellent form coming into the match with Carrick in a holding midfield role to pick out Kane. This might be an effective strategy due to Kane's strength. We think that Butland should have been given a chance to start since he's a real talent for the future. On the Spain side the only surprise is Casillas starting ahead of De Gea, but that just might be due to this being a friendly. Well that's it from us for now, let's enjoy the match and hope England do us proud.

First Half Analysis:

 We got off to a sloppy start today with our main midfielder Carrick not having a touch of the ball until the 15th minute and that's unusual for him as with his club he can be very influential from the get go. Most likely due to a lack of minutes at club level. England saw very few minutes of the ball as Spain dominated possession grasping an astonishing 75%, even though they didn't make much out of it, leaving England trying to pluck out the rest. We played quite defensively and waited for them to attack us and then unleashed the pace and strength on the counter with sterling and Barkley playing a big piece in Roy Hodgson's tactics. The Manchester United centre back pair of Jones and Smalling were making some important interceptions and clearing out balls into a particularly goal deprived Diego Costa. There have been some bright sparks for England, but lets hope that there will be more in the second half.

Second Half Analysis

A brilliant performance from Spain in the second half giving them the deserved 2-0 win over England. 

Another tragic loss for England and I'm sure many of us will be disappointed. The second half was pretty much identical to the first. Spain continued to played possession and England struggled to get the ball. Both teams were very defensive and stopped anything from getting into the back of the net. Smalling seemed to stand out in the first few minutes. He stopped most attacks and saved Hart from getting into risky one on ones with Costa and Fabregas. 

I'm going to be honest the game did start to get a bit boring. No one was creating chances and there was not much action going on. To turn things around Spain made some crucial subs by putting on Santi Cazorla and Mario. 

Later on in the half the scoring line was opened!  Defensive error from the England defence caused Mario to take a stunning shot and put one in the back of the net. To get back into the game England had to work hard. They created more chances and kept more possession in the final few minutes. It was all looking good until Spain went on a counter attack. Nilito went in for a shot which was cleared by Phill Jones however, a header from a Spanish midfielder gave the ball to Fabregas. With Fabregas being Fabregas, he put a lovely pass through to Cazorla putting him through and my word what a finish by Cazorla! Hart stood still because he knew he couldn't do much. 

There was some debate on the second goal being offside. Hart did argue with the linesman but he did not call it. Overall great performance from Spain and a disappointment for England fans.

Overall Analysis

Okay, so things didn't go as well as we had hoped. This was our first defeat since in Brazil against Uruguay. It was also our first tough opponent since the World Cup and that clearly showed in our performance. We had a great undefeated run, but we have shown today that against the big teams, it will be hard to even clinch a draw. Overall, Spain outplayed us, but this is a reality check for us and hopefully this will encourage us to work hard for the Euros if we want to win any games. Let's hope for a better overall performance on Tuesday against France at Wembley Stadium where we are likely to come up against Manchester United stars Morgan Schneiderlein and Anthony Martial, and ex-United player Paul Pogba.

After the devastating events that happened in Paris, we'd like to ask you all to #PrayForParis


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