Few would have predicted that England would advance further than Spain at the 2018 World Cup, but they did, so do England have the upper hand as the pair clash at Wembley in the first UEFA Nations League game on Saturday evening?
Outright UEFA Nations League Betting makes Spain no bigger than 4/1 favourite to win the tournament with Royal Panda, England available at a general 10/1. Betting for Saturday's match itself though, is a different story: The England v Spain betting finds it hard to split the sides.
Enrique’s New-Look Spain
It was a case of role reversal for Spain and England at Russia 2018, with Gareth Southgate’s camp a very happy one, and the Spain players clearly suffered from the ill-timed leak regarding manager Julen Lopetegui’s proposed move to Real Madrid immediately after the tournament.
Luis Enrique is now in charge and looking for a fresh start, following the international retirements of David Silva, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta - which means that there are barely any 2010 World Cup winners within the ranks going into this UEFA Nations League clash.
Sergio Ramos continues to lead the team into battle, although Sergio Busquets is the only other general from nearly a decade ago, with the new manager looking to bring in fresh faces and that includes Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso. He’s joined by club team-mates Alvaro Morata and Cesar Azpilicueta.
The nation is officially bored of the slow-paced tempo that was on display against Russia at the World Cup, with La Roja taking the lead, but then playing a negative brand of possession football, which failed to carve open determined opponents who managed to score an equaliser before triumphing on penalties.
England 15/8 to Win
England have a clearer identity and philosophy under Southgate, with the manager likely to persist with the 3-5-2 formation, that worked fairly effectively over the summer and saw his team reach the last four of World Cup 2018.
The home team are 15/8 to claim victory on Saturday evening with Royal Panda, plenty of continuity likely to be in evidence, although Ashley Young and Jamie Vardy are notable absentees and the former has been replaced by a younger Manchester United model in Luke Shaw.
We shouldn’t forget that Shaw has been part of things in the past before a wilderness couple of years at Old Trafford, although the defender is now illustrating why he was so highly-rated while playing as a teenager at Southampton.
Harry Maguire has started the campaign strongly for Leicester and he’s likely to be flanked by Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and John Stones, with the feel-good factor expected to continue for the England team.
Bet On Scoreline Markets
England were defensively sound at the World Cup and a 1-0 victory for the Three Lions has been priced at 13/2 with BetVictor, with this match potentially one in which Spain aim to adopt a new, attacking style of football under a new manager.
With La Roja meeting Croatia next week, they will be happy enough to land a point in this clash and move on to facing the Blazers in Elche, as all nations get used to this Nations League format - which provides an opportunity for teams to qualify for Euro 2020.
Player for player, Spain are clearly stronger but William Hill go 9/4 about the game ending in a draw - and that’s a very fair price considering that the two teams might cancel each other out at Wembley Stadium.