England v Spain – Saturday 11 November – Wembley (19:15)
With all the leagues starting to hot up, we turn our attention to the international break. The European countries are gearing up for the all important Euro tournament set to take place next year in Poland and Ukraine. This weekend sees to giants of world football go head to head as both managers look to make their final selections for the tournament.
England managed to secure their passage into the European tournament but some felt they were very unconvincing as they had some shaky results on route to qualification. England has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent times. Talisman Wayne Rooney received a straight red card for an awful tackle against Montenegro as they played to a 2-2 draw. This sparked frustration from Manager Fabio Capello as he contemplated leaving Rooney out the 23 man squad for the Euro Championship. To make matters worse England Captain John Terry is being investigated for a racist remark he made during Chelsea’s encounter with QPR. This has seemed to affect Terry’s performances of late and Capello has given the captains band to team mate Frank Lampard as he tries to keep the pressure off Terry. Rio Ferdinand has been dropped as he struggles to find his form and Capello has replaced him with youngster Phil Jones. England have got a lot of upcoming talent and Capello will be pleased with the likes of Adam Johnson, Chris Smalling and Kyle Walker all pushing for starting postions. England has not looked at the best in recent times and Capello will have to make some brave decisions before the opening of the tournament.
Spain are still proving to be the dominant force in world football as they continue to amaze fans with their attacking and crisp passing football. They secured their qualification in emphatic measures as they had a clean sweep, winning all their games, obtaining maximum points and having a goal difference of 20. Spain still top the world rankings and should go into next year’s tournament as favorites. Manager Vicente Del Bosque will have the daunting task of making his final selection for the European tournament as he has an array of talented as well as up and coming talent to choose from. On a positive note Andres Iniesta will return from a lengthily hamstring injury that kept him out of Spain’s last two qualifiers. Del Bosque stated that he will name his strongest squad for this encounter with the likes of Carlos Puyol, Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi all expected to feature. Confidence is high in the Spanish camp and the squad will be looking to emulate the same fate as the French did by winning both the World Cup and European Cup.
Both teams are going through different phases at the moment, but both teams will be out to win this encounter. England seems to be in some sort of disarray at the moment and this should give Spain the upper hand. The Spanish should get the victory.