England starting lineup (3-5-2)
Pickford; Gomez, Maguire, Stones; Trippier, Henderson, Lingard, Dele, Shaw; Rashford, Kane
Spain starting lineup (4-4-2):
De Gea; Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Alonso; Busquets, Saul, Thiago, Isco; Aspas, Rodrigo
One more week to go until proper football returns. In its stead, we have more Nations League to deal with, which is surely important because its got a proper name. We used to call them Meaningless Friendlies, but apparently UEFA didn’t like that. So now we call them Nations League and that means instant credibility and the potential to “overshadow” the World Cup, or some such, eventually.
Why the new European Nations League (which starts today) is a good thing for football and how it could overshadow the World Cup if/when it goes global. Me @ESPNFC https://t.co/Q66hM5fnl0— Simon Kuper (@KuperSimon) September 6, 2018
In any case, today’s exercise in semi-meaninglessness is England versus Spain — among others, but this is pretty much the only one we even remotely care about — one a budding superpower of football, the other clutching on the faint glories of the past and hoping that star-power alone will carry them. Weirdly, England are not the latter in this case.
Gareth Southgate named an almost unchanged squad for this game from the World Cup (minus any injuries or (un)official international retirements).
Julen Lopetegui Luis Enrique made multiple changes from the squad that lost in Russia, to Russia, with not much love.
Yes, there are far more Chelsea players in the Spain squad, four (Azpilicueta, Alonso, Arrizabalaga, Álvaro Morata), than there are in the England squad (Ruben Loftus-Cheek), but that’s the Premier League for you.
This post will be updated later with the starting lineups. For now, here’s what you need to know.
ENGLAND vs. SPAIN (Nations League A, Group 4)
Who: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (8 caps) vs. Álvaro Morata (23), César Azpilicueta (22), Marcos Alonso (1), Kepa Arrizabalaga (1)
When: Saturday, September 8, 2018, 19:45 BST; 2:45pm EDT
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); UniMás (USA); elsewhere
Online: Sky Go (UK); ESPN+ (USA)