Both England and Spain are coming off the back of dominating victories against Scotland and Macedonia respectively in World Cup qualifying matches, so it is likely that both sides wouldn’t go into this tie with the same vigour, given that it is only a friendly.
Gareth Southgate will be without Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and Manchester United Captain Wayne Rooney. Both Kane and Rooney picked up injuries during the international break and the latter was released from the squad yesterday after picking up a knee injury and missing training. Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson is set to captain the side in his place. Jamie Vardy will likely get to start ahead of Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and the young Marcus Rashford.
Southampton fullback Ryan Bertrand also missed training on Monday due to an injury, but unlike Rooney, he hasn’t left the squad and was subject to more tests. It remains to be seen whether he gets the nod ahead of Danny Rose or possibly Kyle Walker. Arsenal’s on-loan midfielder Jack Wilshere could also start alongside Henderson in the middle of the park.
The match is essentially seen as the end of Gareth Southgate’s short stint as the manager of the Three Lions and suffice to say it has been a reasonably successful one. In the past three games, his side have won twice, scored 5 goals in total and haven’t conceded, but the manager admitted that he would like some clarity regarding his future soon.
According to the Independent, he said “I think [we need that] for everybody because we’ve got the European Under-21 Championships to prepare for and the seniors have got the next round of games to prepare for. Everybody is going to want to know by the end of November, middle of December where everything’s heading so that we can decide who is responsible for which parts of the organisation’s work. Whichever body of work that is remains to be seen.”
Julen Lopetegui has had a good start since taking over from Vincente Del Bosque after the European Championships. They have only conceded once in 5 games and scored 17 in that time, most of which came in an 8-0 mauling of Liechtenstein.
Going into this tie, he will be without a number of key players in the form of Chelsea’s Diego Costa, who was released after picking up an injury, Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, Sergio Ramos and Barcelona trio Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba. This means that former Liverpool attacker Iago Aspas and Manchester United midfielder Ander Hererra will get the nod to feature at Wembley.
Notable absences in all areas of the pitch will allow a lot of the fringe players to get a start. Nacho, Barta and Roberto will likely get to start in defence alongside Cesar Azpilicueta. Thiago Alcantara and Koke will also get to start alongside the irreplaceable Busquets in midfield and Manchester City’s David Silva and United’s Juan Mata will be on either side of a revitalised Artiz Aduriz in the Spanish attack.