The UEFA Nations League Final will kick off at the famous San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy this Sunday, October 10th when France takes on Spain. The soccer tournament is one of the newest out there as this is just its second edition. Founded in 2018, the UEFA Nations League is held every two years for European men’s national teams.
The competition basically replaces international friendly games and is regarded as a major tournament by UEFA. The winners receive a trophy and cash prize with Portugal capturing the first tournament at home in 2019 with a 1-0 win over the Dutch.
Spain made it to this year’s final by edging reigning European champions Italy 2-1 in the semifinals. The win also snapped the Italian national record of 37 games without a loss. Just 24 hours later, current world champions France fought back from a 2-0 half-time deficit to get past top-ranked Belgium 3-2 thanks to a last-minute winner by Theo Hernandez.
Reaching the Nations League Final is a huge boost to both teams as France were knocked out of this summer’s Euro 2020 event rather early and Spain was eliminated in the semifinals of a tournament for the first time ever during the same competition.
Ferran Torres of Spain scored both of his squad’s goals in the final-four win over Italy but later left the pitch due to an injury. However, he’s expected to be back in the lineup for the final. On the injury front for France, Kylian Mbappe is back in the side after missing his team’s 2-0 victory over Finland last month.
The Spanish team is as follows
Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Man. United), Robert Sánchez (Brighton), Unai Simón (Athletic)
Defenders: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Eric García (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Man. City), Iñigo Martínez (Athletic), Pedro Porro (Sporting CP), Sergio Reguilón (Tottenham), Pau Torres (Villarreal)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Pablo Fornals (West Ham), Gavi (Barcelona), Bryan Gil (Tottenham), Koke (Atlético), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Rodri (Manchester City), Sergi Roberto (Barcelona)
Forwards: Yeremi Pino (Villarreal), Pablo Sarabia (Sporting CP), Ferran Torres (Man. City)
The French team consists of:
Goalkeepers: Benoît Costil (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Léo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernández (Bayern), Theo Hernández (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris), Jules Koundé (Sevilla), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern), Raphaël Varane (Man. United)
Midfielders: Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Paul Pogba (Man. United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurélien Tchouaméni (Monaco), Jordan Veretout (Roma)
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Moussa Diaby (Leverkusen), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Anthony Martial (Man. United), Kylian Mbappé (Paris)
The last time the two teams met, Spain blanked France 2-0 in an international friendly in March of 2017. The two nations have faced off against each other a total of 35 times since 1922 with Spain holding the edge at 16 wins, 12 losses and 7 draws for a winning percentage of 55.7 and have lost just two of the last nine encounters. They have also outscored France 63-37 in those contests.
Overall, France enters the final with two wins and three draws in their last five games but were beaten in a penalty shootout by Switzerland at the Euro 2020 tournament in June following their 3-3 draw. The team has six wins and a draw in the current Nations League tournament while outscoring their opponents 19-11.
Spain has three victories a loss and a draw in their past five outings but the draw turned into a penalty-shootout loss to Italy in the semifinals of Euro 2020 this summer. They have four wins, two draws and a loss in this Nations League tournament and have outscored the opposition 15-4.
According to the bet365 oddsmakers, France is favored to hoist the Nations league Trophy at +145 with Spain at +190 and a 90-minute draw at +220.
Other wagers can be made on the match at bet365 such as full-time result, both teams to score, total goals, total goals-odd-even, the half-time score, over/under, method of victory, and correct score etc.