England v Spain

Luis Enrique uses just five players from the starting side against Russia

Luis Enrique uses just five players from the starting side against Russia

TOBY MELVILLE

REUTERS

With Piqué and Silva retiring, Alba not chosen for the squad and Costa out for personal reasons, the new coach’s Spain side rang the changes for the Uefa Nations League match.

Luis Enrique’s Spain side is here. And it’s clear from the starting XI who ran out at Wembley to face England in the Uefa Nations League that the generational change is now a reality. Luis Enrique’s first ever Spain XI was as follows: De Gea; Marcos Alonso, Ramos, Nacho, Carvajal; Busquets, Thiago, Saúl; Aspas, Isco and Rodrigo. And it’s worth highlighting that the team contains just five of the players who started Spain’s disastrous round of 16 game against Russia at the World Cup. Only De Gea, Ramos, Nacho, Busquets and Isco.

Luis Enrique's new Spain side

There are a variety of reasons for the change. Veterans Piqué and Silva announce their retirement from international football in the summer, meaning Nacho came in for the Barcelona defender.

In the other changes, Marcos Alonso started at left-back. Many expected the Chelsea man to be at the World Cup, but Lopetegui left him out. Against England though, Alonso took Alba’s place, after Luis Enrique left the Barcelona man out of the squad. While the team has changed, it should be noted that Marcos Alonso is the only player in the starting XI today who wasn’t at the World Cup with Spain.

Finally, Rodrigo Moreno started up front, taking Diego Costa’s place. Costa was expected to play, but pulled out to be with his heavily pregnant wife.

 

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