Azpilicueta aiming to end England’s Nations League hopes with Spain victory

Cesar Azpilicueta believes Spain are in the perfect place to end England’s Nations League hopes.

Spain have scored 12 goals in three games under new boss Luis Enrique to put their 2018 World Cup disappointment firmly behind them.

The former European and world champions overwhelmed Wales in Cardiff on Thursday night and now host England in Seville on Monday.

“The best way to prepare for Monday was to play a good game against Wales,” Chelsea defender Azpilicueta said.

“Improving what we did wrong in the last two games and trying to get into the best shape possible for England.

“We know what to expect and England have to win if they want to qualify for the final four (of the Nations League) in June.

“It’s in our hands to close that group and by winning the three points it will be ours.”

After crashing out at the last-16 stage of the World Cup in Russia, Enrique’s tenure began with a 2-1 Nations League win over England at Wembley last month.

Spain have since scored 10 goals with handsome 6-0 and 4-1 victories over Croatia and Wales respectively, with no fewer than seven different players on the scoresheet.

Spain's players applaud the fans after their victory over England
Spain’s players applaud the fans after their victory over England (Adam Davy/PA)

“We know England are a very strong team,” Azpilicueta said.

“They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and have young players.

“They have been working a few years together and play in a very good way. Obviously we are aware of that.

“But we are lucky in Spain to have so many players that will fight for their place in the squad.

“We are pleased because we are coming from a disappointment in the World Cup and we know we have to recover our place.”

Wolves defender Jonny became the latest Premier League player to represent Spain in Cardiff.

Jonny made his debut as a 63rd-minute substitute for Azpilicueta and had special reason to celebrate his first senior cap.

“It has been a very nice week for me,” Jonny told Spanish sports newspaper AS. “Becoming a father was beautiful and then to make my debut here, with these team-mates who made everything easy for me from the beginning, was an immense joy.

“I was surprised by the call but the coach has worked with me before (at Celta).

“He knows that I can play for him in any defensive position, and for me that is also a good thing.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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