Spain vs England - Ramos braced for testing night against Kane and England

Posted Monday, October 15, 2018 by PA

Spain vs England - Ramos braced for testing night against Kane and England

Spain skipper Sergio Ramos is expecting a tough night against England and pinpointed star striker Harry Kane as player that could thrive in LaLiga.

After being held to a 0-0 draw behind closed doors in Croatia on Friday, the Three Lions’ Nations League campaign continues in Seville.

Luis Enrique’s Spain are sure to provide a stern test for an England side they defeated 2-1 at Wembley in last month’s Group A4 opener.

But Gareth Southgate’s side nearly snatched a point that night and Real Madrid defender Ramos is expecting a difficult evening at Real Betis’ Estadio Benito Villamarin.

“Well, we know that their level of difficulty is very high, it’s incredible,” said the 32-year-old, who will be playing his 160th appearance for his country.

“We know we have got a fantastic national team in front of us in England.

“Even though we played a great game I thought at Wembley, there’s always things you can improve and tomorrow we have another opportunity to do this, to do a great game against players of fantastic, highest level.

“They were semi-finalists (at the World Cup), with a lot of personality despite being a very young national team.

“They have got very great virtues. Offensively they’re very dangerous.

“Harry Kane, we hope he has… well, we are going to try to keep his scoring drought going because that would be a good sign for us.”

Ramos, so often the pantomime villain, is wary of the threat posed by some of England’s stars, with the Spain centre-back highlighting Kane despite the Spurs striker failing to score in six successive international appearances.

Asked if any of the Three Lions players had the technical capabilities to play in LaLiga, the World Cup and European Championship winner said: “Well, I am very impressed by all of them.

“You maybe concentrate on the physical in the Premier League, but there is also very important technical players.

“I’ll start with Harry Kane. He’s a physically fantastic striker, but also technically he surprises you. He might surprise a lot of people, but not me.

“He’s great technically but there’s also other technical players who are dangerous and I can assure you we’ve been studying them, watching them on videos.”

Meanwhile, England boss Southgate believes the Premier League started too early this season on the back of the World Cup in Russia.

Questions have been asked as to whether a number of players who went deep into the tournament are now struggling with tiredness having not been afforded a proper rest.

Three Lions captain Kane has been constantly knocking back suggestions that he is fatigued, while Southgate lost five members of his current squad through injury.

The English top flight returned on August 10, a week before LaLiga and with Serie A starting eight days later and the Bundesliga a full fortnight on.

Southgate said the Premier League is suffering as a result of returning just 26 days after the World Cup final.

“I think it’s psychological freshness, rather than physical. Everyone adapts their training load appropriately,” he said when asked if he felt players had started the season more slowly than in other years.

“But I think when you see the league, there are probably a lot of teams that haven’t started yet at the level when they are at their maximum.

“There have been lots of injuries across our league, I don’t know about the rest of Europe.

“It is a balance. I don’t really understand why our league started so early, but they did, so it is a really difficult situation for the clubs.”

Kane has not scored in his last six England games, again drawing a blank in Friday’s 0-0 Nations League draw with Croatia.

The 25-year-old was sporting heavy strapping on his ankle ahead of England’s training session at Ciudad Deportiva Luis del Sol – the training base of LaLiga side Real Betis – on the eve of the match.

But Southgate played down any injury concerns surrounding the World Cup golden boot winner and also confirmed Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will replace the suspended John Stones for the Spain test.

“Joe Gomez will be coming in for John,” he said. “He’s in really good form for his club. His matches for us, against Spain and Brazil, have been really polished performances.

Southgate did remain tight-lipped, however, on who would play in midfield in place of Jordan Henderson, who is also banned.

Harry Winks is a contender to win just his second senior cap as England seek their maiden win in the Nations League.

Spain will progress to the final stages of the competition with a victory and have won all three games under new boss Enrique – scoring 12 goals in the process.

England, meanwhile, have just one point and Southgate urged his players to be more brave this time around as they look to ease any fears of relegation out of League A.

“Spain have a slightly different style to Croatia,” he said.

“We know their technical ability, but we have to cause them problems with the ball. We can’t just defend for 90 minutes.

“We were more comfortable in the last 30 minutes at Wembley, but we have to do that earlier in the game, be brave enough to use the ball well, and cause them problems.”

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