Spain to get one over rivals France
European powerhouses Spain and France will meet in the San Siro on Sunday evening to crown the UEFA Nations League champions of 2021. Though the competition format is much derided, there was little evidence to suggest that players or management shared those sentiments during the semis in midweek. La Furia Roja made the most of Euro 2020 winners Italy going down to 10 men by edging them out by a 2-1 scoreline, and Les Bleus roared back from two down at half-time to beat Belgium 3-2. A more complete performance by Luis Enrique's men, plus an extra day of recuperation, stands them in better stead. Read our preview here:
F. Torres always scores
Though unrelated to legendary striker Fernando Torres, namesake Ferran has continued his hot scoring streak with Manchester City and his national side, netting both goals in midweek against a normally imperious Azzurri backline. Deployed on the right flank of the front three, he always seems to find a yard of space beyond the last defender, expertly sweeping home at the far post or with his head. He did limp off in that triumph, but it seemed to be precautionary. Elsewhere, Enrique will stick with the same starting XI, and youngster Gavi impressed with his tackling in midfield on his debut.
Karim expectations on his shoulders
Whilst the Belgian defence under Roberto Martínez are always accommodating against similarly talented forward lines, it was still a stirring comeback for Didier Deschamps' men, who rode their luck with a disallowed goal for the Red Devils just prior to left wing-back Theo Hernandez's injury time winner. Almost every outfielder turned around a woeful first half to play closer to their true abilities, and none moreso than Karim Benzema, who continues to roll back the years with some selfless play and deadly strikes. Pau Torres and Aymeric Laporte, the latter of whom could've played for L'Hexagone, have plenty to fear, especially if Kylian Mbappé can continue to shrug off his woes at PSG.
Do the hokey Koke
Though many see this encounter as a glorified friendly, there is still a lot of pride and places in the starting XIs at stake on both stacked rosters. 24 hours more recovery time should see Enrique's men win the endurance test, and with it, the trophy. bet365 have odds of 2.00 for them to do just that by any means.