Romania vs Spain: Kepa starts over De Gea

first_imgSpain travel to Romania for their latest Euro 2020 qualifier, which takes place at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest on Thursday.La Roja have a perfect record so far in qualification, having edged Norway before easily beating Malta, the Faroe Islands and Sweden.Romania, meanwhile, sit third in Group F, but face an uphill task to qualify, having picked up six of their seven points against whipping boys Malta and the Faroes. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Game Romania vs Spain Date Thursday, September 5 Time 7:45pm BST / 2:45pm ET Stream (US) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream TUDN USA / UniMas fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be shown live on Sky Sports Football and can be streamed via Sky Go Extra. UK TV channel Online stream Sky Sports Football Sky Go Extra Squads & Team News Position Romania squad Goalkeepers Tatarusanu, Nita, Radu Defenders Chiriches, Grigore, Tosca, Benzar, Nedelcearu, Stefan, Rus Midfielders Maxim, Stanciu, Deac, Marin, Anton, Hagi, Cicaldau, Paun, Bordeianu Forwards Grozav, Keseru, Andone, Puscas Romania have been unable to select Nicusor Bancu and Cristian Ganea due to injury. The former had been named in the original squad but has since pulled out.Alexandru Chipciu, their most experienced midfielder, is banned after he was sent off against Malta.With a lack of goals in the squad, much will be expected of Claudiu Keseru and Reading’s George Puscas.Romania starting XI: Tatarusanu; Nedelcearu, Chiriches, Grigore, Tosca; Benzar, Deac, Marin, Stanciu; Keseru, Puscas Position Spain squad Goalkeepers De Gea, Kepa, Pau Lopez Defenders Carvajal, Llorente, Hermoso, Gaya, Ramos, Alba, Nunez Midfielders Busquets, Ceballos, Sarabia, Saul, Thiago, Suso, Rodri, Fabian, Parejo, Navas Forwards Alcacer, Oyarzabal, Rodrigo Spain boss Robert Moreno has had the luxury of being able to select all of his top stars for the double header against Romania and the Faroe Islands.Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata and Isco are among those who failed to make the squad, while Unai Nunez of Club Athletic and PSG midfielder Pablo Sarabia are hopeful of making their international bows in the days ahead.Sergio Ramos is a confirmed starter, despite a recent dip in form, but David de Gea faces a battle from Kepa Arrizabalaga for the No.1 spot.Spain starting XI: Kepa; Navas, Ramos, Llorente, Alba; Saul, Busquets, Fabian Ruiz; Ceballos, Rodrigo, AlcacerBetting & Match Odds Spain are 1/2 favourites to win this encounter with bet365 bet365 . Romania are priced up at 6/1 to cause an upset, while a draw is on offer at 18/5.Click here to see all of bet365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Thiago SpainSpain will seek to take another big step towards Euro 2020 on Thursday, when they go to Bucharest to face Romania.It is sure to be an emotional occasion for La Roja, with former boss Luis Enrique having announced last week that his daughter had lost a battle with illness – the reason he so abruptly stood down as national team coach earlier this year. Even before the first training session overseen by new coach Robert Moreno, who was previously Enrique’s assistant then caretaker boss, there was a poignant minute’s silence held by the national team staff.“It’s been a difficult week,” he admitted. “We’ll try to give some small joy at a very bad moment. It’s all we can do.”Moreno, meanwhile, admitted that he would be happy to go back to the previous arrangement, in which he was No.2. “I consider Luis a friend and this friendship comes before everything else,” he said. “If he wants to return one day, I will be delighted to step aside and work with him.”On the field, the 2008 and 2012 European champions have not missed a beat. Since losing successive Nations League matches to England and Croatia by a 3-2 scoreline in the autumn of 2018, they have picked up five successive victories.Their latest outing came in June, when they ran out 3-0 winners over Sweden, albeit all the goals came in the closing 30 minutes, with Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Morata both on target from the penalty spot.If Spain are well on course to qualify, Romania are at a low ebb. Although they currently lie third, this is a flattering position considering they have played both Malta and the Faroe Islands, who will surely prove the group’s whipping boys.Otherwise, they lost away in Sweden and were held to a 2-2 draw by Norway – hardly shocking results but not the type of form that will see them reclaim a spot at the finals after going to Euro 2016.It will take a big turnaround for the hosts, whose last qualifying match is in Madrid in November, to claim a positive result.last_img read more

Wonderful Weir helps City, WSL deliver statement of intent

first_img“It’s going to be a massive start isn’t it?” an excitable Jackie Groenen, one of Manchester United’s summer signings, told the Guardian this week, her interview making up just one of the huge FA Women’s Super League pull-out previews in this weekend’s national papers.And when a player like Groenen – who has a Euro 2017 winners’ medal, has played in huge UEFA Women’s Champions League fixtures for Bayern Munich and also featured in this summer’s World Cup final for the Netherlands as they lost to the USA – says a game is massive, you know it’s massive.For the teams, the opening weekend of the season is all about making a statement of your intent for on-field success. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream While for some time they struggled to do so, Manchester City did that at the Etihad as they hosted rivals United in the WSL’s first ever Manchester derby, defeating them 1-0 thanks to a sublime second half strike from Caroline Weir.But Saturday was, most importantly, a statement of intent from the FA themselves.For years, the FA have pondered how best to market the women’s game in England.When the Lionesses finished third at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the interest was clearly there, with the BBC claiming that 11.9 million viewers watched some part of their journey.This summer, that interest was even greater, with 11.7 million viewers tuning in just for England’s 2-1 defeat to the USA in the semi-finals. There could not have been greater pressure on the FA to capitalise on the momentum.Ellie Roebuck Manchester CityBut capitalise they did. Days after the Lionesses returned home from France, it was announced that launch of the FA Women’s Super League, boasting a new name after Barclays agreed a £10 million ($12.3m) deal to be the title sponsor, would coincide with the men’s international break.It’s opening fixtures were just as exciting: two London derbies on tomorrow’s agenda, with Arsenal hosting West Ham and Chelsea and Tottenham playing at Stamford Bridge, but Saturday was the main course.An attendance of over 20,000 was expected in the north west, set to smash the previous WSL record of 5,265, achieved by Brighton when they hosted Arsenal at the Amex back in April.By the time kick-off rolled around, some 31,213 filled the bottom and middle tiers of the Etihad stadium, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just one of many who turned up for the occasion.He will have been impressed with what he saw, too. While Solskjaer’s team are often criticised for their lacklustre approach to games, Casey Stoney’s side were by no means over-awed by the occasion that marked the club’s first ever WSL game.“It is all we have been talking about for three weeks: ‘Let’s smash City, get that out of the way’,” Groenen said before the game, tongue-in-cheek perhaps, but the attitude served United well as they created the better of the openings throughout the game.Jane Ross, a former Citizen herself, should have scored midway through the first half, though Ellie Roebuck pulled off a fantastic save – one that will have been all the more sweeter for her given England manager Phil Neville was on the sidelines.It was a moment of the highest quality that those casual fans tuning into a women’s football game for perhaps the first time – or one of the first times – will have been impressed with.Jackie Groenen Manchester United Manchester CityThe same can be said of the game’s opening and only goal. After watching United create a plethora of chances in the first half, Weir, Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie were left feeding off scraps for City.But just moments after half time, Weir produced another moment of quality worthy of such an occasion, sending a stunning strike from all of 25 yards beyond the reach of Mary Earps and into the top corner.It was a goal that deflated United massively as City, champions in 2016 and current holders of both the FA and League Cup, turned the screw and asserted their dominance over their newly-promoted rivals.”It’s only right that the club is supporting us by playing at the Etihad,” Steph Houghton told Goal earlier this week.”We’ve got people that want to come and watch us play. We won trophies last season, we’ve played really good football.”City weren’t at their best today, but they produced glimpses of quality that should keep fans coming back and help the FA tackle the attendance issue that has puzzled them for many years.last_img read more