Wales vs Spain Preview: Enrique’s side won’t face Bale at the Principality

Luis Enrique takes his Spain side to Cardiff on Thursday night to face Ryan Giggs’s Wales in an international friendly at the Principality Stadium.

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has been ruled out of the clash with the muscle injury he sustained during Los Blancos’ defeat to Alavés last Saturday.

Thursday 11th October, 19:45 KO GMT, Principality Stadium, Cardiff.

Form Guide:

Ryan Giggs has overseen an uplift in performances since taking over from Chris Coleman in March but a disappointing defeat in Denmark in their last outing will still be fresh in the minds of the players and coaching staff. The hosts have only won one of their last four home games but will play their first game at the Principality Stadium in 7 years.

Spain have won both games since Luis Enrique was appointed as manager, including the 2-1 win over England at Wembley and the 6-0 mauling of World Cup runners up, Croatia. In fact, if you take out Spain’s shoot-out loss at the hands of Russia in the summer, Spain haven’t lost a game in 90 minutes since their defeat to Italy at Euro 2016.

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Head to Head:

The pair last faced each other in 1985 when a brace from Ian Rush and a scissor kick from Mark Hughes saw Wales run out 3-0 winners over their opponents.

Overall, Wales and Spain have met each other five times in all competitions with that 3-0 win in Wrexham in 1985 being Wales’ only victory. The only friendly these two have played in ended in a 1-1 draw in 1982.

 

Ones to Watch:

In Bale’s absence, there could be a chance to see Harry Wilson, currently on loan from Liverpool at Derby County. The attacking midfielder netted an astonishing free kick in the Rams’ Carabao Cup tie at Old Trafford last month and has said ‘I’ll be putting my name forward’ should any dead ball opportunities come about. Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu impressed hugely in Wales’ win over Ireland in September but a massive test faces him against arguably one of the best midfields in world football.

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Iago Aspas is back in the Spain squad in the place of Diego Costa and the Celta Vigo forward will be looking to put things right. It was his penalty miss against Russia that spelt the end of Spain’s World Cup campaign but the former Liverpool man did notch on his last visit to the UK with his country in Spain’s 2-2 draw with England in 2016.

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