Spain vs. France bold predictions: Why Sergio Busquets could be UEFA Nations League final difference-maker


The first piece of silverware of the new season is up for grabs Sunday as France face Spain in the UEFA Nations League final. Following two thrilling semifinals that saw these two emerge victorious over Belgium and Italy, respectively, the stage is set for an intriguing contest. Here’s how to watch Sunday’s final.

And here are three things to keep an eye on.

1. France revert to type

What was all the more remarkable about France’s comeback from two goals down to beat Belgium in Turin on Wednesday was how out of type it felt. A team with Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba playing front foot, aggressive football? Not for nothing did L’Equipe label the revival as “extraordinary as it was unexpected” with La Voix Du Nord adding that the result had been “staggering [and] surprising.” It has been a long time indeed since Didier Deschamps’ side have played with such elan.

In that second half, you could see a blueprint for a France side of the future. Mbappe and Karim Benzema were not just lights out in front of goal, without the ball they were leading a press that hemmed the Belgians into their own half, forcing them to go long to Romelu Lukaku and/or concede possession, often near their goal. According to Wyscout tracking data, Belgium lost possession near their goal on 30 occasions in their 3-2 loss. Of those, 22 came in the second half.

France’s high press leaves Belgium with few easy options to get up the pitch

The image above is a sight all too rarely seen in the France side. With the front three pushed high up, the midfielders behind them resolve to push Belgium back into their defensive third, leaving precious few ways to escape. Even the left back in the corner of the shot is not really an option with Pogba pushing towards. Teams have become used…

Source : cbssports

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