Spain vs France LIVE: Nations League final team news, line-ups and more tonight

<p>France players and staff during their warm-up before the Nations League final</p>

France players and staff during their warm-up before the Nations League final

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The second ever Nations League final takes place this evening as Spain go head-to-head with France at the San Siro in Milan.

Following Portugal’s triumph against the Netherlands in the inaugural final of the competition in 2019, another heavyweight clash will decide this year’s winners, and both the Spanish and French have certainly earned their spots in this showpiece match. On Wednesday night, Spain ended the remarkable unbeaten run of European champions Italy for a 2-1 win to avenge their defeat in this summer’s Euro 2020 semi-finals, while France battled from two goals down to overcome Belgium 3-2 in the last minute on Thursday.

For former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, this evening’s game represents an opportunity for his new-look Spain side to build upon their fine run at the Euros and claim the country’s first piece of silverware since the 2012 European Championship. France boss Didier Deschamps, meanwhile, will see this clash as a chance for his team to move past their shock exit to Switzerland in the last 16 of this summer’s Euros. The decisive penalty miss in that meeting’s shootout came from Kylian Mbappe, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward scored the equaliser against Belgium from the spot this week.

Follow live updates from the 2021 Nations League final between Spain and France, below.


Spain vs France: Nations League final

Antoine Griezmann will become the ninth French player to reach 100 caps tonight, joining his manager Didier Deschamps, as well as Lilian Thuram, Hugo Lloris, Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly, Olivier Giroud, Zinedine Zidane and Patrick Vieira.

Griezmann would also overtake Michel Platini and become France’s third highest scorer outright if he nets tonight.

“It’s going to be a special night,” he said. “It’s a game we have to win. There’s a trophy to win at the end so we will do everything to succeed. We have the right team to do it.

“Admittedly, a 100th appearance is always quite special. The club of players with 100 caps is a very select one so I’m very proud and hopefully the evening will end on a good note too.”

(AFP via Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 19:30


Spain vs France: Nations League final

Spain beating France to win the Nations League would take on extra significance for defender Aymeric Laporte. The Manchester City player chose to switch nationalities and represent La Roja before the Euros despite being born in France and playing over 50 times for Les Blues in the youth ranks.

Laporte qualified for Spanish citizenship as he moved to Spain in 2010 to join Athletic Bilbao’s academy, and was able to switch nationalities because he had yet to make a senior appearance for France, despite being called up to the senior squad on three occasions. The 27-year-old will face the country of his birth for the first time tonight.

“It will be a very special meeting for me but, as I have always said, I am very focused,” he said this week. “I am 100% or even 300% with Spain. I’ll give it my all. I will face former team-mates (from France’s youth teams) but the only thing I think about is winning this final, that’s the most important thing for me right now.”

(Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 19:20


Spain vs France: Nations League final

Here’s what the two teams are playing for tonight. France and Spain have won three World Cups and five European Championships between them, but this would be a first Nations League trophy for both and a chance to add another major honour to their respective trophy cabinets.

(Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 19:08


Spain vs France: Nations League final

Spain manager Luis Enrique: “Look at France’s squad, and their starting eleven; they play for top clubs and they are stand-out players: the best squad in the world. The three players they have up front [Mbappe, Benzema and Griezmann] are superb and capable of turning any game.

“But we won’t change anything about our attitude or our ideas. We played and beat the best team from the Euro and what better now than to play the reigning world champions?

“I want to win a national title with Spain, that’s something the majority of us have not done. A reminder of how it feels to win a tournament would be good for everyone involved.”

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 19:03


Spain vs France: Nations League final

France manager Didier Deschamps: “It’s impossible to deprive Spain of the ball. It’s in their DNA to have the majority of possession. You can press but not just any old how. They’re capable of passing the ball out even under pressure. They also pressed Italy very well when they lost the ball.

“The best tonic is winning. The evening after the semi-final there was a lot of joy and happiness and it meant there was a lighter mood the next day. It gives everyone confidence.

“Spain have maintained the quality of their play. We have more experience but that gives us no guarantees. We’ll need to have all the right ingredients in order to go out there and claim the trophy.”

(AFP via Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 18:53


Spain vs France: Nations League final

France team: Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Kimpembe; Pavard, Tchouameni, Pogba, T Hernandez; Griezmann; Mbappe, Benzema

And two changes for Deschamps, too! Presnel Kimpembe starts ahead of Lucas Hernandez on the left of the back three, while 21-year-old midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni replaces Adrien Rabiot. Tchouameni made an impact in France’s second-half comeback as a substitute on Wednesday.

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 18:42


Spain vs France: Nations League final

Spain team: Simon; Azpilicueta, Garcia, Laporte, Alonso; Busquets, Rodri, Gavi, Sarabia, F Torres, Oyarzabal

Two changes for Luis Enrique, with Eric Garcia coming in for Pau Torres in defence and Rodri replacing Koke in midfield.

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 18:39


Spain vs France: Nations League final

It was a game of two halves for France against Belgium on Wednesday. Didier Deschamps was facing a full-blown crisis when France went into half time 2-0 down and on the back of an abject display. But with the quality in the French team, it only takes a 20-minute spell in which their star names combines to blow the opposition away.

We saw that against Switzerland in the summer, even though Deschamps’ side went on to lose that match, and when Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba clicked against Belgium, Roberto Martinez’s team had no answer. Which France will we see tonight?

France predicted XI: Lloris; Kounde, Varane, L Hernandez; Pavard, Rabiot, Pogba, T Hernandez; Griezmann; Mbappe, Benzema

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 18:34


Spain vs France: Nations League final

Ferran Torres produced one of the best performances of his career with his two-goal display against Italy on Tuesday, but the forward’s night came to an end earlier than expected after he picked up an injury near the start of the second half. The 21-year-old is expected to be available tonight however, which will be a boost to Luis Enrique.

La Roja are without several would-be starters for the Nations League finals, with Pedri, Dani Olmo, Alvaro Morata and Jordi Alba all out injured. Torres certainly took his chance on Tuesday, as did 17-year-old Gavi and 18-year-old Yeremi Pino. Both are expected to play a part again tonight after bright debut displays, with Gavi set for his second start for the national team in Enrique’s midfield.

Spain predicted XI: Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Laporte, Pau Torres, Alonso: Gavi, Busquets, Koke; Sarabia, Torres, Oyarzabal

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 18:27


Spain vs France: Nations League final

Spain and France reached tonight’s Nations League final thanks to a pair of thrilling semi-finals on Tuesday and Wednesday. It almost felt like the encore that Euro 2020 deserved, and there was little drop off in terms of competitiveness or intensity. International football should always be fun, and let’s hope we get another entertaining match tonight.

(AFP via Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood10 October 2021 18:21


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