Author: Glen Maxwell
Published: 14:17 10/11/2015
Manchester United and Spain midfielder Juan Mata has revealed he is confident that England will be one of the main contenders to win Euro 2016 - ahead of this weekend’s friendly against the Three Lions in Alicante.
Mata - who grabbed his fourth goal of the season in the Red Devils’ win over West Brom at the weekend - is looking forward to Friday’s friendly against Roy Hodgson’s men and has backed England to be one of the stand-out performers in next summer’s European Championships in France.
Spain are 7/10 favourites to win the International friendly at Betfair, who price England at 19/5 to beat Spain and also offer best price 27/10 for the draw. Betfair also list Spain at 6/1 to win Euro 2016 and complete a third successive European Championships triumph, while England are available at 11/1 to win Euro 2016.
Spain Await “Iconic” England Fixture
England were unbeaten on their way to Euro 2016 qualification - winning all ten of their games in Group E - and that fact isn’t lost on Mata, who is relishing the task of taking on the Three Lions at the Estadio Jose Pico Perez.
The 27-year-old said: “Playing this match is exciting for us too. It’s an iconic fixture in Spain.
“England, in my opinion, will be challenging for the title in France next summer. The way they played in the qualifiers and the players they have mean it is a very good test for us.”
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Three Lions Face Tough Tests
While England might have qualified with a 100 percent win record, their Euro 2016 preparations look set to get a lot tougher ahead of the tournament kicking off next summer - as their trip to Spain is followed by the visit of France next Tuesday.
Friendlies against World Cup winners Germany and Holland tthen follow in March, but Three Lions boss Hodgson isn’t taking any of their pre-tournament games lightly.
Hodgson told the FA’s website: "Our so-called friendlies aren't friendlies, they're very, very important games."