Spain coach Luis Enrique says he and his gamers are treating Tuesday’s must-win UEFA Nations League sport in opposition to Portugal as if it had been a World Cup quarterfinal.
Spain head into the encounter in Braga second in Group E, two factors adrift of leaders Portugal heading into the ultimate sport.
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“We now have deliberate this sport as if it had been a quarterfinal in Qatar,” Luis Enrique stated in a information convention on Monday.
“It is 90 minutes and we have to win, not even a draw will do. It is constructive that we attain the sixth spherical of the Nations League with a risk to complete prime and qualify for the ultimate 4.
“It’s a ultimate, it’s lovely. I am sure that in opposition to Portugal we will probably be as much as the duty.”
Spain misplaced their first residence sport since 2018 in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Switzerland whereas Portugal eased previous the Czech Republic 4-0.
“That is soccer and there aren’t any pleasant video games,” Luis Enrique stated.
“The extent of demand in nationwide staff soccer has modified, check out the remainder of the outcomes.”
Fellow European nations France, England and Germany, who will compete with Spain and Portugal within the World Cup, have all struggled within the Nations League however Luis Enrique stated they’re contenders to win in Qatar.
“No matter World Cup it’s, Argentina and Brazil will at all times be favourites due to their historical past,” Luis Enrique stated.
“Similar to the highest nationwide groups in Europe. Does anybody dare to say that England or France won’t be favourites within the World Cup?”
The 52-year-old added that Spain will probably be put to the check by Portugal.
“We now have at all times outlined them as very proficient and with an impressive physique,” Luis Enrique stated of Portugal’s squad.
“They’ve already achieved crucial issues. They’re extra established as a staff […] our concept is to continue to grow.
“We now have performed three latest video games in opposition to them, and we performed nicely even when we did not win, we drew all three.”
Pablo Sarabia, who has featured in all of Spain’s Nations League video games, agreed.
“All the video games we now have performed in opposition to Portugal have been troublesome,” the Paris Saint-Germain winger stated.
“Portugal have nice particular person expertise and technical high quality. We now have to do issues proper as a way to win this sport and attain the Closing 4.
“We now have full confidence in the entire members of this squad. The energy of this staff is the group.”