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England test in Spain one of the toughest in the world, says Gareth Southgate

Watch UEFA Nations League clash live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm on Monday

Gareth Southgate, Manager of England and Jordan Pickford of England attend an England press conference ahead of their UEFA Nations League match against Spain at Estadio Benito Villamarin on October 14, 2018 in Seville, Spain
Image: Gareth Southgate is under no illusions of the threat Spain pose

Gareth Southgate has described England's Nations League assignment in Spain as one of the toughest in world football.

England take on Group A4 leaders at Real Betis' Estadio Benito Villamarin on Monday, live on Sky Sports Main Event.

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Despite outperforming Spain at this summer's World Cup, Southgate is under no illusions of the threat Spain, rejuvenated under Luis Enrique, pose.

"Spain's style is a little bit different," the England boss said at his pre-match press conference.

"They have got a new coach, who is a top coach. You can see the difference he's trying to make to the team.

"They are a little bit more direct, more players with speed in the front three, while Saul [Niguez] their midfield player gets in the box a lot more.

"Although the style and philosophy is very similar, they're tactically a little bit different. They are a bit more of a direct threat so we've got to be prepared for that.

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"This is one of the most difficult tests you can have in European football at the moment, if not the world."

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Highlights of last month's UEFA Nations League match between England and Spain at Wembley

Spain came from a goal down to beat England 2-1 in their opening game of this Nations League campaign.

Southgate has challenged his players to learn from that experience at Wembley, adding: "We're ready, we've seen enough of Spain.

"Early in the game at Wembley we were a little bit slow getting started and as the game wore on, we adapted to their pressure and used the ball a lot better. So we've got to make sure we do that over the 90 minutes as well.

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Southgate has confirmed Joe Gomez will start in place of the suspended John Stones against Spain

"We can always improve in every area of the game. The players are looking at things they can get better at, and things we can get better at collectively as a team."

England arrived in Seville on Saturday after securing the first points of their Nations League campaign with a goalless draw behind closed doors in Croatia.

Other than the empty stands, the game will be remembered for Marcus Rashford missing two glorious chances in the stalemate, which also extended Harry Kane's wait for an international goal to six games.

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Highlights of England's trip to Croatia in the UEFA Nations League Group A4 on Friday

Southgate, however, was unconcerned by his side's inability to find the back of the net. "The concern would be if we weren't creating chances," he said. "We were dangerous, we looked a threat.

"We were in good positions to score goals and our technical ability around the area was good on a difficult pitch - sometimes we needed an extra touch. But with the players we have got, if we create chances they will score."

Asked whether he was fully confident Kane and Rashford in goalscoring situations, Southgate added: "Absolutely."

Watch Spain v England live on Monday from 7pm on Sky Sports Main Event

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