Packers vs Seahawks

Packers vs Seahawks : Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on prime time this Thursday night, in what feels like a must-win matchup if either team still wants a realistic shot at an NFC wild card spot. We break down the best five ways to wager this pivotal NFC showdown.

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The Green Bay Packers finally got the breakout game they have been waiting for from running back Aaron Jones and that’s terrible news for opposing defenses. Jones tore up the Dolphins defense last week to the tune of 145 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 31-12 dismantling at Lambeau last Sunday. And Jones will be out for an encore in Seattle.

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If he can get going on the ground early against the Seahawks 17th ranked rush defense it will allow Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing game to go to work and that’s when they’re at their best. Additionally, the Packers secondary has been strong all season, currently ranking fifth in the NFL in passing yards allowed and will give an inconsistent Seattle offense some problems at least early on. Look for Green Bay to establish the run early to open up the pass and score the game’s first major.

There is no question that Century Link is an incredibly tough place to play for visitors and both defenses have exceeded expectations this season. This is also a prime-time spot and the “12s” will certainly make things tough on Rodgers and the Packers offense. However, the first half prop for the Pack is incredibly low as it is sitting at 10.5-points and we’re getting plus money on the Over. Green Bay, as mentioned, should have success early in the game thanks to the run game and if the Packers can manage an early score than they should sail over their first half total, perhaps even in the first quarter. Take Green Bay to have more than 10-points after 30 minutes.

Seattle is expected to have Chris Carson back in the lineup on Thursday night, but the emergence of rookie Rashaad Penny has threatened touches for the former after a breakout effort last weekend. However, it looks like Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is going to give the reins right back to Carson and with the league’s second best rushing attack queued up for a big night look for Carson to be at the forefront of that success. His value to score a touchdown at any time is sitting at plus money right now ranking him just behind Davante Adams and Jones. That makes him the oddsmakers favorite candidate to score for Seattle. We’re buying into a Carson score in this spot.

The number in this one is starting to shrink after opening at 49.5-points, having since moved down to 48.5. The Over is 3-1-1 in their last five meetings in Seattle, but the movement here seems to ask more questions than it answers. There’s no question the Packers have a lethal offense, but if they’re adding more running plays into their game plan it could very well limit the point production on the scoreboard.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have been playing exceptional defense and will also rely on the run game in an effort keep Rodgers and company off the field for as long as possible. The Packers have gone Over in their last six road games against a team with a losing home record while the Seahawks have gone Under in four straight Thursday nighters. The number seems to be a little too steep as defense and running the football will be key here. In the end the total in this one should come in around the 46-point mark.

The Packers have yet to win on the road this season, but they can sense their playoff hopes hanging in the balance on a short week in Seattle. But they won’t be the only ones feeling that way in this one as the Seahawks will also be playing desperate football. In win in this matchup is a must if the Seahawks have any dreams of an NFC wild card spot.

Green Bay has covered in four consecutive matchups with the Seahawks, though it’s the home team that is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings, which certainly means good things for Seattle. However, the Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games on Thursday night and are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 following a solid rushing performance of over 150 yards. Look for Green Bay to keep this one close at the very least.

Seattle Seahawks vs Green bay Packers

Seattle Seahawks vs Green bay Packers : You can look through the history of the NFL and not find many games weirder than the Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks showdown from a few years ago.

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The Packers-Seahawks NFC championship game at the end of the 2014 season was memorable and bizarre. Every time you hear people talk about Aaron Rodgers making only one Super Bowl, remember that the Packers had another NFC championship all but wrapped up and gave it away that day in Seattle.

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The Seahawks and Packers meet again Thursday night in a game that can be live-streamed on the Yahoo Sports mobile app (IOS and Android). It’s a huge game for the 4-4-1 Packers and the 4-5 Seahawks in the NFC playoff race.

But it won’t have the historic implications of what happened in Seattle on Jan. 18, 2015. Thursday night will be the Packers’ first trip to Seattle since that soul-crushing day.

In 2014, the Seahawks were at the height of their powers. They were coming off a Super Bowl championship with stars on both sides of the ball and had the best home-field advantage in the NFL. But the Packers had Rodgers.

The Packers had won 12 of 14 games coming in, including the “Dez caught it” divisional-round game the week before. And 57 minutes into the NFC title game against Seattle, they led 19-7. They were going back to the Super Bowl. It was going to be Rodgers vs. Tom Brady for a title.

It’s still inconceivable how the Packers blew it (and there were plenty of moments before the final three minutes of regulation and overtime they’d like to have back). The Seahawks scored with 2:09 left. Then Packers tight end Brandon Bostick became a legend in the wrong way, as he tried to field an onside kick and fumbled it to the Seahawks. Bostick was supposed to block. Jordy Nelson behind him should have handled the onside kick.

“I just lost track of what my assignment was in that situation,” Bostick told PackersNews’ Ryan Wood this week. “It wasn’t like I was trying to be a hero and win the game. I was just like, ‘Oh, ball. Get it.’ That’s what I did at the time, but that wasn’t my job.”

Marshawn Lynch scored after that to give Seattle the lead, and Russell Wilson completed an insane two-point conversion pass across the field, which meant Mason Crosby’s field goal in the final seconds tied the game instead of winning it. The Seahawks won in overtime on Jermaine Kearse’s walk-off touchdown catch.

Bostick was out of football in 2015 after the Packers cut him. He caught on with the Jets in 2016 and had eight receptions in 16 games. He has been out of football since then.

That NFC championship game was odd. Russell Wilson had 14 yards and three interceptions at halftime. The Seahawks’ only touchdown before the final minutes was a fake field-goal attempt in which punter Jon Ryan hit offensive tackle Garry Gilliam on a pass. The Packers controlled the game, for 57 minutes anyway.

There were regrets from those first 57 minutes. The Packers settled for 18- and 19-yard field goals, as Mike McCarthy got too conservative after Green Bay failed to punch in touchdowns. On a first-quarter interception to Richard Sherman, Seahawks end Michael Bennett was offsides but it wasn’t called. This week when Rodgers was asked about that NFC title game, he brought up the “non-offsides call on a pick to Sherman” before any other play.

Then there was the worst play, Packers safety Morgan Burnett sliding down after an interception with a little more than five minutes left, as if the game were over. Julius Peppers gave him the signal to slide and he did, even though there’s a good chance Burnett could have returned it for a touchdown. Everyone will remember Bostick, but Burnett giving up on that play like the game was done was the biggest error.

The Packers had so many chances to win and go to the Super Bowl. They had already defeated the Patriots, the AFC champion, in the regular season. Maybe that could have been Rodgers’ second ring.

“That game will always be frustrating, thinking about how it went down, some of the things that happened,” Rodgers told reporters this week.

They made another conference championship game two years later, but were heavy underdogs to the Atlanta Falcons and got blown out. The Packers missed the playoffs last season and need to have a big second half this season to get a playoff berth. Rodgers will turn 35 in December.

The Seahawks have changed a lot since that day, too. They lost in the Super Bowl after beating the Packers, on the Malcolm Butler interception that will be talked about forever. The Seahawks haven’t been past the divisional round since then. Most of the core of those great Seahawks teams has turned over. Like the Packers, the Seahawks missed the playoffs last season and need a rally this year to make it. The loser of Thursday night’s game will be in a huge bind in the playoff race.

Whatever happens Thursday night, it won’t have the same ramifications of the crazy NFC championship game from four seasons ago. What happened in Seattle that afternoon will live in NFL history forever.

Thursday Night football 2018

Thursday Night football 2018 : Traditional powers in must-win mode face off on Thursday Night Football as the Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers. It’s an 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff from CenturyLink Field. At 4-4-1, Green Bay can ill afford another loss in its uphill climb to pass the Bears and Vikings in the NFC North. On the other side of the ball, Seattle is 4-5, but plays five of its final seven games in its deafening stadium.

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Seattle is just 1-2 at home, while the Packers are 0-4 on the road. The line held steady at Seattle -2.5 throughout the week, but stands at -3 in the latest Seahawks vs. Packers odds. The Over-Under, which opened at 49.5, has dropped to 48. Before you make any Seahawks vs. Packers picks, check out what the SportsLine Projection Model has to say.

In a straight-up, pick’em format, their proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17, performing better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on all A-rated picks last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.

The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018, entering Week 11 on a blistering 10-0 run. For the season, it is now 24-9 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 72-43. And when it comes to all straight-up picks, the model is 98-48 this season, again ranking in the top 15 on NFLPickWatch.com. Anybody who has been following it is way, way up.

Now the model has dialed in on Packers vs. Seahawks. We can tell you it’s leaning over, but the model also says there’s plenty of value on one side of the spread. You can only see it at SportsLine.

The model has factored in that the Packers’ receiving corps has played extremely well, boosting the team to seventh in total offense at 403.2 yards per game. Led by his 787 receiving yards, Davante Adams (nine TDs) has been the recipient of more than half of Aaron Rodgers’ 17 TD tosses this season. While secondaries double-team Adams, rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling is stretching the field, picking up 17.5 yards per catch.

Running back Aaron Jones has also given Green Bay an extra dimension on the ground. He’s had double-digit carries his last three games and parlayed them into over 300 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He’s also added seven catches over that span. Jones has become a workhorse, taking pressure off Rodgers and the passing game.

But just because the Packers are balanced doesn’t mean they’ll cover on “Thursday Night Football,” especially at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks are itching to snap a two-game skid in just their fourth home game of the season. Despite a brutal early schedule that featured the Rams (twice), Chargers, and Bears, a win pushes them back to 5-5 in a crowded wild-card race.

Russell Wilson continues to make incredible plays while the pocket collapses around him. In four of his previous five games, he has thrown three touchdown passes. For the season, he has tossed at least two scores in all but one game while completing 66 percent of his attempts.

Rookie running back Rashaad Penny erupted last week against the Rams while Chris Carson (hip) sat out. Notching his first 100-yard game, Penny finished with 108 yards on only 12 carries. Carson should return on “Thursday Night Football,” giving Seattle another weapon.

Who wins Packers vs. Seahawks? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over Thursday, all from the incredible computer model that has returned nearly $4,000 to $100 bettors.

Seahawks vs Packers

Seahawks vs Packers : Could be the best week of prime-time football this season and it gets started with a nice matchup of Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. If it seems like these guys face off each year, that’s because they largely do. It’s the sixth meeting between the Packers and Seahawks since the start of the 2014 season. Green Bay has won the past three, but those were all at home (17-9 in Week 1 last year).

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Seattle won the previous three before that, including the last game on its home field: the NFC Championship Game following the 2014 season. The Packers looked set for a trip to the Super Bowl up 19-7 with about two minutes in regulation in that one but lost 28-22 in overtime because Packers reserve tight end Brandon Bostick (see below tweet) couldn’t do his job on the hands team for an onside kick.

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Perhaps it’s not accurate to call this a playoff elimination game, but with Green Bay at 4-4-1 and Seattle at 4-5, well the loser will be in deep doo-doo. You should simply not bet against Seattle in a prime-time game. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are 14-2 in home night games and 13-3 ATS. In addition, no team flying at least two time zones west, as the Packers will do, has won OR EVEN COVERED a Thursday night game in 11 tries since that package came into existence 12 years ago. That sounds impossible. Minnesota was a SU and ATS loser in this same scenario in L.A. in Week 4. Jump on Seattle before that line rises to -3.

Green Bay rebounded in Week 10 with a 31-12 home win over the Dolphins, and the Packers finally delivered the kind of balanced attack that will keep them in the NFC North title conversation. Aaron Jones, and not Aaron Rodgers, stole the spotlight with 145 yards rushing and two trips into the end zone while Rodgers did what was needed with 199 passing yards and a pair of touchdown strikes to Davante Adams.

The Seahawks kept it close after scoring late in the final quarter to get the cover but lost the game to arguably the league’s most impressive team, the LA Rams. The Seahawks suffered a 36-31 defeat but looked gritty and game throughout. Russell Wilson had only 176 yards passing but threw three touchdown passes while rushing for 92 yards more. First-round draft pick Rashaad Penny finally lived up to his lofty billing in replacement of Chris Carson, chewing up 108 yards on just 12 carries and one touchdown scamper.

Despite the Packers having injuries on their defensive side of the ball and the statuses cornerback Kevin King (hamstring), safety Kentrell Brice (ankle), and linebacker Nick Perry (knee) in doubt, Rodgers ability to create magic offensively has me siding with what I consider to be a live dog this week. Both teams are in the top 10 in defending the pass and both are in the middle of the pack against the run. But which quarterback puts points up in a hurry? That would be Rodgers, and if the Packers’ running game continues to click it will allow Rodgers even more time in the pocket to pick apart the Seattle secondary. Green Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last five Thursday games. Grab the points with the live road pup here.

In the grand scheme of things, this Thursday night contest is important to Green Bay and Seattle. Both are just behind what today would be the five playoff teams in the NFC. In order to make a true playoff run, they need a winning streak. Seattle looked to be in pretty good shape after winning four of five, and while there it’s no disgrace losing to both Los Angeles teams who could face each other in the Super Bowl, a loss is a loss. Green Bay won against Miami on Sunday to end two-game losing skid and is back to .500.

The next two contests could decide the Packers’ playoff fate. A 2-0 record gets them in the hunt, a split might mean a 4-1 finish might not be good enough and two defeats means playing out the season. These are two evenly matched teams who are not in the top tier of the NFC and are just fighting to make the playoffs. Green Bay is 0-4 and 1-3 ATS on the road, losing by 9.5 PPG. Seattle is only 1-2 (2-1 ATS) and is only 10-13 ATS as home favorite the last four years. But, Seattle is 7-0-1 ATS on Thursday, which signifies strong preparation and 12-5 ATS at home vs. foes with a losing road record.

Green Bay hasn’t won on the Road since beating the Browns in Week 14 in 2017, and with Seattle thinking Wild Card and the Defense playing respectable (192 PA) and the Cheeseheads fermenting 2 Time Zones and 1,934 miles away from home and sleeping in a hotel, logic says to back Russell Wilson (32-22 ATS at Home) and the Seahawks despite the Packers’ perfect 3-0 ATS mark the L3 series meetings.

The Thursday Night Football Trends show Aaron Rodgers (42-41 ATS on Road, 1-3 ATS in 2018) and Green Bay to be 7-6 SU/ATS, 2-3 ATS on the Road and 1-3 ATS as Underdogs in this niche role with the Seachickens 7-3 SU, 7-2 ATS and 4-2 ATS at the friendly and noisy confines of CenturyLink Field in the Emerald City where Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain wailed Hey! Wait! I’ve got a new complaint, forever in debt to your priceless advice..With Rodgers worse on the Road, an unimpressive Point Differential after Week 10 (+7) and Rusell Wilson having some nice WRs to throw to in Lockett, upstart Moore (18.2 ypc), vet Baldwin and Vannett, the Seahawks seem more of a Passing threat than the Pack are here.

I don’t think that Seattle should be favored. Seattle’s only wins have come against losing teams. They beat Dallas, which had been abysmal on the road, the Lions, and pitiful Arizona and Oakland. Nevertheless, oddsmakers are asking Seattle to cover a nearly three-point spread against the Packers. What impresses me most about Green Bay is actually its defense, which has stepped up against stronger competition. Lately, it held the Rams to a yard below its season average in terms of YPC. Stopping the run is crucial against Seattle, which runs the ball more than any other team.

Green Bay’s offense had been ridden by injury-issues and question marks at running back. Aaron Jones was phenomenal Sunday, rushing for 145 yards on 15 carries against Miami. He’ll have another great performance against Seattle’s 29th-ranked run defense in terms of opposing YPC. The receivers had been injured. While Davante Adams is the 10th-best receivers in terms of yards, Marquez Valdes-Scantling has stepped up with two 100-yard performances in his past four games. Tight end Jimmy Graham (a former Seahawk) is a reliable target and Randall Cobb is listed as questionable for this game.

England vs USA

England vs USA : England host the United States in an international friendly at Wembley Stadium on Thursday, in a match that will see Wayne Rooney win his final cap for the Three Lions.

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The striker retired from international football in August 2017, but England’s record goalscorer will return for a farewell appearance and win his 120th cap for his country.

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Rooney, who plays his club football with D.C. United, will appear as a second-half substitute. The match will also support the striker’s charity, the Wayne Rooney Foundation.

Date: Thursday, November 15

Time: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET

TV Info: Sky Sports Main Event (UK), ESPN 2

The decision to bring Rooney out of international retirement for a farewell game has brought plenty of debate. The former captain has shared his view ahead of the game:

Manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed Rooney will captain the side and wear the No. 10 shirt when he comes on:

Rooney’s appearance will also see him reach another landmark in his career:

The 33-year-old completed his move to Major League Soccer from Everton in June. He’s been a big hit for D.C. United, scoring 12 goals and contributing six assists in 21 appearances.

England will also use the game to give some talented youngsters some international experience. Borussia Dortmund’s 18-year-old winger Jadon Sancho is set to make his first start for his country, per Sky Sports News.

Football journalist Oliver Young-Myles highlighted just how impressive Sancho has been in the Bundesliga this season:

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson and Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk are also expected to win their first caps at Wembley, per the report.

Southgate’s side come into the game on the back of a couple of impressive results. They secured a goalless draw away from home against FIFA 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia and beat Spain 3-2 in Seville last time out.

In contrast the United States have found victories difficult to come by. They failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia and have won only one of their last six matches.

Like England they do have young talent in the ranks. Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic is their brightest hope, and he will be out to impress after talking about the possibility of playing in the Premier League, per Sam Dean at the Daily Telegraph.

He said: “England, the Premier League, is a league where lots of kids dream of playing, so there is no reason why maybe one day I won’t play here.”

Chelsea lead the race to sign the 20-year-old, while Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have also expressed an interest, according to the Guardian‘s Ed Aarons.

The hosts are heavy favourites to send Rooney off in style with victory in front of their own fans at Wembley.

The game should also prove a useful exercise for Southgate to check out some of his squad players ahead of their final UEFA Nations League group game against Croatia on Sunday.

Germany vs Russia

Germany vs Russia: Germany will hope to rediscover some positive form when they host Russia in an international friendly at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig on Thursday.

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Germany find themselves going into 2018’s final two fixtures in damage limitation mode. After flopping at the World Cup, Joachim Low’s side have set an unwanted national record for defeats in a calendar year and tackle Russia on Thursday before facing the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League on Monday.

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By the time they meet the Dutch, they could be in the embarrassing position of having already been relegated from the top tier of European clubs, having earned just a single point from their first three fixtures. Russia could be one of the teams to replace them in League A, having built on an impressive World Cup thanks to wins over Turkey and Sweden, plus a home draw with the latter.

Die Mannschaft need to get back to winning ways ahead of facing the Netherlands in League A Group 1 of the UEFA Nations League on Monday, November 19. Coach Joachim Low’s team is entering Thursday’s game on a dismal run of three defeats from the last six. By contrast, 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts Russia are unbeaten in their last six matches, having taken three wins and as many draws in that time.

Even so, Germany are favourites among the oddsmakers, while a slew of injuries in attack could hamper Russia. Marco Reus is back in the Germany squad after missing last month’s matches due to a knee problem, although he is something of a doubt after failed to train on Tuesday. Antonio Rudiger, Kai Havertz and Leon Goretzka are also back in Joachim Low’s panel.

Toni Kroos will only join the squad after the Russia fixture, while Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been allowed to sit out because of ongoing shoulder complaints. Russia saw a raft of players retire following the World Cup in the summer, including Yuri Zhirkov, Sergei Ignashevich and Igor Akinfeev.

A more immediate issue is the number of injuries that they are carrying. Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Viktor Vasin, Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba, Aleksandr Kokorin and star man Aleksandr Golovin are all missing because of physical problems, leaving Stanislav Cherchesov with a severely depleted panel. Sergey Petrov and Roman Zobnin have both been carrying thigh injuries of late, too.

Real Madrid playmaker Toni Kroos isn’t the only big name set to miss out. Paris Saint-Germain forward Julian Draxler has also since been given dispensation for “compassionate leave,” per Goal’s Nick Howson. Meanwhile, Karolos Grohmann of Reuters (h/t Daily Mail) reported how Low noted a foot injury will keep Borussia Dortmund ace Marco Reus out and also leaves him a doubt to face the Netherlands.

Russia’s defence will still be tested by the pace and perceptive movement of wide forwards Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane. Manchester City ace Sane possesses the flair and eye for goal to turn any match his nation’s way. Former Arsenal player Gnabry is beginning to live up to his potential with Bayern Munich, having helped himself to a goal and a pair of assists in the Bundesliga this season.

Russia boast a credible scoring threat, but the squad will surely miss the influence of skipper Artem Dzyuba. The Zenit Saint Petersburg striker has been ruled out with injury, per Phil Kitromilides of Goal. AS Monaco playmaker Aleksandr Golovin is nursing an ankle problem, while winger Denis Cheryshev, a star at the World Cup, has a leg injury, according to Marca.

The injuries make Russia’s task in Leipzig harder, especially with a trip to Sweden in the Nations League on Tuesday looming. Expect Germany to get back on track with a two-goal win.

Belgium vs Iceland

Belgium vs Iceland : Belgium have used their third-place finish at World Cup 2018 as an effective springboard into the Nations League, in which they can secure their place in the play-offs by overcoming Iceland in Brussels on Thursday.

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So well have Roberto Martinez’s side performed, they have climbed to the summit of the FIFA Rankings, reaching that pinnacle in September for just the second time in the nation’s history.

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While Belgian football is on a high, the Iceland star which shone so brightly for a couple of years finds itself in danger of flickering out. They have won only once in the calendar year but are seeking to reprise the type of form that saw them reach the World Cup in order to bow out of the top tier of the Nations League on a high.

Game Belgium vs Iceland
Date Thursday, November 14
Time 7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch

In the United States (US), the game can be watchedlive on ESPN 3.

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In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on Sky Sports Mix and livestreamed on Sky Go.

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Squads & Team News

POSITION BELGIUM SQUAD
Goalkeepers Subasic, Benaglio, Badiashile
Defenders Barreca, Jemerson, Sidibe, Raggi, Glik, Toure, Henrichs, Serrano
Midfielders Aholou, N’Doram, Rony Lopes, Tielemans, Ait-Bennasser, Golovin, Chadli, Grandsir, Diop, Traore
Forwards Falcao, Jovetic, Mboula, Pellegri, Diop, Sylla

Roberto Martinez has a number of selection issues to juggle, with centre-backs Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen both missing out due to injuries. In the midfield, meanwhile, Kevin De Bruyne is absent along with Mousa Dembele, while Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke will have no role to play.

Marouane Fellaini, meanwhile, has not been called-up as the coach feels he would benefit from a chance to rest with Manchester United after sustaining a problem against Juventus.

Romelu Lukaku, meanwhile, is a doubt.

Possible Belgium starting XI: Courtois; Denayer, Kompany, Alderweireld; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, Carrasco; Hazard, Mertens; Lukaku

POSITION ICELAND SQUAD
Goalkeepers Halldorsson, Kristinsson, Runarsson
Defenders Saevarsson, Arnason, Skulasson, Ingason, Magnusson, Jonsson, Hermannsson, Thorarinsson
Midfielders Gunnarsson, Bjarnason, G. Sigurdsson, Gislason, Trautason, Palsson, Fridjonsson, A. Sigurdsson
Forwards Finnbogason, Sigthorsson, Gudmundsson, Bjarnason, Thorsteinsson

In defence, Holmar Eyjolfsson is sidelined, while midfielders Emil Hallfredsson and Johann Gudmundsson, two of Iceland’s most experienced performers, are missing because of injury. Runar Sigurjonsson is also out.

Arnor Sigurdsson could be one of the benefactors, the 19-year-old CSKA Moscow player hopeful of making his international bow. Equally, Jon Dahur Thorsteinsson of Danish side Vendsyssel has received a call-up for the first time.

Possible Iceland starting XI: Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Magnusson; Bjarnason, Fridjonsson, J. Gudmundsson, G. Sigurdsson, Traustason; Finnbogasson

Bet365  have made Belgium 1/5 favourites to win this clash. Iceland are out at 14/1 and a draw is priced at 7/1.

Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .

Rumours that Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez could be Real Madrid bound offer testimony to just what has been achieved at national team level over the course of 2018.

Many felt that they were unfortunate not to win the World Cup, coming unstuck against a pragmatic France side at the semi-final stage, and those who believe that they are the best side in world need only look at the FIFA Rankings for justification.

Since their third-place finish in Russia, the Red Devils have shown no relent in their form and, if anything, have improved.

Following an impressive friendly victory in Scotland, they went to Iceland and were resounding 3-0 winners before building on that by overcoming Switzerland last month.

The arsenal of attacking potential at the disposal of Martinez is formidable, with Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku leading the way. Indeed, the Manchester United forward has bagged doubles in both of Belgium’s Nations League fixtures to date and has five goals in his last three internationals.

Strangely, this encounter is something of a dead rubber. Iceland are already relegated, having lost their opening three fixtures, while Belgium’s finishing position in Group Two is entirely dependent upon their result with Switzerland as the crucial tiebreaker between the two sides will be head-to-head record.

Having won 2-1 against the Swiss previously, Martinez’s men stand in good stead to qualify, but could be forgiven if they do not approach this game at full throttle as a consequence.

Iceland, meanwhile, are simply seeking to regain some face after a turgid year. Qualification for the World Cup was a monumental achievement, but since beating Kosovo 2-0 in October 2017 to seal their place in Russia, they have only one win in 14 internationals – and that was against Indonesia in a match not recognised by FIFA.

There have been glimpses of the brilliance that allowed them to reach such unanticipated heights – a 1-1 World Cup draw with Argentina and a 2-2 draw with France away in October are two examples – and that is what Erik Hamren’s side are aiming for here.

Croatia vs Spain

Croatia vs Spain : Victory for La Roja would take them through into the Nations League finals, while the World Cup finalists are fighting relegation Spain suffered an unexpected setback in their goal of qualifying for the UEFA Nations League finals last month as they were stunned 3-2 at home by England.

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Luis Enrique’s side must overcome Croatia in Zagreb if they are to secure their place in the knockout rounds of the competition, but face opponents who will be hungry for victory.

The World Cup finalists are out for revenge after being crushed 6-0 by La Roja in Elche back in September, while they face the prospect of relegation from the elite European teams ahead of their final two matches.

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Spain and Croatia meet for another game in this FIFA break and Luis Enrique’s men will try to improve from their discouraging home loss against England last time around. The new coach has implemented a new style for the Spanish national team and players like Asensio, Ceballos or Marcos Alonso are now important players for the team.

In Croatia, the team is still built around Modric and Rakitic. They surprised everyone by reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final and it seems that it won’t be easy for this generation of footballers to top that kind of performance.

It will be interesting to see if Ceballos keeps proving himself as a player who should be getting minutes consistently in Madrid, something he’s been doing this season.

HOW TO WATCH, STREAM UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE

Date: 11/15/2018

Time: 20:45 CEST, 02:45pm EST, 11:45am Pacific.

Venue: Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia.

Available Streaming: ESPN+, Univision (USA), LiveSoccerTV.

Croatia will be without experienced AC Milan defender Ivan Strinic due to injury as well as Rangers left-back Borna Barisic, who was called to the squad to face England last month.

Head coach Zlatko Dalic can still boast a squad with a wealth of international experience, featuring the vast majority of players who reached the World Cup final in July.

Meanwhile, Josip Brekalo is called for the national team for the first time, while Nikola Vlasic and Duje Caleta-Car are upgraded from the Under-21s.

Milan Badelj has made the squad but has been struggling with injury.

Possible Croatia starting XI: Kalinic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, A. Milic; Brozovic, Rakitic; Rebic, Modric, Perisic; Kramaric

Possible Spain starting XI: De Gea; Azpilicueta, Ramos, Inigo Martinez, Alba; Busquets, Saul, Isco; Aspas, Asensio, Morata