By the time the Round of 16 is reached in a knockout tournament, you can usually have a good sense of what to expect from a team in terms of line-up and tactics. Neither Spain nor the USA have given much of an indication what they deem their best XI to be.
Of course, short tournaments require careful squad management and, in the case of the USA, that is likely what we are seeing. For Spain, though, there is more of an uncertainty about how they should set up their team.
We have already talked about the Spanish team’s woes in front of goal. These woes have continued throughout the group stages. According to Michael Caley’s Expected Goals model, Spain have picked up one non-penalty goal from 5.7 xG in their first three games. Read More