Spain friendly against England moved from Madrid to Alicante

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Spain will host a November friendly against England in Alicante, reportedly amidst fears of a hostile reception for Gerard Pique in the capital of Madrid.

The RFEF, the Spanish Football Association, have announced the friendly game provisionally arranged against England, will take place at Estadio Jose Rico Perez in Alicante.

The fixture will take place on Friday 13th November, although this date is provisionally agreed between the two associations, pending both nations successfully securing their qualification for the EURO 2016 tournament in France.

Both sides currently lead their respective groups, during the qualification phase for EURO 2016. Both nations have three qualifying games remaining, to secure their places at the tournament in France next summer.

Spain currently lead Group C thanks to the 2-0 victory against Slovakia, who they overtake on goal difference, having suffered a shock 2-1 defeat away in Skopje, during the first meeting between the two sides.

However, with games to play against Macedonia on Tuesday night, followed by encounters with Luxembourg and Ukraine in October, La Roja must surely be considered strong favourites to progress, without having to participate in the lottery of the play-offs.

Meanwhile, England are in a much stronger position in of Group E, six points clear at the top. The 6-0 demolition of San Marino in Serravile, means they now have a perfect record of seven wins in qualifying.

With games yet to play against Switzerland on Tuesday night, followed by matches against Estonia and Lithuania in October, it's practically job done for England if they can take all three points at Wembley Stadium.

The Three Lions and La Roja have faced one another on 23 previous occasions, since the first encounter on 15th May 1929. England have won 13 of those matches, whilst Spain have won 8 and two ended in draws.

The last encounter on Spanish soil was hosted at Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan on 11th February 2009. Spain won that game 2-0, with David Villa and Fernando Llorente grabbing the goals.

England were the victors in the most recent meeting between the two nations, beating Spain 1-0 at Wembley Stadium on 12th November 2011. Frank Lampard celebrated wearing the the captain's armband, by also scoring the only goal of the game.

Interestingly, this latest fixture between Spain and England was originally scheduled to take place at the Santiago Bernabeu, the home of Real Madrid, as the two associations drew up their plans for the game.

However, and according to Spanish outlet AS, amidst fears of further whistling and a hostile reception for Barcelona star, Gerard Pique, the RFEF have subsequently opted to host the game in Alicante instead.

Whistling from Spanish fans began shortly after comments last year from Pique, when he thanked singer Kevin Roldan, who had played at the much publicised birthday party of Cristiano Ronaldo, the same day Real Madrid had lost 4-0 against Atletico Madrid.

From there, Real Madrid seemed to decline in the title race for La Liga, whilst Barcelona went from strength to strength. Additionally, vague comments on social networks about Catalan independence, have also been poorly received by Spanish fans.

Having suffered further whistling during the match in Oviedo against Slovakia, players and coaching staff from the Spanish squad, have all declared the response of fans as unacceptable, backing their colleague Pique, who is even said to be seriously considering his future with the national team.

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