Friday World Cup Preview and Odds – Portugal vs. Spain

June 15, 2018 20:00pm – Fisht Stadium, Sochi.

European Champions Portugal will begin their quest to for back-to-back major titles against a Spain side who already know what it takes to win consecutive international tournaments.

Spain dominated the world game between 2008 and 2012, winning two European Championships and a World Cup in an extraordinary run before being derailed in 2014.

As well as being two of the fancied teams, Portugal and Spain are also direct neighbours and fierce rivals.

The big talking point ahead of this game was the sacking of Spain boss Julen Lopetegui. The RFEF reacted after discovering the coach had agreed to take over at Real Madrid after the tournament having only signed a new deal with Spain a few weeks ago. The President of the Spanish football association, Luis Rubiales wasted no time in relieving the coach of his duties, installing Fernando Hierro as his replacement.

How this will affect the Spanish national team remains to be seen but Hierro will want to retain the continuity of a 20-game unbeaten run under the former boss.

Portugal may see this game as a chance to impose their authority on the group but they have not beaten their rivals in a competitive match since 2004 and have an inferior record overall. Fernando Santos’ men are likely to play with a defensive block to counter Spain’s natural attacking formation.

All eyes will be on Sergio Ramos who will look to snuff out the threat of Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. The Spanish captain arrives here on the back of a Champions League triumph in which he drew criticism for a heavy-handed tackle which led to Mo Salah’s injury. However, it is unlikely that he will change his approach for this game.

Portugal XI:

Patricio, Soares, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro, Moutinho, Carvalho, .B Silva, Mario, Ronaldo, A. Silva

Spain XI:

De Gea, Carvajal, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Busquets, Alcantara, Silva, Isco, Iniesta, Costa


Despite their chaotic weak, there is a feeling that Spain are so well prepared that the technical switch should not harm them. Anyone who expected them to win this game should not change their opinion based on what has happened this week, La Furia Roja are still favourites to take all the points.

You can back Spain to win at 11/10 with Betfair

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