Portugal vs Spain
FIFA World Cup 2018 – Group B
Date: Friday, 15 June 2018
Kick-Off at 19:00 UK / 20:00 CET
Venue: Fisht Olympic Stadium (Sochi).
The first derby of the event is reserved for Friday evening when Portugal and Spain will take on each other hoping to gain the momentum and pole position ahead of easier fixtures in the Group B.
- Portugal and Spain are favourites to advance from Group B and their opening clash will likely determine the group winner.
- Spain dominated this h2h match-up over the course of history and they do have the wider range of world-class strikers in their ranks.
- We’d not be surprised to see the clash very similar to the one played six years in the semi-final of the European Championship when La Furia Roja progressed on penalties after a goalless draw in the regular time.
Portugal vs Spain Match Preview
The second day of the World Cup brings us the mouth-watering derby as Spain take on neighboring Portugal in the battle for the first place in the Group B.
Both sides should still feel comfortable about passing the group regardless of the outcome here given they are to battle the likes Morocco and Iran for such accomplishment.
Nevertheless, there are no doubts the initial win could well determine both sides’ destiny and lift the spirits from the get go.
Spain will be desperate to fix the impression after a rather poor challenge at EURO 2016 when they were stopped to Italy in the last 16 round after also losing the group stage match to Croatia earlier on.
Portugal come into the competition as the reigning European champions, but can they repeat a remarkable success two years later in Russia? We do like to mention forehand that they are heavy on attack and too short in defense.
Portugal Team News
- Fernando Santos made a host of surprising decisions when it comes to Portuguese World Cup squad (primarily ignoring Barcelona’s duo Nelson Semedo and Andre Gomes).
- Cristiano Ronaldo will obviously be the key to nation’s success. He will come into the event high on confidence after securing his third consecutive Champions League trophy with Real Madrid.
- Bernardo Silva will also be the one to look after as the winger enjoyed a remarkable campaign with Manchester City en route to winning the Premier League throne in style.
Portugal Predicted Starting Eleven (4-4-2)
Rui Patricio – Pepe, Alves, Soares, Guerreiro – Moutinho, Carvalho, Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario – Andre Silva, Ronaldo.
Spain Team News
- Spain suffered a serious blow two years ago when they fell to both Croatia and Italy at EURO 2016 in France.
- Six of eleven players who featured in the round of 16 clash with Azzurri will likely find their place in the starting line-up against Portugal here.
- The momentum is, however, completely opposite as Spain head into this off the back of nine wins and a draw in ten qualifying games.
- Julen Lopetegui does not have important injury woes ahead of the opening fixture against Portugal.
Spain Predicted Starting Eleven (4-5-1)
De Gea – Pique, Ramos, Carvajal, Alba – Busquets, Thiago, Silva, Isco, Iniesta – Costa.
Portugal vs Spain Head-to-head
Spain were the dominant force in the history of head to head encounters with Portugal.
La Furia Roja won 18, drew 12 and lost only 6 of 36 matches against Portugal.
Their previous encounter was a historic one as they met in the EURO 2012 semi-final. The match ended with no goals as Spain advanced to the final on penalties and later went on to lift the silverware beating Italy in the final.
None of last five head to head outings saw both teams on the score card.
Portugal vs Spain Predictions
It seemed that Spain had lost the momentum after Vicente Del Bosque left the bench after eight-years in charge. The aforementioned defeats to Croatia and Italy only confirmed the crisis, but the new manager and new set of younger players popped up as La Furia Roja again seem to represent a major force in the football world.
Spain were super dominant in their respective qualifying group winning 9 and drawing 1 (1-1 to Italy away in Turin) of 10 matches. They showed class in the 6-1 thumping of Argentina in a friendly in March and they boasted the second best attacking record in the qualifying campaign as well as the best defensive with just three goals conceded in ten games.
Portugal were also pretty impressive en route to Russia winning 9 of 10 qualifiers. Fernando Santos can particularly be satisfied with his team’s defensive line which kept back-to-back clean sheets in consecutive warm-up friendlies against Belgium and Algeria.
Both teams have been very tough to break down lately which is why we can hardly see a high-scoring contest here. The Under 2.5 goals FT looks to be the standout bet worth backing at the 1.60 odds. We will alternatively go with Spain to confirm the quality and win at 1.90.
Predicted Full-Time Result is a narrow 1-0 win for Spain in a highly competitive contest at Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht in Sochi.
Portugal vs Spain Betting Tips
The bet you can’t make a mistake with is Under 2.5 goals @ 1.60 odds.
Spain to win @ 1.90.
Correct FT Score: 1-0 Spain @ 5.50.