Portugal and Spain to Face One Another in World Cup 2018 Opener
The World Cup 2018 draw took place on December 1st 2017 in Moscow pitching neighbours Portugal and Spain together in Group B. The two sides last met in the World Cup 2010 with the Spanish running out narrow 1-0 winners and La Roja will be hoping for a similar result when the two sides meet in their group opener.
Julen Lopetugui’s side finished top of their group following an impressive qualifying campaign which saw them drop just two points. They will be hoping to bounce back from the disappointment of exiting at the group stage during Brazil 2014 and aside from Portugal, they’ve been dealt a favourable draw. Morocco and Iran make up the remainder of Group B and the Spanish can be confident of progressing to the last 16. The majority of Canadian online sportsbooks have reacted to the draw with William Hill making Spain third favourites for the competition at 7/1.
European Champions Portugal will once again be relying on Cristiano Ronaldo after the Real Madrid man netted 15 times during the qualifying campaign but the ever-improving Andre Silva could also provide plenty of spark for Fernando Santos’ men. They have been priced up at 28/1 for success at the tournament and have already shown their appetite for the knock-out format.
Hosts Russia open up against Saudi Arabia as the tournament gets underway on June 14th and they have been dealt a relatively kind draw with Egypt and Uruguay making up the remainder of Group A. The Egyptians, who possess in-form Mo Salah qualified for their first tournament since 1990 whilst Uruguay only finished five points behind Brazil in the South American qualifying group.
France, who are many people’s fancies for the tournament have been drawn in Group C and will open up against Australia. Joining them will be Peru, who required a play-off success against New Zealand to book their place at the tournament, with Denmark also joining them. The latter could be tough to beat after they dismantled the Republic of Ireland in the play-offs.
Group D pitches Argentina and Nigeria together once more with the two sides meeting in five of the last six tournaments and they are joined by Iceland and Croatia. Brazil will open up against Switzerland before facing Costa Rica and Serbia in their remaining contests. Tite’s men come into the tournament as joint favourites in the World Cup odds but their group isn’t as straightforward as they would have liked.
World Champions Germany will face Mexico once again with the two sides last meeting during the 2017 Confederations Cup and Group F is completed by Sweden and Korea Republic. England and Belgium are set to clash in Group G alongside Tunisia and World Cup newcomers Panama.
Poland were surprisingly placed in Pot A and they’ve been drawn alongside the unpredictable Senegal, Colombia and Japan in a weak looking Group H. Adam Nawalka’s side progressed from qualifying top of their group but had a significantly inferior goal difference than the four sides below them. They’ll be relying on the firepower of Robert Lewandowski once again.
You can find details of all of the top Canadian bookmakers here at BettingTop10, including Betway, who make Germany and Brazil joint 5/1 favourites for the tournament which gets underway in June 2018.