Odds Test 2

Russia vs Saudi Arabia

15th June 2018 – 19.00 GMT
Group B
First Stadium, Sochi
TV: BBC

The last two European Cup champions go head-to-head as Portugal take on Spain in their opening match of Group B at the 2018 World Cup.

The match has the potential to determine the group winner as the European giants are favoured to finish first and 2nd in the group.

The last time these two teams met, Spain came away the victors in penalties (4-2) after a 0-0 draw in the semi-finals of Euro 2012. Spain eventually went on to win the tournament, only to relinquish the title to current holders – Portugal.

La Roja still have a number of mainstays from that 2012 squad who defeated Portugal, with Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and David Silva all expected to be on the plane – barring injury. They are expected to be accompanied by the exciting new generation from Spain, headlined by stars David De Gea, Isco, Marco Asensio, and Saul, who are all looking to make their mark on their World Cup debuts.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo will headline a Selecao side that features a wealth of players from the 2016 Euro champion side, with Manchester City star Bernardo Silva expected to be one of the new faces to make an impact for manager Fernando Santos’s squad in Russia.

Predictions

Spain breezed through their qualifying group leading up to the World Cup, having not lost a match (9 wins, 1 draw) and only conceding 3 goals. They were lead by a balanced attack that netted 36 times in 10 matches, with Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata, Isco, and David Silva each scoring 5 goals.

They are favourites to win this one, with William Hill offering 10/11 on them coming away the victors, though Portugal are also coming off an impressive qualifying campaign – losing once.

Despite Portugal’s impressive form in qualifiers, Spain look too strong in this one and would be a good bet to win it.

Though, a seasoned punter may look for more enticing odds, with Spain coming away 2-1 winners (William Hill 15/2) or Over 2.5 goals (William Hill 5/4) offering decent value.

Statistics

  • Portugal have won a total of 6 matches against Spain, losing 18 and drawing 12
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored 15 times in 9 qualifiers, 2nd most in UEFA qualifiers –
  • Top Scorer Odds – 10/1
  • Spain conceded the joint fewest goals in the UEFA qualifiers (3)
  • None of the last 14 Spain matches in the World Cup ended in a draw (10W, 4L)
  • Portugal are aiming to be the 4th team to win the European Championships and the World Cup consecutively.
  • Portugal to win the WC – 25/1

Lineups

Portugal: Anthony Lopes, Joao Cancelo, Jose Fonte, Rolando, Mario Rui, Ricardo Quaresma, Adrien Silva, Andre Gomes, Manuel Fernandes, Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo

Spain: David de Gea, Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Koke, Thiago Alcantara, Andres Iniesta, Isco, Diego Costa, Marco Asensio

*Lineups are based on each country last competitive match and are subject to change


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