Portugal vs Spain – Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips
This match is over.
Final score: Portugal 3-3 Spain
For the next match – Portugal vs Morocco.
For the next match – Iran vs Spain.
15th June 2018 – 19.00 UK Time
First Stadium, Sochi
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 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.
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.
- 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
Portugal: Rui Patrício, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Manuel Fernandes, Raphaël Guerreiro, José Fonte, Cristiano Ronaldo (captain), João Moutinho, André Silva, João Mário, Bernardo Silva, Anthony Lopes, Rúben Dias, William Carvalho, Ricardo Pereira, Bruno Fernandes, Gonçalo Guedes, Gelson Martins, Mário Rui, Ricardo Quaresma, Cédric, Beto, Adrien Silva.
Spain: David de Gea, Dani Carvajal, Gerard Piqué, Nacho, Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Saúl, Koke, Rodrigo, Thiago, Lucas Vázquez, Álvaro Odriozola, Kepa Arrizabalaga, César Azpilicueta, Sergio Ramos (captain), Nacho Monreal, Iago Aspas, Jordi Alba, Diego Costa, Marco Asensio, David Silva, Isco, Pepe Reina.
Should I Bet on Portugal Against Spain?
Portugal and Spain clash in their opening fixture at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The two favourites to win Group B will hope to get off to the ideal start with a win over their geographical neighbours and bitter rivals.
Not only are these two nations projected to advance to the knockout stages of the tournament, but they also have an excellent chance of lifting the trophy next month, so it should make for an exciting match-up.
Here, we’ll analyse the markets for punters considering backing Portugal to get their campaign off to a flier in Sochi.
Surprisingly considering the strength of the two teams, the bookmakers have installed Spain as odds-on favourites for the match, at around 10/11. But with Julen Loptegui’s side on an unbeaten run stretching back to June 2016, it’s perhaps understandable.
Both teams have prepared similarly for the tournament, drawing one and winning one of their warm-up fixtures against similar opposition. Portugal tied with Belgium before beating Algeria, while the Spanish had the same return in matches against Switzerland and Tunisia.
As a defeat for either of these nations could pile the pressure on their final two games against Iran and Morocco, a share of the spoils is the most likely outcome. The draw is priced at a tempting 9/4 with William Hill.
Isco first goalscorer
Having been a fringe player for Spain throughout the last two qualifying campaigns, Isco is now a key part of the national side. With likely starting striker Diego Costa not in great form, it will be down to the Spanish midfield to chip in with goals throughout this tournament.
The Real Madrid man will probably start in the hole behind the Atletico Madrid forward and there’s a great hope across Spain that he can consistently churn out performances like he did in the 6-1 mauling of Argentina in March. Isco grabbed a hat-trick that day and he’s enticingly priced at 11/2 with William Hill to break the deadlock on Friday.
In the opening set of fixtures at an international tournament, teams tend to show caution in their attacking style. Don’t expect that to be any different when Portugal take on Spain, despite the wealth of exciting talent on display.
In the four warm-up matches the two countries have played between them, they’ve conceded just once. And over the course of qualifying for the finals, the Spanish conceded only three times and Portugal just four.
Each team will also be fully aware of what happened in their opening matches at the last World Cup in Brazil. Portugal were trounced 4-0 by Germany while Spain suffered a similar fate, with the Netherlands putting five past the then-holders.
Expect lessons to have been learned and a low scoring draw is the most likely outcome. A 1-1 draw is priced at 11/2 with William Hill.