Today’s Predictions : Portugal Vs Spain
Portugal 3 – 3 Spain
Portugal vs. Spain Odds
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The fourth match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is between the two heavyweights of the Iberian peninsula, Portugal and Spain.
- Date : 16th June 2018
- Time : 11:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Sochi Stadium
In the fourth match of the tournament, defending European Champions Portugal take on the 2010 World Champions Spain, in the world cup’s first blockbuster fixture, showcasing world class talent on both sides.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Portugal actually suffered a huge setback when they lost to Switzerland in their opening game of the UEFA Qualification round. However, the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from injury coincided with an amazing winning run as the team won all their remaining matches, and scored 32 goals while conceding only 2 in those 9 games. Their forwards Ronaldo and Andre Silva scored a staggering 24 goals among them.
Spain were even more dominant in their Qualifiers, staying unbeaten throughout the phase, with 9 wins and 1 draw. ‘La Roja’ scored 36 goals and conceded just 3 in those 10 matches. Their biggest win was over Italy at the Bernabeu, with Real Madrid sensation Isco scoring a brace to earn a 3-0 victory for his nation.
Portugal hasn’t won their last 3 matches in a row, including a damaging 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands back in March. Their only wins in their last 6 matches came against comparative minnows Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Their forwards were prolific during the qualifiers but things have calmed down in attack of late.
Spain have been as solid as ever, staying unbeaten in their last 6 matches, with 3 wins, the biggest of which came against the mighty Argentina, who were mercilessly thrashed 6-1. They have several players in form, with 4 different players scoring 5 goals each in the qualifiers.
Head To Head Record
Portugal and Spain have always had a long and heated rivalry, with 36 matches played between them. Spain have historically had the upper hand though, with 18 wins, while Portugal have only managed 6 wins. However, their record is pretty even in recent years.
Spain have dropped some of the biggest names in world football in their final 23-man squad, such is the talent at their disposal. Top players like Alvaro Morata and Cesc Fabregas, who could have walked into any other national side, could not find any place in the final squad. Spain do not have any significant injury scares, although their squad selection has been widely criticized.
Portugal have also surprisingly dropped experienced campaigner Luis Nani, along with Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo, much to the shock of thousands of fans. Joao Cancelo and Ruben Neves are other high profile players who missed the flight to Russia. Even Eder, the player who scored the decisive goal at the 2016 Euro Final, was not selected.
Players To Watch Out For
Spain still have an abundance of incredible talent at their disposal. While this may be his last international tournament, Andres Iniesta is still one of the best midfielders in the world and would be looking to be decisive again. Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique form arguably the toughest center back pairing in the world, while Isco has elevated his game to another level in recent times.
Portugal’s main man, as expected, is one of the best footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo. Young full backs Raphael Guerreiro and Cedric Soares add much needed speed on the flanks, while Manchester City’s Barnardo Silva and Milan’s Andre Silva would be looking to share the attacking responsibilities with Ronaldo.
Portugal Vs Spain Key Statistics
- Spain are the favourites to win this all Iberian clash, with most bookmakers stacking the odds against Portugal.
- Portugal lost to Spain in an intense penalty shootout the last time these two teams met in an international tournament, at the Euro 2012.
- Spain had the joint tightest defense in the European qualifiers, while Cristiano Ronaldo plundered 15 goals in just 9 appearances for Portugal, setting up an exciting duel.
- Spain would be looking to relive their glory days which seemed to have disappeared after the 2012 Euro championships, and would be looking to go all the way in this tournament.
- Portugal would be aiming to become just the 4th nation to win the European Championship and the World Cup consecutively.
- We strongly recommend betting on the both teams to score market and the above 2.5 goals market, considering the potent attacking forces on both ends.
While the goal scoring threat of Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be undermined, Spain simply has too much quality spread across the pitch. We expect both teams to score in a tight match but Spain to prevail eventually.
Our Predicted Scoreline: Portugal 1 – 2 Spain