Today’s Predictions: Spain vs Russia
Spain 1 – 1 (3 – 4 *) Russia
The 3rd match of the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place between hosts Russia and European giants Spain.
- Date : 1st July 2018
- Time 7:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Luzhniki Stadium
Both these teams were unable to win their last group game, despite winning the first two matches. Russia would be looking to cause a huge upset in their own homeground.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Russia did not have to partake in the qualification process as being the host nation earned them automatic qualification to this gala event. 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.
Stanislav Cherchesov’s men haven’t been in the best of forms going into this tournament. They haven’t managed a single win in their last 6 matches, and have lost their last 3 matches in a row. A 3-3 draw with the mighty Spain in November is their only credible result during that period. Back to back heavy defeats against pre-tournament favourites France and Brazil respectively, have caused fans to be very worried about the home team’s chances at the World Cup. However, they opened the tournament with a huge win and followed that up with another convincing win in the second match.
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. Diego Costa scored twice against Portugal but couldn’t save them from dropping a point as the match ended 3-3. They could only muster 1 win during the group stages.
Head To Head Record
Spain have never lost to Russia before, having won 4 of the 6 matches played between these two nations, while 2 of them ended in a draw.
Russia and Spain in the World Cup So Far
Russia kicked off the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a brilliant 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia, to gain a strong hold over Group A. Their goal difference already looks unassailable after another thrashing of Egypt, who were beaten 3-0 in very convincing fashion, giving the home fans a lot to cheer about. However, reality struck in their final game as they were completely outplayed by Uruguay in a humiliating 3-0 defeat.
Spain kicked off their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign with one of the most exciting matches in recent international tournaments. Facing their Iberian rivals Portugal, Spain broke the deadlock with a brilliant opening goal from Diego Costa. However, a roller coaster match ensued, with Cristiano Ronaldo stepping up to score a hattrick, including a brilliant free kick to make the score 3-3. The battle for top place is still very much open in this group as they could only beat Iran by 1 goal, while Portugal beat Morocco by 1 goal as well. In their final game, Spain had a roller coaster of a game where they fell behind twice before scoring an injury time equalizer to finish 2-2 with Morocco.
Russia would be without one of their marquee players as Alexander Kokorin’s persistent knee injuries have ruled him out of the tournament. Without Kokorin, the goalscoring burden will have to be shared by Fyodor Smolov and Artyom Dzyuba. Cherchesov has decided to gamble on many young players for this tournament, including 22 year old twins Anton and Alexei Miranchuk.
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.
Players To Watch Out For
Russia are relying on several youngsters to carry them forward in this tournament, however they still have their stalwarts around to inspire them. Veteran goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is still their captain, while 34 year old former Chelsea wingback Yuri Zhirkov is another vital cog in their lineup. Denis Cheryshev has been one of the best players in the World Cup so far, and would be looking to continue his devastating form, while Golovin is another major threat.
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. Diego Costa would be looking to fight for the golden boot after scoring a brace against Portgual.
Russia Vs Spain Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- 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.
- Spain are the clear favourites in this clash. Though Russia will try their best to keep the home crowd happy, their recent defeat shows that they may struggle to cope with the top teams.
- Russia have managed to score 8 goals already, but their opposition teams were very poor defensively, while Spain have scored 5 but also let in 4 goals in 3 matches. Hence, both teams to score as well as there being above 2.5 goals in this match are bets we highly recommend.
Diego Costa seems to be in great form for the Spaniards, and we expect him to score again in this fixture, while Russia’s defence was thrashed by Uruguay in their final game, leading us to believe that they are just flat track bullies who only lookconvincing against smaller teams. We expect a narrow win for the Spaniards.
Predicted Scoreline : Spain 2-1 Russia