Place: Fisht Olympic Stadium. Sochi.
Date: on the 15th of June, 2018 (Friday)
Tournament: FIFA World Cup, group B, 1st round
Match start: 15:15 (GMT+1)
Spain (the head coach Julen Lopetegui)
At the beginning of so long-awaited FIFA World Cup in Russia, the football fans have received a meeting of two top teams. We present to your attention a battle of the first round of group B with participation of the winners of three last EUROs – Spain (2008, 2012) and Portugal (2016).
If for many years and even the decades of last century Furia Roja wasn’t among the top national teams of the world, then in the 21st century Spain really became the bright favorite of world football. We will remind you that the modern team of Julen Lopetegui possesses a unique record for the national teams of our continent by the number of three final victories in a row in the European championships and the World Cups (2008, 2010, 2012). And now Furia Roja is considered by experts and analysts of football to be one of the main challengers for a new champion title.
Portugal (the head coach Fernando Santos)
The history of opposition of two geographical neighbors of the Iberian Peninsula contains 36 matches (+17=13=6). Here we see overwhelming advantage of Spain.
Quite naturally, the meetings of the Furia Roja and the Navigators in the World Cups and Europe Cups’ official matches are thought to be the most important. Here the advantage of the winners of the South African FIFA World Cup 2010 is very solid (8 matches, +4=3-1). And two most important meetings of these rivals by their value have taken place during the World Cup 2010 and EURO 2012.
6/29/2010. Republic of South Africa. Cape Town. 1/8 finals. Spain – Portugal – 1:0 (Villa)
6/27/2012. Ukraine. Donetsk. Semi-final. Spain – Portugal – 0:0 (4:2 penalty series)
And their only victory over more famous rival as for today, the defending champions of our continent have gained fourteen years ago, in frames of the home EURO 2004. It was also the match of a group stage which has ended in a home win with the minimum score (1:0).
Bookmaker coefficients on the match Portugal vs Spain
The initial advantage of Spain in the starting battle of a group stage is really obvious. The best bookmakers for a possible victory of Julen Lopetegui’s team proposes coefficient – 1.95. The bookmaker coefficients on possible victory of Cristiano Ronaldo and the company is 4.45.
If now the team of Julen Lopetegui is perfectly balanced in all lines, headed by Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Alvaro Morata and Diego Costa, then Portugal as well as half a century ago, during legendary Eusébio’s era, is still completely dependent on a gaming style of the leader Cristiano Ronaldo.
And now the most interesting fact! According to the top-list of long-term bets, present rivals are included into TOP-8 of the best teams of a tournament, that is, are the predicted participants of a quarterfinal round.
And if Furia Roja becomes the total winner of group B, then in a quarterfinal it will meet Argentina headed by Lionel Messi. And the final second place of Portugal makes them quite real opponent to Brazil in a quarterfinal. Of course, at a possibility of the choice the second option for Portugal is more acceptable. And therefore now Fernando Santos has to weigh all pros and cons concerning the number of the scored points in the opening match against Spain.
Our tips: Spain to win – odds 1.91 Pinnacle
Our tip: Draw – odds 3.31 Asianodds