Place: Russia. Moscow. Luzhniki Stadium.
Date: on the 1st of July 2018 (Sunday)
Match start: 15:00 (GMT+1)
Tournament: FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, 1/8 finals
Russia (the head coach Stanislav Cherchesov)
According to the most surprising calendar schedule, Spain became the nominal host of the forthcoming match in Luzhniki. On the 1st of July Sunday, 84 000 chief arena of the FIFA World Cup in Russia and the whole country will support Stanislav Cherchesov’s team.
History of matches between Spain and Russia contains 13 matches and according to their results, overwhelming advantage possess Furia Roja (+6=4-3). Actually, Russia has only once won over Spain in a qualifying tournament of the European championship 1972 – 2:1 (Kolotov, Shevchenko – Rexach). The matter is that the two first victories have turned out to be technical because of refusal of Spain to play with USSR in a quarterfinal of the very first European Cup 1960.
And the European Cup final 1964 that was won by the hosts of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu with the score – 2:1 (Pereda, Marcelino – Khusainov) became the most considerable in the history of opposition of these two great teams.
Now having started with the history of opposition of two first champions of Europe we are speaking about what is happening today. Teams of Stanislav Cherchesov and Fernando Hierro have frankly disappointed the fans during the last round of a group stage. But, if the defeat of Russia to Uruguay (0:3) resulted from total absence of tournament motivation, then the draw of Furia Roja in a match with the Morocco (2:2) is more essential.
Spain (the head coach Fernando Hierro)
Undoubtedly, Morocco which has lost every chance of leaving the group in the last match ahead of schedule behaved provocatively (6 yellow cards), and deserves, at least, disqualification on participation in the qualification campaign of World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
However, now we speak about Spain. The weakest chain of modern Furia Roja is its new head coach Fernando Hierro. And the most vivid confirmation to this fact are the substitutions which Don Fernando has made in the middle of the second half, having removed from the field his two best players Thiago Alcantara and Diego Costa.
After they have left, the attacks of Spain became chaotic and it was already obvious that in this match Morocco, at least, will gain one point. At the same time, the football of Furia Roja in defense doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. In this match the judges have twice looked away from the game of Gerard Pique in the penalty area, that is, have deprived Morocco of two absolute penalties. But, the main thing is, that today’s game of Sergio Ramos (32 years), Gerard Pique (31), Sergio Busquets (29) and especially, Andres Iniesta (34) is very far from the former perfect performances. And such weak defense of Spain can and must be overplayed.
Bookmaker coefficients on the match Spain vs Russia
But what are incontestable arguments and the facts that experts rely on while choosing quotations on flawless victories of rivals? It is difficult to understand. However, Furia Roja is bright favorite for this match: Spain – 1.60, Russia – 7.00.
Actually, this will be the match of two equal by the level of game rivals in which Igor Akinfeev doesn’t concede in anything to David de Gea and Sergei Ignashevich is acting as central defender much better today than Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique all combined.
Then, in the middle line there are Aleksandr Golovin, Roman Zobnin and Yury Gazinsky who are stronger than Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and David Silva. And only when we compare two center forwards Artem Dzyuba and Diego Costa it is possible to say that they are equal.
We repeat that today’s Spanish national team that is headed by Fernando Hierro can and must be overplayed. In this match for the berth into the quarterfinal a lot of things speak in favor of Russia: gaming qualities, perfect coach, factor of native walls, factor of fantastic support of millions of Russian fans from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad.