Thursday, June 14, 2018

Portugal vs Spain World Cup - Group B - 15-06-2018

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Portugal vs Spain - Competition: World Cup 2018
 Portugal team secured a 3-0 victory over Algeria in their last match Friendly. Anyway, their pre-tournament warm-up matches were very much a mixed bag with a 3-0 home defeat to the Netherlands as well as draws with Tunisia (2-2) and Belgium (0-0). They have only lost inside 90 minutes three times in the 25 matches since they won Euro 2016. These two teams last met at EURO 2012, in a historic semi-final. The match ended with no goals and Spain advanced to the final on penalties.
Andre Silva and Ronaldo are expected to lead the line in a 4-4-2 formation, despite Goncalo Guedes and Bruno Fernandes impressed against Algeria last time out. Pepe looks sure to start at the heart of Portugal's defence with Bruno Alves, Jose Fonte and Ruben Dias competing for the other spot. Cedric Soares should get the nod over Pereira for the right back position while Joao Mario is expected to partner William Carvalho in the middle of the park. Bernardo Silva and Ricardo Quaresma should start as offensive wingers.

Julen Lopetegui has been sacked, following the news he will take charge at Real Madrid this summer.  Hierro is the new manager. Spain, world champions in 2010, crashed out of the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and they did not fare much better in the Euros two years ago. The Spaniards haven’t been too convincing in their pre-tournament warm-up games with a narrow win over Tunisia and a draw with Switzerland. However, they topped their World Cup qualification group ahead of Italy, with a 3-0 home win over the Azzurri their highlight during the campaign.
Gerard Piquè is a major doubt as the Barcelona defender could miss the first game because of an injury. Jordi Alba and Ramos are likely starters in defense while Dani Carvajal is not 100% fit and could be replaced by Alvaro Odriozola. The likes of Diego Costa, Rodrigo and Iago Aspas are all vying for a place in attack, with Isco and David Silva expected to play out wide. In midfield, Koke and Thiago Alcantara are in contention for a starting berth alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.
Portugal last 5 matches:
23/03/18 Portugal 2 – 1 Egypt
26/03/18 Portugal 0 – 3 Netherlands
28/05/18 Portugal 2 – 2 Tunisia
02/06/18 Belgium 0 – 0 Portugal
07/06/18 Portugal 3 – 0 Algeria

Spain last 5 matches:
14/11/17 Russia 3 – 3 Spain
23/03/18 Germany 1 – 1 Spain
27/03/18 Spain 6 – 1 Argentina
03/06/18 Spain 1 – 1 Switzerland
09/06/18 Tunisia – Spain
Date: 15 June 2018 - Kick-off Time: 19:00 BST
Venue: Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht, Sochi

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