World Cup Match 4: Portugal v Spain

The big clash of Day 2 will see European heavyweights Portugal and Spain going head to head in the second Group B match of the day.

Stats

What’s their current form?
Portugal has played 12 games in the 2017-18 season, 6 of which have been this year, where they have had some inconsistent form. In March they beat Egypt 2-1, before losing back-to-back games 3-0 to Netherlands on the 26th and 27th of March. Their World Cup warm ups has produced a pair of draws with Tunisia (2 all) and Belgium (0 all) before winning last week 3-0 against Algeria.

Spain have been undefeated since July 2016, scoring 14 wins and 6 draws. They’ve had just 4 games this year against quality opposition, coming away with 1 all draws against Germany and Switzerland, an immense 6-1 win over Argentina and a 1-0 win over Tunisia just last week.

Lineups
Portugal: Patricio; Soares, Pepe, Alves, Guerreiro; Silva, Moutinho, Carvalho, Fernandes; Guedes, Ronaldo.
Spain: de Gea; Odriozola, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Alcantara, Busquets; Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Costa.

Any interesting facts I should know?
Portugal blitzed their qualifying, dropping just 1 of their 10 games, and scoring 32 goals and conceding just 4. Spain were even better, scoring 9 wins and a draw in their 10 games, scoring 36 goals and letting in just 3.

What should I be betting on?
Goals. These sides know how to score them and in bunches.

Wolf’s Prediction

The world media almost went into meltdown with the Spanish football association sacking coach Julen Lopetegui. It came after he failed to inform the federation and the players about his move to Real Madrid – a move he had hoped to make after the tournament. The decision is said to have come from the players and The Wolf is expecting them to respond accordingly. They were the Wolf’s pre-tournament selection and he is not about to change his tune. Most teams in world football fear Ronaldo but not Spain. Sergio Ramos and Carvajal among others are his team-mates at Real Madrid while Pique and Jordi Alba have played against his more than enough times. Despite 26 goals in his last 27 appearances for Portugal, Ronaldo has never scored against Spain. Under 2.5 goals has saluted in 9 of the last 12 meetings with Spain holding Portugal to nil in 3 of the last 5 encounters. This is effectively the match that will determine the group winner and The Wolf is expecting a very tactical battle as a result. Spain will take the lead and Portugal will get stung a second time on the counter.

Recommended Bets

Best: Both Teams To Score – No ($1.70)
Value: Spain WIN ($2.05)
Correct Score: Spain 2-0 ($8.50)


FAQ’s

TV channel, kick-off time, betting odds, tips, live stream and team news

What time is kick off? The game starts at 9pm (local time) on June 15. In Australia, kick-off will be at 4am on June 16th.

What TV Channel is it on and can I live stream it? In Australia, the only network with live broadcast rights is SBS. SBS Radio will also cover games that aren’t broadcast. Optus Sport in Australia will broadcast every game live as well via live streaming, however it will be available to subscribers only.

What’s the team news and who’s injured? Portugal’s squad is fit and firing, while Spain will be without defender Dani Carvajal, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury. He has resumed training and is expected to play later in the tournament.

Who’s the referee? Gianluca Rocchi from Italy.

What happened the last time they played each other? These sides have met on 36 previous occasions, with Spain winning 18 times to Portugal’s 6 wins, while 12 matches have been drawn. Both sides have 2 games apiece in the last 4 clashes, the last of which saw Spain win 4-2 on penalties after extra time in the UEFA Euro Championship semi-final in 2012.

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