Portugal v Spain Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 15th June
Connor Thompson (@thompsonnn10) previews Portugal v Spain and provides us with his best bets for Friday night’s clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats, facts and more.
Portugal v Spain Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Venue:Olimpiyskiy Stadion
- Channel: ITV
In what is the first heavyweight clash of the tournament, Euro 2016 champions Portugal take on their neighbours Spain in Group B. As Morocco and Iran complete the rest of the group, the top spot could potentially be decided in Friday night’s fixture.
The Spanish come into this game in better form than Portugal having demolished Argentina 6-1, before drawing with Switzerland and beating Tunisia. Their current unbeaten run stretches back to September 2017 and has seen them avoid defeat in their last 20 matches.
The surprise sacking of Julen Lopetegui just one day before the World Cup tournament kicks-off was a shock to everyone. With a record of 14 wins, six draws and zero losses for Spain, it’s hard to make sense of it all. With that being said, in the opening games of the World Cup the former managers tactics will most likely be untouched as the SEFutbol were happy with the progression and playing style of the national team.
But despite conceding just three goals in qualifying, the World Cup warm-up games have suggested Spain’s defence isn’t as solid as it seems. Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique have failed to replicate their trophy winning club form in a Spanish back four that have conceded in four of their last five games. In that time, they’ve faced the likes of Tunisia, Russia, Switzerland, Germany and Argentina, where you’d expect a clean sheet in at least three of those matches.
For Portugal, their pre-tournament form has been rather inconsistent, losing 3-0 to a questionable Dutch side before going on to draw 2-2 against Tunisia and 0-0 against Belgium. Although, last time out they managed a 3-0 win over Algeria, suggesting there might still be a glimmer of hope for the champions of Europe.
Both teams have scored in four of Spain’s last five games, whilst Portugal have seen both teams on the scoresheet in just two of their previous five. As for head-to-head, a surprising six meetings have gone by without both teams scoring, dating back to 2002.
If there was one player likely to score on Friday night you’d back the ultimate big game player Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored 81 goals for his national team, three of which in World Cup group stages.
Question marks over who leads the line for Spain are still very much apparent meaning the most likely goal-scorer for them is inform attacking midfielder Isco, who has 10 goals in 28 appearances. The three-time Champions League winner also bagged a hat-trick against Argentina back in March and is a dark horse for player of the tournament.
No injury concerns for either side.
Potential Spain Starting XI: De Gea, Carvajal, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Busquets, Alcantara, D Silva, Isco, Iniesta, Costa
Potential Portugal Starting XI: Patricio, Soares, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro, Moutinho, Carvalho, B Silva, Mario, Ronaldo, A Silva
Head to Head
The last time these two sides faced was in Euro 2012, where Spain progressed on penalties following a goal-less draw.
Their last World Cup meeting came in South Africa in 2010, where Spain again were the winners, getting the business done in 90 minutes with a 1-0 win.
Sandwiched in-between their 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 meetings is a friendly match that finished 4-0 in Portugal’s favour.
Key Stats & Facts
- Both sides have scored over 60% of their goals in the second half.
- Bruno Alves is Portugal’s oldest player at 36 and combined with centre back partner Pepe, the duo combines to a whopping age of 71, take from that what you will.
- Portugal have never won a World Cup before.
- Spain scored 36 in qualifying and only conceded three.
- Portugal scored 32 in qualifying and only conceded four.
- Portugal 18/5
- Draw 23/10
- Spain 10/11
With almost identical qualifying records at nine wins a piece each, both sides could win it on their day. However, with Spain winning their previous two competitive head-to-heads against Portugal, backed further by their recent performances against Argentina and Germany, it’s hard to bet against a Spanish win here.